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Judge: School Pledge Is Unconstitutional

N8 v2.0

Not the sharpest tool in the shed
Oct 18, 2002
11,007
149
The Cleft of Venus
:nuts:

Judge: School Pledge Is Unconstitutional
Sep 14 2:20 PM US/Eastern
By DAVID KRAVETS
Associated Press Writer



SAN FRANCISCO - Reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools was ruled unconstitutional Wednesday by a federal judge who granted legal standing to two families represented by an atheist who lost his previous battle before the U.S. Supreme Court.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled that the pledge's reference to one nation "under God" violates school children's right to be "free from a coercive requirement to affirm God."

Karlton said he was bound by precedent of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which in 2002 ruled in favor of Sacramento atheist Michael Newdow that the pledge is unconstitutional when recited in public schools.
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
4
"Under God" was never in there to begin with, it was ADDED in the 50's.

We don't live in the 50's, so take it out.
 

ridetoofast

scarred, broken and drunk
Mar 31, 2002
2,093
0
crashing at a trail near you...
like it or not this country was founded by god fearing men, something as simplistic as a pledge is hardly 'coercive'

edit:interesing brief history

The Pledge of Allegiance
A Short History
by Dr. John W. Baer

Copyright 1992 by Dr. John W. Baer
See also www.PledgeQandA.com



Francis Bellamy (1855 - 1931), a Baptist minister, wrote the original Pledge in August 1892. He was a Christian Socialist. In his Pledge, he is expressing the ideas of his first cousin, Edward Bellamy, author of the American socialist utopian novels, Looking Backward (1888) and Equality (1897).

Francis Bellamy in his sermons and lectures and Edward Bellamy in his novels and articles described in detail how the middle class could create a planned economy with political, social and economic equality for all. The government would run a peace time economy similar to our present military industrial complex.

The Pledge was published in the September 8th issue of The Youth's Companion, the leading family magazine and the Reader's Digest of its day. Its owner and editor, Daniel Ford, had hired Francis in 1891 as his assistant when Francis was pressured into leaving his baptist church in Boston because of his socialist sermons. As a member of his congregation, Ford had enjoyed Francis's sermons. Ford later founded the liberal and often controversial Ford Hall Forum, located in downtown Boston.

In 1892 Francis Bellamy was also a chairman of a committee of state superintendents of education in the National Education Association. As its chairman, he prepared the program for the public schools' quadricentennial celebration for Columbus Day in 1892. He structured this public school program around a flag raising ceremony and a flag salute - his 'Pledge of Allegiance.'

His original Pledge read as follows: 'I pledge allegiance to my Flag and (to*) the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.' He considered placing the word, 'equality,' in his Pledge, but knew that the state superintendents of education on his committee were against equality for women and African Americans. [ * 'to' added in October, 1892. ]

Dr. Mortimer Adler, American philosopher and last living founder of the Great Books program at Saint John's College, has analyzed these ideas in his book, The Six Great Ideas. He argues that the three great ideas of the American political tradition are 'equality, liberty and justice for all.' 'Justice' mediates between the often conflicting goals of 'liberty' and 'equality.'

In 1923 and 1924 the National Flag Conference, under the 'leadership of the American Legion and the Daughters of the American Revolution, changed the Pledge's words, 'my Flag,' to 'the Flag of the United States of America.' Bellamy disliked this change, but his protest was ignored.

In 1954, Congress after a campaign by the Knights of Columbus, added the words, 'under God,' to the Pledge. The Pledge was now both a patriotic oath and a public prayer.

Bellamy's granddaughter said he also would have resented this second change. He had been pressured into leaving his church in 1891 because of his socialist sermons. In his retirement in Florida, he stopped attending church because he disliked the racial bigotry he found there.

What follows is Bellamy's own account of some of the thoughts that went through his mind in August, 1892, as he picked the words of his Pledge:

It began as an intensive communing with salient points of our national history, from the Declaration of Independence onwards; with the makings of the Constitution...with the meaning of the Civil War; with the aspiration of the people...

The true reason for allegiance to the Flag is the 'republic for which it stands.' ...And what does that vast thing, the Republic mean? It is the concise political word for the Nation - the One Nation which the Civil War was fought to prove. To make that One Nation idea clear, we must specify that it is indivisible, as Webster and Lincoln used to repeat in their great speeches. And its future?

Just here arose the temptation of the historic slogan of the French Revolution which meant so much to Jefferson and his friends, 'Liberty, equality, fraternity.' No, that would be too fanciful, too many thousands of years off in realization. But we as a nation do stand square on the doctrine of liberty and justice for all...

If the Pledge's historical pattern repeats, its words will be modified during this decade. Below are two possible changes.

Some prolife advocates recite the following slightly revised Pledge: 'I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all, born and unborn.'

A few liberals recite a slightly revised version of Bellamy's original Pledge: 'I pledge allegiance to my Flag, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with equality, liberty and justice for all.'
 

manimal

Ociffer Tackleberry
Feb 27, 2002
7,214
14
Blindly running into cactus
check their major case history and their precedent setting cases that were "reversed and remanded" at the US Supreme Court level.

if all the court districts were one big family, the 9th would be that crazy uncle that's always asking you to sit on his lap and talk about the first thing that come up.
 

Ciaran

Fear my banana
Apr 5, 2004
9,844
9
So Cal
Why should anyone be FORCED to make a pledge to anything when they are still too young to form intelligent opinions and make good judgement? The issue of God in the pledge aside, no one has the right to force me to pledge an allegiance to anything. If I love my country (or any country or nation for that matter) enough to swear an allegiance to it, that should be my decision, not yours.
 

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
9,890
4
Hypernormality
Ciaran said:
Why should anyone be FORCED to make a pledge to anything when they are still too young to form intelligent opinions and make good judgement? The issue of God in the pledge aside, no one has the right to force me to pledge an allegiance to anything. If I love my country (or any country or nation for that matter) enough to swear an allegiance to it, that should be my decision, not yours.
Damn right.
 

Reactor

Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2005
3,978
1
Chandler, AZ, USA
Most of the people who founded this country were simply looking for a better life. Only a small portion were kicked out of England for being so obnoxious even the English couldn't put up with them. Most of the "founding fathers" had only a passing belief in God and were dedicated to keeping church and state separate.

I'm a Buddhist and I will not let my child be forced to say any pledge containing the phrase "under god". I live in the Ninth circuit (Arizona) and believe church and state should be utterly separate. If you or I want to teach our children religion, it should be at home and church or temple. Schools and government should NOT be used as a passive recruiting tool for a church, any church. To better empathize see how offensive it is to some people replace "under god" with "under Allah and Islamic law" or "under our dark lord Satan". You'll start to get the point, having someone's religion forced on you is mighty unpleasant.
 

Zark

Hey little girl, do you want some candy?
Oct 18, 2001
6,257
7
Reno 911
I'm happy with this ruling. It was predjucidial to favor monotheism, particularly Christianity. I'm sure this will stir up a good sh*tstorm for the religious right. It'll end up in front of the Supreme court. Goodie, aybe Roberts will show his true colors :angry:
 

ALEXIS_DH

Tirelessly Awesome
Jan 30, 2003
5,341
149
Lima, Peru, Peru
ridetoofast said:
like it or not this country was founded by god fearing men, something as simplistic as a pledge is hardly 'coercive'
c´mon... that appeal to tradition is the oldest fallacy of them all...

the US was founded by god fearing men... but also, by that very same "reasoning", you could argue it was also founded by indian-killing men, enslaving men, and men who thought women should not vote nor participate in politics.... and times change.
 

Silver

find me a tampon
Jul 20, 2002
10,848
0
Orange County, CA
ridetoofast said:
like it or not this country was founded by god fearing men, something as simplistic as a pledge is hardly 'coercive'
Wrong again. Many of the founding fathers were Deists. Pre-Darwin, as it was, I'd see how that makes good sense. If by God fearing, you mean God ignoring...well, you might have something. A little quote from Thomas Paine (author of "Common Sense")

What is it the New Testament teaches us? To believe that the Almighty committed debauchery with a woman engaged to be married; and the belief of this debauchery is called faith.

(As an aside, there is another good reason why abstinence shouldn't be the only thing taught in sex ed. It didn't work for Mary!)
 

ohio

The Fresno Kid
Nov 26, 2001
6,640
4
SF, CA
I side with the 9th circuit on this, but I also feel like there are bigger issues to deal with today, including greater threats to separation of church and state, and the left should be careful not to blow their political wad on this one. It's a crystallizing issue and I think tends to drive people to more conservative views on only semi-related topics becuase they feel they're "under attack."
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
17,412
0
SF
Don't forget, the Constitution is here to protect the rights of the individual, not the majority. Let's say I wanted my kid to say the pledge, but with words, "Under Mother Earth" or "Under Beezlebub", there would be a huge controversy, but it is no different than if I was a Wiccan or a Satan worshipper and saying the word God.
 

Silver

find me a tampon
Jul 20, 2002
10,848
0
Orange County, CA
ohio said:
It's a crystallizing issue and I think tends to drive people to more conservative views on only semi-related topics becuase they feel they're "under attack."
Too late. They already control the country politically more so than any other faction with perhaps the exception of large corporations, and they feel like they are under attack.

If Jesus really was the son of God, he's got to be pissed off at the persecution complex that the American Evangelical has. After all, having to have your child taught actual science instead of fairy tales is right up there with crucifixtion, right?

Bah...patriotism and religion. Two of my favorite things, and they mix so well!
 

valve bouncer

Master Dildoist
Feb 11, 2002
7,791
36
Japan
Why can't the pledge be optional. You can still have it in schools but parents who are uncomfortable with it can have their kids opt out.
 

ohio

The Fresno Kid
Nov 26, 2001
6,640
4
SF, CA
valve bouncer said:
Why can't the pledge be optional. You can still have it in schools but parents who are uncomfortable with it can have their kids opt out.
Because it's tough on kids to be the one that has to stand out as different. For example, I grew up as basically the only Jewish family for 50 miles, so when my wrestling team or soccer team would pray before matches ("to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior") I would participate. It was just easier than explaining why I didn't want to, and then having to stand outside while everyone else shared a group moment. Now for me, it was just kind of my own personal joke, and I learned a lot growing up in that environment, but it's not the ideal situation for kids.
 

DirtyDog

Gang probed by the Golden Banana
Aug 2, 2005
6,599
0
Goddies don't want "God" preserved. They want their "God" preserved. If buddhist prayers were being chanted in schools they would be all up in arms. Basically it comes down to this:

me me me me me me my way only my way me me me I'm righteous me me me.......
 

valve bouncer

Master Dildoist
Feb 11, 2002
7,791
36
Japan
ohio said:
Because it's tough on kids to be the one that has to stand out as different. For example, I grew up as basically the only Jewish family for 50 miles, so when my wrestling team or soccer team would pray before matches ("to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior") I would participate. It was just easier than explaining why I didn't want to, and then having to stand outside while everyone else shared a group moment. Now for me, it was just kind of my own personal joke, and I learned a lot growing up in that environment, but it's not the ideal situation for kids.
Not the point, lovely story notwithstanding. The question is whether kids should be forced to take the pledge. It should be optional. Now whether or not kids feel confident enough to exercise that option is another subject.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
36,463
3,228
Sleazattle
I always took offence to the pledge, not because of the god part but because of the whole "pledge" part. Fack'em, I have allegience only to myself.

I pledge allegience to myself, cause I kick ass.
;)
 

Andyman_1970

Turbo Monkey
Apr 4, 2003
3,105
5
The Natural State
Zark said:
I'm sure this will stir up a good sh*tstorm for the religious right.
I’m sure the battle cry will be “they are taking God out of the schools” – all I have to say to that is, these folks need to read their precious Bible. Paul clearly says Jesus is holding all creation together, so He’s not been taken out of the schools.
 

Andyman_1970

Turbo Monkey
Apr 4, 2003
3,105
5
The Natural State
ALEXIS_DH said:
c´mon... that appeal to tradition is the oldest fallacy of them all...

the US was founded by god fearing men... but also, by that very same "reasoning", you could argue it was also founded by indian-killing men, enslaving men, and men who thought women should not vote nor participate in politics.... and times change.
Yeah don’t get me started how many God fearing Bible believing Baptists in the south in the 1800’s used the Bible to justify slavery – not something you hear every Sunday at your local Southern Baptist church…………
 

kidwoo

Celebrating No-Pants Day
Aug 25, 2003
22,262
1,955
In my pants
ohio said:
Because it's tough on kids to be the one that has to stand out as different. For example, I grew up as basically the only Jewish family for 50 miles, so when my wrestling team or soccer team would pray before matches ("to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior") I would participate. It was just easier than explaining why I didn't want to, and then having to stand outside while everyone else shared a group moment. Now for me, it was just kind of my own personal joke, and I learned a lot growing up in that environment, but it's not the ideal situation for kids.

Haha.......that reminds me.

I used to row at my little episcopalian high school and before every race there was this stupid tradition of saying a prayer right before we rowed up to the start line. I rowed stroke (back of the boat, sets the pace) my junior year which sits right by the coxswain with the microphone to yell out commands. When he would start that crap, I'd just scream into his face where the mic was "cut that Sh!t, out!! Just fvcking win!!"

I felt persecuted otherwise. Not because I'm jewish but because I was a budding pastafarian, yet to be touched by his noodly appendage. AAARRRRGGHH!!!

As far as pledging anything at that age.......I'm with ciaran on this. Seems kind of fascist anyway.....gawd or not.
 

Andyman_1970

Turbo Monkey
Apr 4, 2003
3,105
5
The Natural State
Silver said:
If Jesus really was the son of God, he's got to be pissed off at the persecution complex that the American Evangelical has.
He probably is. Instead of spending all “our” time collectively whining about the pledge, or picketing places where abortions are performed, or spending a crap load of money on keeping the various Christian “mouthpieces” on the air (Dr. Dobson for example) – why don’t “we” channel that energy into actual action, into actually helping people one by one, adopting a crap load of children (for instance) who would have been aborted instead of picketing, or taking the time to be actively involved in your child’s education so as Paul says they can “test everything hold on to the good” instead of being scared of stuff that doesn’t have a nice happy “Christian” label on it. [edit: that could be the longest run on sentence in RM history……..LOL]

Instead of being defensive about the culture what are “we” doing with the way we live to positively shape it, how much compassion, grace and mercy are “we” living out in a dramatic counter cultural way each day??

I think Jesus’ little brother James had something to say about people who are all talk and no action……………..
 

Guntruck

Monkey
Feb 9, 2004
210
0
Mill Creek, WA
I thought it was optional. Jewish kids in my highschool choose not to say it. And I just though it was plain stupid to say the same stupid thing every single day so I just stopped saying it alltogether... nobody noticed.. most days teachers forgot to even say the pledge and some stupid brown noser would flip out and demand we say it..... maybe just washington schools eh?
 

ghostrider

7034 miles, still no custom title
Jan 6, 2003
964
1
Shadows of Mt Boney, CA.
This should be a no brainer - it should never have been in there in the 1st place. Could one of the people who support leaving it in please present a viable argument for keeping it in there?
 
ohio said:
Because it's tough on kids to be the one that has to stand out as different. For example, I grew up as basically the only Jewish family for 50 miles, so when my wrestling team or soccer team would pray before matches ("to Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior") I would participate. It was just easier than explaining why I didn't want to, and then having to stand outside while everyone else shared a group moment. Now for me, it was just kind of my own personal joke, and I learned a lot growing up in that environment, but it's not the ideal situation for kids.
I chose to opt out all on my own and caught a lot of grief for it. I agree with the decision.
 

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
9,890
4
Hypernormality
Andyman_1970 said:
Yeah don’t get me started how many God fearing Bible believing Baptists in the south in the 1800’s used the Bible to justify slavery – not something you hear every Sunday at your local Southern Baptist church…………
The same type of people who today use Leviticus to justify "hatin' fags". Tossers.
 

ohio

The Fresno Kid
Nov 26, 2001
6,640
4
SF, CA
valve bouncer said:
Not the point, lovely story notwithstanding. The question is whether kids should be forced to take the pledge.
Might want to read a little more carefully before you express an opinion, mate. Apparently YOU missed the point. The only part in question is the "under God" part, not taking the pledge itself.
 

valve bouncer

Master Dildoist
Feb 11, 2002
7,791
36
Japan
ohio said:
Might want to read a little more carefully before you express an opinion, mate. Apparently YOU missed the point. The only part in question is the "under God" part, not taking the pledge itself.
OK fair enough then.
However I still can't see why it shouldn't be optional. Sure you'd probably piss off both sides but that's usually a sign you're on the right track.
 

ohio

The Fresno Kid
Nov 26, 2001
6,640
4
SF, CA
valve bouncer said:
OK fair enough then.
However I still can't see why it shouldn't be optional. Sure you'd probably piss off both sides but that's usually a sign you're on the right track.
There's plenty of time to pray to God voluntarily, but it doesn't belong in public schools. Are parents really afraid that their children will become Godless if they don't remind themselves every morning that the nation is "under God?" It's a parent's responsibility to bring religion to their children, not the government's. It was added unecessarily and it only serves to highlight and ostracize those that are in the minority.

That's not to try to hide differences, it's to save them for the proper forum. You want to compare and contrast religious beliefs, do it in the context of an open and intelligent discussion in a social studies or religion class, not every morning as part of a ritual.