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  #1  
Old 12-12-2000, 11:52 AM
mongrel_8 mongrel_8 is offline
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At the beginning of one of my soccer games I noticed that one of my teammates was looking around when the national anthem was being played. I asked him why he was being disrepectful during the anthem. He said that because he is a Jehovah's Witness they don't honor the flag but he didn't know why they do that. Does it have something to do with not taking "oathes" other than to God or am I just guessing? Does this mean they don't honor the United States?
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  #2  
Old 12-12-2000, 12:26 PM
SmackFu SmackFu is offline
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From http://religiousmovements.lib.virgin.../Jwitness.html

Quote:
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that "they owed allegiance to no person, flags, or nation; they owed allegiance only to Jehovah", therefore, they do not vote, salute the flag, or participate in military duty. Men have been jailed for refusing to be drafted. Children have been expelled for not pledging allegiance to the flag.
So your guess is correct.
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  #3  
Old 12-12-2000, 12:31 PM
BobT BobT is offline
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Jehovah's Witnesses have been instrumental in bringing several free speech cases to the Supreme Court. Some have been about mandatory flag salutes. I believe that after an initial Supreme Court ruling against them, SCOTUS finally supported the Jehovah's Witnesses' desire to not participate in activities like the Pledge of Allegiance.
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  #4  
Old 12-12-2000, 12:50 PM
stkelly52 stkelly52 is offline
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Interestingly, the JW is about the only religion banned by the SIngaopore government, because of they won't join the military. (all singapore males are required to do military service)
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  #5  
Old 12-12-2000, 12:53 PM
mongrel_8 mongrel_8 is offline
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Thanks, all for answering. So if they don't believe they owe allegiance to any nation then do they still pay taxes?
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  #6  
Old 12-12-2000, 01:35 PM
Irishman Irishman is offline
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Yes. Taxes are not an allegiance thing. Taxes are a law of the land thing. Taxes are a secular investiture of money, not a swearing of fealty.
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  #7  
Old 12-12-2000, 02:03 PM
gigi gigi is offline
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Just as an aside, some folks (Mennonites in my experience) will practice war tax resistance in addition to consciencious objection to military service.

Also, the pledge of allegiance could be considered idolatry.
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  #8  
Old 12-12-2000, 03:33 PM
RufusLeaking RufusLeaking is offline
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I also refuse to say the pledge of allegiance for religious reasons. As an atheist, I object to the phrase "one nation under God." But I otherwise try to be as respectful as possible and not draw attention to myself when everyone else is reciting it.
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  #9  
Old 12-12-2000, 05:06 PM
ruadh ruadh is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by BobT
Jehovah's Witnesses have been instrumental in bringing several free speech cases to the Supreme Court. Some have been about mandatory flag salutes. I believe that after an initial Supreme Court ruling against them, SCOTUS finally supported the Jehovah's Witnesses' desire to not participate in activities like the Pledge of Allegiance.
West Virginia Board of Ed v. Barnette. Anyone interested in First Amendment law absolutely needs to read this decision, one of the most eloquent ever written, IMHO.
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  #10  
Old 12-12-2000, 08:54 PM
capacitor capacitor is offline
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From the decision West Virginia Board of Ed v. Barnette:

"If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein."

In other words, nobody in the US government can force people to take oaths or allegiances of faith. nationalism or of other opinions.
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  #11  
Old 12-12-2000, 09:23 PM
Cartooniverse Cartooniverse is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by capacitor
In other words, nobody in the US government can force people to take oaths or allegiances of faith. nationalism or of other opinions.
Sorry, but wrong. My father went to work for the U.S. Government, and had to sign several Loyalty Oaths prior to being hired. Not an offer, but a demand of the job. He he refused, he would not have been given his Security Clearance. Period.

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  #12  
Old 12-12-2000, 10:19 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Quote:
He he refused, he would not have been given his Security Clearance. Period.
Yes, but that doesn't mean that he couldn't have refused. Think of it this way: Nobody can force him to scrub toilets, either, but if he takes a job as a janitor, he'll be fired if he doesn't.
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  #13  
Old 12-13-2000, 02:11 AM
The Ryan The Ryan is offline
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Oaths, or affirmations? The former has religious denotations.
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  #14  
Old 12-13-2000, 03:05 AM
Cisco Cisco is offline
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Quote:
I object to the phrase "one nation under God."
Just think of it as 'One nation under money'. That's what they mean anyway.
As for the OP, none of the JW's that I knew as a kid ever stood for the pledge. BTW we stopped doing the pledge in like 2nd or 3rd grade, it seems like some of you are implying that you still do it...why/where do you do it?
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  #15  
Old 12-13-2000, 03:41 AM
matt_mcl matt_mcl is offline
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I feel I ought to refer to my experience with the above:

Matt Canvasses a JW on the Campaign Trail, Fails to Convince Him to Vote NDP, Has Some Fun Anyway
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  #16  
Old 12-13-2000, 03:48 AM
2nd Law 2nd Law is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by capacitor
In other words, nobody in the US government can force people to take oaths or allegiances of faith. nationalism or of other opinions.
However, atheists can not hold office under the Texas Constitution, article 1, section 4.

I don't know if this has ever been challenged in the federal courts, but it's still in the Texas Constitution.
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  #17  
Old 12-13-2000, 04:48 AM
Farmer Farmer is offline
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Whatever, so long as they don't come to my door.
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  #18  
Old 12-13-2000, 11:11 AM
BobT BobT is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by 2nd Law
Quote:
Originally posted by capacitor
In other words, nobody in the US government can force people to take oaths or allegiances of faith. nationalism or of other opinions.
However, atheists can not hold office under the Texas Constitution, article 1, section 4.

I don't know if this has ever been challenged in the federal courts, but it's still in the Texas Constitution.
Religious tests for any office, whether Federal or State, were struck down by the case of Torcaso v. Watkins in 1961. It was a case involving a law that required all notaries public in Maryland to state their belief in God. It was ruled inconstitutional according to the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
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  #19  
Old 12-13-2000, 12:37 PM
gigi gigi is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Cisco
BTW we stopped doing the pledge in like 2nd or 3rd grade, it seems like some of you are implying that you still do it...why/where do you do it?
This is a discussion of the pledge of allegiance in schools.


Is there an alternative for atheists to swearing "to tell the whole truth..., so help me, God"? Or are those the words only on TV?
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  #20  
Old 12-13-2000, 12:52 PM
BobT BobT is offline
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Cecil covered the question of atheists testifying in court with this column

http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a1_145.html
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