Supreme Court to Decide Pledge Case

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by jimnyc, Oct 14, 2003.

  1. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    ** Thoughts? **


    WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court said Tuesday it will decide whether the Pledge of Allegiance recited by generations of American schoolchildren is an unconstitutional blending of church and state.

    The case sets up an emotional showdown over God in the public schools and in public life. It will settle whether the phrase "one nation under God" will remain a part of the patriotic oath as it is recited in most classrooms.

    The court will hear the case sometime next year.

    The justices agreed to hear an appeal involving a California atheist whose 9-year-old daughter, like most elementary school children, hears the Pledge of Allegiance recited daily.

    A national uproar followed a federal appeals court ruling last year that the reference to God made the pledge unconstitutional in public schools. That ruling, if allowed to stand, would strip the reference from the version of the pledge recited by about 9.6 million schoolchildren in California and other western states.
     
  2. janeeng
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    As a kid, the words One nation under God stood, today, we have all these other religions that have come here and feel it shouldn't be anymore, well this is the way it was, this is the way it should stay, and if you don't like it - GET OUT!!!

    I have a real hard time with this, I think it's wrong, but I also loved Iselin too until it became ISLAM!
     
  3. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    In no way does the phrase "under God" eastablish a national religion.

    In no way does the phrase "under God" keep one from practicing his/her own religion.

    This should be a clear-cut overturning of the 9th Circuit's ruling.
     
  4. Jackass
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    Jackass Active Member

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    Since he doesnt want to see anything with God in it, I will take all of his money since In God we Trust is printed and stamped on his money. I am only trying to help here folks!! :rolleyes:
     
  5. Bry
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    Bry Member

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    Thanks for posting this, jim. It's an interesting question. I'm sure I won't surprise anyone when I say I don't think God should be mentioned in anything governmental or public. I even remember thinking about this a bit when I was in elementary school: the pledge of alliegance seems in contradiction to the separation of church and state. I think "one nation under God" does show a preferece for the Judeo-Christian belief system (which would include Islam as well, of course.) I don't recall any provisions of the Freedom of Religion that we are free to practice any religion as long as we practice SOME religion, or as long as it be a religion with only one god. And, yes, I think it should be taken off our money too (but just because it has the word God on it doesn't mean I don't need every cent of it that I have.)

    -Bry
     
  6. eric
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    But if we do this Bry, then should we not re-write all of our laws, for they are also based on the Judeo-Christian belief system. Take an extreme example, murder is by most religions considered wrong, but not by all religions. Now you say well it is common sense not to kill people, but in reality your common sense comes from the society in which you were raised. Not all people share the same belief systems and it is impossible to prove who is right and wrong with any kind of empirical evidence. I know I'm going a little off topic right now, just bear with me. Lets go a step further, from a purely logical point of view, is murder wrong? Keep in mind compassion has no place in logic, to prove this all we have to do is to turn to nature itself. Natural selection has no compassion and it is indisputable that it works well, it has brought us to where we are today. My point is Bry, that as much as some of us would like to ignore the fact, religion excerts a treamendous influence over our thinking. To try and sterilize it from government, so as to be fair to ALL religious groups, would be impossible.

    Also it is not so clear cut that the SEPARATION of church and state is what our founding fathers intended. They did not want people forced to practice a particular government sponsored religion, and I do not see how have "In god we trust" on our money and in our pledge is forcing anyone to believe anything. More on this latter.

    Eric
     
  7. Bry
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    Bry Member

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    Thanks for the response, Eric. I've posted on a few similar themes, especially recently. I have said that in looking at my own belief system, it certainly has a lot in common with Christianity. I will even acknowledge that it was probably influenced to a significant extent by Christian values. But I have forced myself to justify my beliefs on their own terms without resorting to any religious argument. I don't like religion, and I don't think people should have to say each day the phrase "one nation under God", nor do I think they should be in a situation where they are forced to hear 30 odd other children saying it in unison. It can be an alienating experience, and that alienation is not (for me) in any way justifiable. This is not an all Christian club.

    And by the way, I do not say that it is common sense not to kill people. Killing is not wrong just because. I just don't think that permitting the killing of people is in anyone's best interest. I do not refrain from killing people because of compassion. I refrain from killing people because I don't want someone to learn from my example and turn around and kill me. I think the basis of law justifies itself: it is in the interest of all people to accept certain restrictions on their behavior that they may be more free. No more, no less.

    And, as far as I am concerned, it was precisely the separation of church and state that many of the founding fathers had in mind. It was in search of religious freedom that the pilgrims came to America, as religious freedom was the primary reason many of them left England in the first place. If I recall my history correctly, there was considerable debate on the issue, and the document we are left with is the weakly worded compromise that could be agreed on by all. That the Constitution was not the product of a single mind goes without saying. Thereby, they left many things open to interpretation, and they did so consciously, in the spirit of compromise. Now, the country we live in is much bigger, we live side by side with people of many cultures. The US is much more plural than it was at its inception, and I think it is clear that for the most part, the founding fathers wanted to accomodate that plurality, and protect as much of their freedoms as possible, without jeopardizing the delicate balance where your rights end and mine begin. I think that no one looses anything by not saying the name of God in school or government, but by subjecting some who would not otherwise participate in that little tid bit, we are alienating our plurality.
     
  8. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    My take on this is much more generic:

    Leave well enough alone!

    It was fine for how many years now? I know that doesn't make it right, but there's no need to change it in my opinion.

    What will be next? Where will it end? Will the Bill of Rights and US Constitution be considered null and void eventually?

    If you don't like it, ignore it.

    There are so many things that have made this a great nation over time, and slowly we are being expected to change them to appease immigrants and those with opposing views.

    Pretty soon our children will be expected to learn 3 different versions of the Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish!
     
  9. janeeng
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    hahah, funny you should say that about Spanish - Jared had to have spanish like I said, starting at 1st grade, as well as resite the pledge in Spanish too! :) - I don't know about this year, but they did last year.

    Don't forget about the flags either, if you remember after 9/11 we all hung our flags proud, yet in one area of CA, they were told to remove them - all because some would be offended by it! you gotta be kidding, this is OUR FLAG!!! but your right Jim, with all coming into this country, things have surely changed!
     
  10. Bry
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    Bry Member

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    "He launched the case in federal district court in 2000. He argued that the Constitution prohibits both the wording of the pledge -- which was altered in 1954 to include the words "under God" by an act of Congress -- and a California law, similar to those in other states, that requires public elementary school students to start their day with a teacher-led recitation of the pledge."

    This piece of the article from the Washington Post says the Pledge was changed in 1954 to include the phrase "under God". Obviously, this has nothing to do with the founding fathers, nor what may or may not make this country "great". I seem to remember learning something of the sort in high school history, but this article reminded me. I would suggest that none of the truly historical documents would be in any way threatened by a decision to change back the pledge.

    As for certain neighborhoods being required to take down their flags because some found them offensive, I suppose that qualifies as ridiculous too, though the massive displaying of flags on cars etc. also struck me as ridiculous. We hypothetically live in a country that protects the rights of individuals to be as ridiculous as they please. If people like seeing mud splattered flags on every fender of their SUVs, well, that's their choice. On the other hand, I think burning the flag should also be legal, and that people should not be forced by public institutions to recite silly, nationalistic pledges. (I was wondering for years: who the hell is Richard?... "for Richard stands, one nation...") That, to my mind, is not what makes our country great.

    PS Go Steelers!!!
     

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