Pledge of Allegiance, what gives?

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Purple_jester, Jun 27, 2002.

  1. Purple_jester New Member

    I just heard about that unbelievable US Pledge controversy. That is absolutely the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. The phrase "under God" makes your pledge unconstitutional? Are those judges sane, or were they smoking too much pot before rendering their verdict?

    And here I thought that idiots in office were only found in my country. ;)
  2. Lotus Mox New Member

    The phrase "under God" does indeed make an obligatory pledge unconstitutional.
    Also I find the whole pledge thing not really suited for everyday school in a free country anyway, it kind of reminds me of my communstic school time: "Für Frieden und Sozialismus, Seid bereit!" "Immer bereit! :D"

    In regard to your second remark: you will find idiots everywhere. ;)
  3. Notepad Seffy Sefro

    The phrase was not there to begin with. In fact, it was put there in the 50's for more of a cold war brainwashing type of reason. Seeing that, there's all reason to get it deleted.
  4. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Just read an interesting article that there are many "state" functions which state "God" in some way. The Supreme Court itself opens each session with such a phrase, the swearing in of the president contains a like phrase...

    Are these also unconstitutional and should be stricken out or does it really matter?
  5. MrXarvox The Prettiest Man Alive

    Unfortunately, conservatives all throughout the government are pushing for that ruling to be overturned. I guess they still want "millions of our schoolchildren" daily proclaiming "in every city and town, every village and rural schoolhouse, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty" to ward off the evil, godless communists.

    (the bits in quotes are from former president Dwight D. Eisenhower, when he signed the bill to add in the "under God" to the pledge in 1954. The bit after it is an accurate reflection of the sentiment behind it.)

    :rolleyes:

    Seriously. What's the deal with "God" being everywhere in the U.S. government and courts? Then again, this nation would never elect someone who isn't an Abrahamic monotheist to any position of real power, so it's pretty safe, wouldn't you say?

    once again, :rolleyes:
  6. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    The deal is that they were intwined pretty much from day 1, as the Declaration of Independence as several "God" references in it.

    People are probably taking this too far and misunderstanding it, much like the bally-hooed "Freedom of Speech" and "Right to Bear Arms" amendments...
  7. FoundationOfRancor The Gunslinger

    It offends me that all tehse God references excist in so many reflections of our goverment. The Pledge, Money, etc.

    I dont think it should be ruled unconstitutional, it should just be changed.
  8. Bob Idiot

    I think "Under God" should be removed too.

    Some people (including my parents) think it should remain the same and we should kick all Atheists out of the country...which is rediculous, because it goes against the freedom of religion thing...
  9. Azreal the Soulmaster Sorrow's Rhapsody

    I'm Repbulican...and even I strongly believe in separation of church and state. they are two areas that have nothing to do with each other. So i hope that the ruling goes through
  10. Ura Feline Lord of the Pit

    One other thing to remember before condeming the idea of "god" in the pledge is that America is a much more diverse and multi-cultural country today then it was nearly 50 years ago. Life and society has changed greatly so while yes, it should be changed to reflect America today, theres no point in beating the "traditionalists" over the head for it. So to speak.
  11. NorrYtt Casual Green Mage

    I have long despised 'under god' clauses and it would please me to see them go.

    I never, ever vote for anyone who supports prayer in school. There's shouldn't be any god or Jesus running around public school preaching have faith and good will towards men (and women).

    I was bombarded by anti-drug, anti-drinking, anti-sex videos and presentations all through high school. Schools already have this power; do they think it'll help if Jesus tells you not to snort? Sorry, preach in a private school; my children are better than that.
  12. Chaos Turtle Demiurgic CPA Member, Admin Assistant

    First, don't use the Declaration of Independence as an example in this debate. It pre-dates the Constitution and is has no bearing on our laws.

    Second, the issue here is whether the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, as amended in 1954 by Congress (the original lacked the "under God" clause) should be a daily ritual in public schools.

    What makes this different from having "god" on the currency is the issue of coercion, whether real or implied, when kids who attend public school for the purpose of eduction are subjected to any form of religios indoctrination. Essentially, it's the fact that young impressionable children may get the idea that good citizenship requires a belief in "god."

    (By the way, I keep putting "god" in quotes not to disrespect those who do believe, but because I am to make it clear that I'm not differentiating between different ideas of god; that is, between a Judeo-Christion God and whatever other god people may choose to believe in.)

    My main problem with the daily recitation of the Pledge in public school is that it loses its meaning when people are compelled to recite it. It's just some thing that you are "supposed to do" every day in school, rather than an affirmation of one's patriotism.

    On the other hand, it's already been established that children can opt out of the ritual. That is, they can't be forced to stand and recite the Pledge, as this would be infringing upon their right to be free from the "establishment of religion."

    I think the 9th C.C.o. A. panel issued a correct ruling. So long as the Pledge contains the phrase "under God" it is an assertion of (Judeo-Christian, whether you like it or not) faith as well as of patriotism, and has no place in public schools.

    . o O (I hope that made sense; the sleeping pills are kicking in...)
  13. Multani Treetrunk Guy

    As for my views, I simply don't pay any attention to it? Why? Because frankly it's not worth it. On top of that, you have to remember, that despite the theory of seperation of state and religion, that's never going to happen. Why? People are partial, and a government is run by people. As long as the people are religious, there are always going to be overtones of religion in the government. Of course, it get better in "communist" countries, but most Americans think that's "evil".
    As long as America is primarily religious (Christian), the government will always have religious overtones. Of course, as science advances religion will eventually be pushed to the corners and edges of society, but that's not gonna happen in our lifetimes.

    Also, there's another problem with this ruling. IN THEORY you're not forced to recite the pledge. Of course, everyone knows that if you're the only one that doesn't stand up when you recite the pledge, you'll get some weird stares at best, and some scolding remarks from the teacher at worst. So it's really not THAT big of an issue. At least, not by itself.
  14. Thallid Ice Cream Man 21sT CeNTuRy sChIZoId MaN

    So theoretically we have the right to stand and turn the opposite direction from the flag right? I always knew that one doesn't have to say the pledge (BTW I mostly object to it because of what the rest of it says, not necessarily the "under god" part, although I can understand why), and basically never get looks when I don't say it, but once I tried turning the opposite direction from the flag just to see what would happen. No one yelled at me, but I'm sure a lot of people were curious, and one asked if I was "anti-flag." I definitely do not listen to punk, but other than that I basically had to say that I was.

    And I don't see why the Declaration of Independence is irrelevant in this discussion. The use of under God in that document shows clearly that there is a precedent for using that phrase in official government documents - whether or not there should be is a different issue.
  15. Chaos Turtle Demiurgic CPA Member, Admin Assistant

    Because it is a discussion about the law as established by the Constitution, not a discussion about the nation's religious history.

    The Constitution itself mentions neither God, nor a Creator. The only reference is an incidental one, when it mentions "the Year of our Lord" while dating the document, and this can be regarded as convention, rather than religious endorsement.

    Additionally, whether there is any precendent for using the phrase (and by the way, there are only two references to "god" in the Declaration; one is to "Nature's God" and the other to "their Creator") in official government documents has no bearing whatsoever on whether kids can be pressued to use it in the Pledge.

    As far as turning in the opposite direction of the flag, you have that right in fact, not just theory -- your right to free expression -- although it is possible that it could get you in trouble for "being disruptive," depending upon how big a scene you caused. If you were to get in trouble, you'd probably have a case for suit.
  16. Thallid Ice Cream Man 21sT CeNTuRy sChIZoId MaN

    As American law is an offshoot of British law, which evolved parallel to changes in the Anglican church, its evolution has always been linked - whether it should be linked or not - with that of various Christian churches in the US. Religion has had an impact on national law in the US from the beginning, whether or not it was admitted outright that it did. So while the mention of religion in the Constitution is not directly related to the question of whether or not schoolchildren can be forced to say the Pledge of Allegiance, both of those answers have been determined by the widespread religious nature of this nation throughout its history.

    The Declaration of Independence has never been law; I agree about that. However, it shows that the issue of God was clearly not out of the minds of the Framers of the Constitution (some of them obviously having worked on the Declaration). The only point (although a significant one) in bringing up the Declaration of Independence in this discussion is to indicate that official "symbols" of US patriotism have mentioned God even though they probably shouldn't.

    (Besides, I've heard idiots proclaim their God-Given rights under the Constitution to carry firearms... don't get me started on that... :rolleyes: )
  17. Chaos Turtle Demiurgic CPA Member, Admin Assistant

    That's a strong point, and I'll concede that religion has had an impact in how laws have been interpreted and even written in the U.S. historically. I argue, however, that it should not have been, and that it should not be now.

    I think it's probably a given that piety was in the minds of the framers of the Constitution, and even that it weighed in their votes in the crafting of many laws. I'll never argue that they wanted religions out of public life altogether. But I will argue that they knew what they were doing when they denied Congress the power to legislate religious establishment. The question is whether Congress did such when they modified the Pledge to include the "under God" clause, and whether the modified version violates religious freedom in the public school daily ritual.

    Ulimately, it will be up to the Supreme Court to determine whether that's the case (assuming they deign to review the 9th Circuit's final decision) and I hope they won't be swayed by arguments that don't directly address this specific issue. (Well, let's be honest; they'll be swayed primarily by their political opinions, but with luck some of them will vote according to the law. I mean, if the "Founding Fathers" could do it...)

    And you're right about the :rolleyes:. Our only God-given rights are to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The right to keep and bear arms was given by Congress, and ratified by the states. ;)
  18. Thallid Ice Cream Man 21sT CeNTuRy sChIZoId MaN

    Sorry if it was unclear, but that's exactly the argument I was basically trying to make.
  19. EricBess Active Member

    Allow me to offer a differing opinion to the last couple of posts.

    Should laws be interpreted, or even written, with religion in mind? Well, I believe in the separation of church and state. What that means is that the ruling body of the government should not be tied to the ruling body of the church. However, what that does not mean is that the ruling body of the government should set aside their religious beliefs when doing their job as public officials.

    The Constitution of the United States provides for the governing body of the country to be composed of appointed and elected officials. In addition, in all cases where there is an appointed official, there is ultimately an elected official whose job it is to appoint someone to that position. In theory, they will find someone with the same values and/or agendas that they have.

    If such an appointed or elected official has a religious standpoint and wishes to express that view, then there is nothing wrong with this. In fact, I admire such people for standing up for what they believe in under the circumstances.

    Why is this okay? Because the system is built with checks and balances. The people of this country (speaking of the US since we are currently addressing the US Pledge of Allegiance) have the right and duty to elect the people into public office that they feel best represent their own personal values and beliefs.

    If an elected official has religious beliefs and chooses to let those influence how he behaves in office, so be it. There is nothing unconstitutional about that. If that person has been true to those values throughout the election process, then there should be no surprise that they feel that way once they are in office. If the nation doesn't approve of that sort of behavior, then the nation will simply elect someone who doesn't behave that way.

    Granted, the system is not infallible. But for the most part, it works well enough.

    Concerning the pledge of allegiance, no one is forced to give the pledge. People argue that their right to freedom of religion has been violated because they are forced to listen to it. These people would instead suppress not only the freedom of religion of those who do want to pledge their allegiance with those words, but also their freedom of speech.

    I've seen too many cases of people trying to hide behind the constitution to try to get their way when their rights haven't been violated in the first place. The last thing I want to see in this country is a situation where an individual can stand up and get their way by complaining that they have been offended by what everyone else wants. That's why we vote, people...

    I'll grant that there are times when special attention should be paid to the minority. For example, slavery was never appropriate and shouldn't have existed based on any claim, including the fact that the slaves are a minority and we've decided as a group it should be that way...

    But when the country as a whole is told how to behave to avoid offending the minority... When we worry more about offending the minority than the majority... Then we have gone too far.
  20. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Interesting that until EricBess, almost everyone agrees with the ruling...

    And I have to agree with him. Like I said before, I think people are muddling what "separation of church and state" really means. And perhaps times have changed, even more since 9/11, but I stopped reciting the Pledge at least by 6th grade, and if I said it after or a bit before, it was more a "routine" thing than actually paying attention to what it said (although I was also going to church at the time, so maybe that's why). I certainly don't believe that "god" "maintains" the US or whatever "under God" is supposed to "indoctrine" in me by saying it over and over again.

    While honestly it doesn't matter to me whether the phrase stays or goes, I think people are "going too far" or whatever EricBess is trying to say in changing it. You already don't have to say it; if you're worried about even hearing it, go outside (and if you can't, perhaps that ought to be the issue).

    And I can't dig it up now, but some paper said that "god" was mentioned either a few more times or more specifically than what you said, Chaos Turtle. That's why I mentioned it.

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