Can't sue over God in pledge

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by brneyedgrl80, Jun 14, 2004.

  1. brneyedgrl80
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    brneyedgrl80 Member

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    http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/0614ScotusPledge14-ON.html

    Associated Press
    Jun. 14, 2004 08:00 AM


    WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court at least temporarily preserved the phrase "one nation, under God," in the Pledge of Allegiance, ruling Monday that a California atheist could not challenge the patriotic oath while sidestepping the broader question of separation of church and state.

    The decision leaves untouched the practice in which millions of schoolchildren around the country begin the day by reciting the pledge.

    The court said the atheist could not sue to ban the pledge from his daughter's school and others because he did not have legal authority to speak for her.

    The father, Michael Newdow, is in a protracted custody fight with the girl's mother. He does not have sufficient custody of the child to qualify as her legal representative, eight members of the court said. Justice Antonin Scalia did not participate in the case.

    "When hard questions of domestic relations are sure to affect the outcome, the prudent course is for the federal court to stay its hand rather than reach out to resolve a weighty question of federal constitutional law," Justice John Paul Stevens wrote for the court.

    Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist agreed with the outcome of the case, but still wrote separately to say that the Pledge as recited by schoolchildren does not violate the Constitution. Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Clarence Thomas agreed with him.

    The high court's lengthy opinion overturns a ruling two years ago that the teacher-led pledge was unconstitutional in public schools. That appeals court decision set off a national uproar and would have stripped the reference to God from the version of the pledge said by about 9.6 million schoolchildren in California and other western states.

    The case involved Newdow's grade school daughter, who like most elementary school children, hears the Pledge of Allegiance recited daily.

    The First Amendment guarantees that government will not "establish" religion, wording that has come to mean a general ban on overt government sponsorship of religion in public schools and elsewhere.

    The Supreme Court has already said that schoolchildren cannot be required to recite the oath that begins, "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America."

    The court has also repeatedly barred school-sponsored prayer from classrooms, playing fields and school ceremonies.

    The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the language of the First Amendment and the Supreme Court's precedents make clear that tax-supported schools cannot lend their imprimatur to a declaration of fealty of "one nation under God."

    The Bush administration, the girl's school and Newdow all asked the Supreme Court to get involved in the case.

    The administration had asked the high court to rule against Newdow, either on the legal question of his ability to sue or on the constitutional issue. The administration argued that the reference to God in the pledge is more about ceremony and history than about religion.

    The reference is an "official acknowledgment of our nation's religious heritage," similar to the "In God We Trust" stamped on coins and bills, Solicitor General Theodore Olson argued to the court.

    It is far-fetched to say such references pose a real danger of imposing state-sponsored religion, Olson said.

    Newdow claims a judge recently gave him joint custody of the girl, whose name is not part of the legal papers filed with the Supreme Court.

    The child's mother, Sandra Banning, told the court she has no objection to the pledge. The full extent of the problems with the case was not apparent until she filed papers at the high court, Stevens wrote Monday.

    Newdow holds medical and legal degrees, and says he is an ordained minister. He argued his own case at the court in March.

    The case began when Newdow sued Congress, President Bush and others to eliminate the words "under God." He asked for no damages.

    The phrase "under God" was not part of the original pledge adopted by Congress as a patriotic tribute in 1942, at the height of World War II. Congress inserted the phrase more than a decade later, in 1954, when the world had moved from hot war to cold.

    Supporters of the new wording said it would set the United States apart from godless communism.

    The case is Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow, 02-1624.
     
  2. Gop guy
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    Gop guy Member

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    Take that radical comme atheist movement.
     
  3. brneyedgrl80
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    brneyedgrl80 Member

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    :cof:
     
  4. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    [sarcasm]
    MWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!

    The EEEEEEEEEvil social conservatives have won another one!

    MWA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!

    [/sarcasm]
     
  5. Gop guy
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    Gop guy Member

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    LOL
     
  6. Shazbot
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    Shazbot Member

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    Just thought I would post a little something I wrote up a while back and tried to get put into a newspaper (yeah right):

    -Douglas
     
  7. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    douglas/shazbot, you should read "Persecution" by David Limbaugh. He talks about America's Christian roots in great detail. Very interesting read.
     
  8. Isaac Brock
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    Isaac Brock Active Member

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    As far as i'm concerned (and we've had the same issue in Canada), pledges or writs in fundamental doctrines are not, in my opinion, advocating religion, but acknowledging our past.

    Revisionist history is abhorrent. Religion was a motivating factor in the creation of both of our nations. Whether or not it's a main issue in today's government (which I don't think it should at all), is besides the point. The point is, is that it is a part of history.
     
  9. acludem
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    acludem VIP Member

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    The SCOTUS decision sidestepped the real issue. They DID NOT rule that "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegience" was constitutional, rather they ruled the Michael Newdow had no legal standing to file the suit. This was NOT an affirmation of Under God in the pledge, please understand that. This issue will ultimately be decided by the SCOTUS. Personally, I believe "Under God" has absolutely no place in the Pledge. When I recite the pledge, I leave those words out as I do not want to lie when taking an oath.

    acludem
     
  10. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    How is it a lie? God lives and this One nation under God despite your disbelief in him.

    All religious points aside. This is the exact reason we need to reelect President Bush. Supreme Court Nominations will be coming up soon. Do we want someone who will interpret the Constitution as it was written. Or do we want John Kerry, the most liberal Senator alive, to appoint judges who will rule in favor of men who will use their children to overturn the peoples will?
     

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