The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the “Under God” part of the Pledge of Allegiance violates the establishment clause of the Constitution.
I heartily applaud this decision. The “Under God” bit was only added to the pledge as a result of 1950s McCarthyism hysteria. I don’t see what was wrong with the wording “One nation, indivisible”. To me, that is much more reflective of what the U.S. stands for. We are not a theocracy.
Somehow I get the feeling that the Supremes will be heard on this eventually. I hope they uphold this ruling.
I’m not in favor of the ruling, but I’m not here to argue it, just to state that your title is somewhat incorrect. The ruling states that, because of the words “Under God”, the entire PoA is unconstitutional. The ruling didn’t change the PoA, it eliminated it.
Right FRIGGIN’ on! Tracer, you hit it on the head. The PoA was changed mid-stream and doesn’t reflect what America is all about. I think even less of Bush than I did before, after his comment stating that the ruling was “ridiculous”. I don’t understand what’s so hard about the concept of separation of church and state! When they re-write the PoA, maybe kids will want to recite it more, without the confusing signal that the Eisenhower gang slipped in there.
There’s nothing confusing about the separation of church and state, but some people don’t favor it. Personally, I think they ought to completely rewrite the pledge–we should be pledging our allegiance to the principles upon which our nation was founded, not whoever’s running the show at the moment (which is how I’ve always interpreted the “and to the republic for which it stands” line from the pledge).
Despite the merits of this suit, I have a feeling that bringing it was a mistake, whether or not the Supreme Court overturns the decision. This sort of thing provides inspiration rallying and fundraising material for every sort of fundamentalist religious movement, and we will have to listen to their yammering non-stop for who knows how long.
No, not really. It specifically declared the 1954 act (which added the “under God” bit) unconstitutional. There’s always a problem deciding just what gets invalidated when part of a statute, and whether the unconstitutional bit is severable from the rest. I don’t see any particular problem with deciding that the rest of the PoA is still valid. At worst, it’s unclear whether the PoA exists in any statutory form in the 9th Circuit.
Moreover, it’s not like they’re going to throw you in jail for reciting the pledge any way you see fit. Hell, tattoo it on your forehead and shout it out while parading around the town square in a red, white, and blue Speedo if you feel like it. The only thing that’s happened here is that the “under God” phrase has lost its official status. Simple, huh?
To me, this means that the whole Pledge has been removed from the curriculum. It does not revert to its pre-1954 form. The news report may be incorrect, but I have no reason to believe that this is so.