God’s pledge

Conrad Zaar dropped me a line regarding the recent ruling by a federal judge calling the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional:  “Hey, here’s a bit of good news from San Francisco regarding the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools. With luck, Lawrence Karlton’s ruling will get the issue before the Supreme Court again.”  True, it’s interesting to watch all the arguments for or against it.  The guy who filed the lawsuit makes a valid point:

“Imagine every morning if the teachers had the children stand up, place their hands over their hearts, and say, ‘We are one nation that denies God exists.’  I think that everybody would not be sitting here saying, ‘Oh, what harm is that.’ They’d be furious. And that’s exactly what goes on against atheists.  And it shouldn’t.”

While I don’t consider myself an atheist exactly, I don’t see the need to include God in a patriotic pledge, especially when we make so much noise about the separation of church & state in this country.  (And which god are we talking about?  It oughta be more specific.  The answer is:  the one and only Christian God, you anti-American dirtball!  But I digress…)  I seriously doubt we’ll ever see the “under God” bit removed, but stranger things have happened.  Of course, some don’t think that this separation should exist, and they’re happy with the pledge just the way it is…  However it goes, it’s fascinating to watch.  Bringing up this issue in such a public manner is like kicking an anthill!

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  1. Also remember, the “Under God” bit was added on around the 1950s, the height of the Communist scare. Well, maybe not height, but you know what I mean. The pledge was recited without the offending phrase since before 1900. (Disclaimer: I have no sources, though I am am certain of it’s accuracy.)
    It’s these little cracks in the wall that seperates church and state that create bigger ones.

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  2. I was listening to NPR the other day and some guy in Arizona was saying that we’re not likely to see any suits like that here (in AZ) because the pledge is not mandatory. What a bunch of bullshit!!!! I have two kids in Arizona schools and they are required to stand and say the pledge. If they don’t, they get in trouble (I know this because it’s happened – yes I have little liberals on my hands).
    I didn’t grow up in AZ but in the places I did live, I was required to recite the pledge in school. I was a a bit of a rebel and although I didn’t outright refuse to do it, I’d recited something else or not put my hand on my heart or whatever I could do to not conform. Even in elementary school I could see that forced patriotism is just that – forced.
    My father used to tell me stories about when he was a kid and they had to pray in school and how angry that made him. He was born in 1922 and his father divorced his mother – a big no-no back in those days. His family was Catholic and they actually all got kicked out of the church. He became an atheist as a result. So praying in school really pissed him off.

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