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Is the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional?


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#1 rigel

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Posted 15 September 2005 - 09:30 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- A federal judge declared Wednesday that the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is unconstitutional, a decision that could potentially put the divisive issue back before the U.S. Supreme Court.

CNN.com

The ruling against the pledge has been coming for quite some time. The phrase "In God we trust" on our money has been looked at as well. My standing on this is that the United States was founded on Christian beliefs and principles, and that this pledge should remain intact as is. I also wonder/fear a nation without God. I work in a school district in South Carolina, and we do recite the pledge. I do not think that students in our schools are "forced" in reciting the pledge, but it seems most are required to stand in respect for our country.

1) Should the pledge remain a part of our school children's day?

2) If God was completely removed from our government, how would you feel?

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#2 groovicus

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Posted 17 September 2005 - 07:15 PM

Bumped because I didn't see it in the queue until now, and I think it is a solid topic.

#3 Heretic Monkey

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Posted 17 September 2005 - 11:14 PM

Well, if the kids are forced to say the pledge of allegience, then it's wrong. It's basically telling them to say something they don't believe in. Also, maybe parents don't want their kids to say "under God" if they're trying to raise them differently.

The thing i hate is that if someone chooses not to say the pledge of allegience, they're automatically marked as "unpatriotic". If someone feels to strongly as to refuse to say the pledge, they're labelled at traitors, or people that hate america.

To this day, i still say the pledge the way it was originally written:

I pledge allegience to the flag of the United States of America. And to the Republic for which it stands. One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

I'm just silent when "under God" is supposed to be said, but kids often don't have the choice of such a thing.... i remember a child in my elementary school (long ago) getting disciplined for not saying the pledge "right". It wasn't regarding the "under God", but he misspronounced something and got ridiculed for it. Imagine a child in a christian dominated class trying to stand up for himself by speaking (or not speaking) his mind.

EDIT: And to number 2: I'd be all for removing God from the United States. Keeping the country firmly planted in the feet of christianity is pretty much endorsing that religion over all the others. If there were no ties to God on money/in the pledge, it wouldn't be EXCLUDING anyone. However, once God is placed on government "property", it automatically excludes all those without the same beliefs.

Christians still have the freedom to do as they choose without having "God" in the government. Why is it that if "God" were taken off money/pledges, it would automatically destroy the rights of christians? Removing "God" from the pledge/money doesn't destroy God, it just gets it out of the face of all those that don't believe. Why can't christians live with giving people equal opportunity to believe what they want without "exceptions" given to the pledge/money?

In simple words: Leaving "God" in is excluding many, while taking "God" out includes all, and hurts no one.

Edited by Heretic Monkey, 17 September 2005 - 11:19 PM.


#4 BSAC

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Posted 18 September 2005 - 12:12 AM

The pledge of allegiance should remain as it is. HM said it right in keeping silent through "under God". I recite a common prayer in the church I attend, but there is a belief within the church to which I do not subscribe, and, therefore, do not recite that portion of the prayer.

I would be embarassed if the name of the Most Holy were taken out of the government (i.e. In God We Trust removed from the greenbacks).

In my very limited knowledge of the inner workings of our founding fathers, I still feel comfortable that the principles by which this country learned to operate were grounded firmly in a belief, trust and respect of God.

I believe that straying away from basic principles, even if one does not believe in God, grows the prevalent immorality in this country (as well as around the world). Did a Columbine happen in the forties or fifties? Was divorce (and the broken families that go with it) as common and readily accepted by our forefathers? And how about teen pregnancies: single teenage mothers and the fathers of children who refuse to accept the responsibilities they helped to bring into the world?

It appears that some factions have been successful in removing prayer from schools. Can we leave it at that, please?

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#5 Ronbo

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Posted 18 September 2005 - 02:30 AM

Keeping silent through the words is not the answer, by the same token as you propose, why don't people who wish to add the words just say them silently during the appropriate moment. This would solve everybody's problem and is a win-win solution all the way around. The government can strike an ill-thought out, disrespectful, unconstitutional and divisive law from the books, those who choose to say the words to themselves may still do so and those who think they don't belong in the Pledge in the first place would be able to pledge their allegiance for our county without feeling their rights have been compromised. This way the pledge could stay in public schools and it would be the end of the controversy, I think fifty-one years of this issue dividing people is long enough don't you?

The Founding Fathers of this country believed that the government had no business supporting or regulating religion. They wrote the Constitution and Bill of Rights with no references to God for a reason. They had just won our independence from a country in which the government controlled the country's religion and it persecuted people who choose not to believe in their version of religion so badly that they fled the country in droves.

The Founding Fathers understood only too clearly the danger of a government endorsing a religion. They wrote the First Amendment to protect the people from just such an event ever happening in this country.

Religions divide people, this is a simple fact. Look no further than the Shiites and Sunnis of Iraq to see this truth. The same religion but they fight and kill each other each other constantly over an interpretation of who was Muhammad's rightful successor.

The Founding Fathers understood this and attempted to build a wall of separation between church and state to protect the people. Unfortunately after they had passed on other self serving individuals have since started to erode that wall, first by placing "In God We Trust" on our money in 1864 and then by placing the words "Under God" into the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954.

The Minister who originally wrote the Pledge, wrote it without reference to his God for the simple fact that he wanted it to be a Pledge that all Americans can recite to show their love and support of their country. He wrote it to give Americans a common ground, he wrote it to bring Americans together.

By passing a law to include religious sayings into the Pledge of Allegiance, Congress has not only broken the spirit of the Founding Fathers vision of a wall of separation, they have broken the spirit of the authors wishes and they have divided the population of this country in the process.

If someone does not believe in God and is trying to raise their children with that same belief, having a government mandated deceleration that there is a God is just not right. On top of this mandate from the government, this persons child is subjected to this declaration every single day at school and at any public event that the Pledge is recited at. This undermines the parents teachings, undermines the childs trust and respect for the parent and is just plain wrong, religious training belongs to the individual, not the government.

The government must remain neutral in matters of religion and they have not done so in this case. The Pledge can stay in school but the words "Under God" have got to go, they are unconstitutional.

To answer the second question, religion has no place in our government period. Those people who we elect to be our Representatives all have their own religious principles to help guide them in their day to day decisions but any laws passed by the government must be religious neutral or the freedoms of some of our countrymen (and women) will be compromised. At the bottom of our countries philosophy is the fact that our government is by the people and for people, not for the Gods.

I would feel better if religion was kept out the government.

Edited by Ronbo, 18 September 2005 - 03:03 AM.

There is no justice, there is just us.

#6 tg1911

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Posted 18 September 2005 - 11:08 AM

Well said, Ronbo.
I agree with what you said, except for one statement:

Those people who we elect to be our Representatives all have their own religious principles to help guide them in their day to day decisions ....

I wouldn't want to bet on this. :thumbsup:
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#7 jgweed

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Posted 18 September 2005 - 11:10 AM

I could not have said it better, Ronbo.

If you look at the perspective from which the Consitution was written by a generation schooled in the enlightenment, and in the philosophies of Hume and Locke, as well as the recent history of the settlement of the colonies, it becomes apparent that these brave men both feared and distrusted any form of tyrannical government. Wisely they decided on a tripartite separation of power in the central government, and a further division between the central and the local government.

That this mistrust was shared by many of their fellow citizens certainly is shown by the inclusion of the Bill of Rights before the Constitution could be ratified by the several states. The exercise of religion was quite correctly considered to be a private matter outside of the perview and regulation of any political body; the establishment of any religion they considered to be a form of tyranny excercised by the majority against individual consciences as well as one of the reasons men fled Europe to take their chances in the American wilderness.

The argument that America was founded on the principles of the Judeo-Christian god, is confounded by the fact that what mattered most to the authors of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution was first and foremost the human dignity that only freedom bestows on a government's citizens. This was the fundamental truth upon which this country was founded; no one wanted to establish a New Jerusalem or a Cromwellian dictatorship of God's Elect.
At best, the religious beliefs of Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, and Adams could be described as Deisim, which accepts the existence of an Author or supreme being but denies revealed religions, basing belief instead upon the light of nature and reason.



Regards,
John

Edited by jgweed, 18 September 2005 - 11:15 AM.

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#8 cowsgonemadd3

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Posted 18 September 2005 - 07:07 PM

I just dont know why everyone wants to remove God from our Government. He made us all! Im so wish I was able to write well,im not the best writer so I will do my best.

First please read this.

PleaseTake a moment and read
Paul Harvey and Prayer




Paul Harvey says:

I don't believe in Santa Claus, but I'm not going to sue
somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December. I
don't agree with Darwin, but I didn't go out and hire a
lawyer when my high school teacher taught his theory
of evolution.

Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be
endangered because someone says a 30-second prayer
before a football game.

So what's the big deal? It's not like somebody is up there
reading the entire book of Acts. They're just talking to a
God they believe in and asking him to grant safety to the
players on the field and the fans going home from the game.

"But it's a Christian prayer," some will argue.

Yes, and this is the United States of America, a country
founded on Christian principles. According to our very
own phone book, Christian churches outnumber all others
better than 200-to-1. So what would you expect-somebody
chanting Hare Krishna?

If I went to a football game in Jerusalem,
I would expect to hear a Jewish prayer.


If I went to a soccer game in Baghdad,
I would expect to hear a Muslim prayer.


If I went to a ping pong match in China,
I would expect to hear someone pray to Buddha.


And I wouldn't be offended.
It wouldn't bother me one bit.
When in Rome

"But what about the atheists?" is another argument.

What about them?
Nobody is asking them to be baptized. We're not going to
pass the collection plate. Just humor us for 30 seconds. If
that's asking too much, bring a Walkman or a pair of ear
plugs. Go to the bathroom. Visit the concession stand.
Call your lawyer!

Unfortunately, one or two will make that call. One or
two will tell thousands what they can and cannot do.
I don't think a short prayer at a football game is
going to shake the world's foundations.

Christians are just sick and tired of turning the other
cheek while our courts strip us of all our rights. Our
parents and grandparents taught us to pray before
eating; to pray before we go to sleep.

Our Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. Now a
handful of people and their lawyers are telling us
to cease praying.

God, help us.
And if that last sentence offends you,
Well ... just sue me.

The silent majority has been silent too long. It's time we
let that one or two who scream loud enough to be heard
.. that the vast majority don't care what they want. It
is time the majority rules! It's time we tell them, you don't
have to pray; you don't have to say the pledge of allegiance;
you don't have to believe in God or attend services that
honor Him. That is your right, and we will honor your
right. But by golly, you are no longer going to take our
rights away. We are fighting back ...
and we WILL WIN!

God bless us one and all ... especially those who denounce
Him. God bless America, despite all her faults. She is still
the greatest nation of all.

God bless our service men who are fighting to protect
our right to pray and worship God.


May 2005 be the year the silent majority is heard
and we put God back as the foundation of our
families and institutions.

Keep looking up.


Also this is a great read.
http://www.riversideapostolic.com/spiritua...withoutgod.html

Why do people reject God? I found this site and thought it was great!
http://www.lifebpc.com/fg2/ebf/articles/wh...ople_reject.htm

Last link. I though you might like to read it.
http://www.harpazo.net/101/List.html

#9 Heretic Monkey

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Posted 18 September 2005 - 08:19 PM

I just dont know why everyone wants to remove God from our Government. He made us all!

Not "everyone" wants God out of government, only those that seek to give equality to anyone.

In your letter, you give many examples of OTHER countries. This is america, where everyone should be treated equally and everyone has the same rights, so why should the christian rights tower over those of other religions?

#10 Scarlett

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Posted 18 September 2005 - 08:40 PM

No the question should be, why should all other religions, faiths etc. over rule Christianity.

This is happening all over America. The removal of Nativity scenes, the mention of Christmas and Jesus in ( what used to be Christmas programs.)
All the while, symbols of other faiths are left alone.
The majority, is quickly becoming the minority.
The is no "equality" only, the fact that, Christianity is being jailed while other faiths roam free.

The majority of American's are Christian!

I say get over it and sit it out.

This is the age of the OMG poor me. I am being discrimanated against.
I must begin a frivolus lawsuit. That will show them.
There are sooo many injustices in this world of ours.
To be nit picking at something that is harmless.

It is such liberal :thumbsup:
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#11 Pandy

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Posted 18 September 2005 - 09:56 PM

My Anatomy of the Pledge of Allegiance

I pledge Allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America


this means to me that when I speak these words that I am expressing loyalty to the flag...

and to the Republic for which it stands,

.. the flag and the country that it represents. A country that I hope fervently is...

one nation under God, indivisible,
with Liberty and Justice for all.


Indivisible... well there goes THAT. People forget about what these words are REALLY meaning. People dividing people over A Pledge of Allegiance to the Country.. the US of A. This is worded to be about Our Country, and pledging Allegiance to it, not really pledging allegiance to God. It really is NOT about God.

Take out the phrase "Under God". Possibly, change it to "under Gods". Would that appease everyone? What would people have to complain about if it was changed to Under Gods? Well you can rest assured someone will think up a reason why that is no good. You can't please everyone.. ever.

Well it is my humble opinion that if you want to live, or are a citizen, in the USA you ought not to have a PROBLEM with Pledging Allegiance to the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. In your heart pledge to a Country UNITED under whatever God or belief or creed that is your heart's desire. As a citizen of the United States you had better be proud to Pledge Allegiance to your country. Because in this country, in this time, it is of the utmost importance to exist as a nation... INDIVISIBLE. I truly know that to be true.


The Pledge of Allegiance

I pledge Allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one nation under God, indivisible,
with Liberty and Justice for all.

Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.

Hide not your talents. They for use were made. What's a sundial in the shade?

~ Benjamin Franklin

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#12 Scarlett

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Posted 18 September 2005 - 10:58 PM

Pandy, say it loud, say it proud!

God Bless America.

And may God bless you!
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#13 Heretic Monkey

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Posted 18 September 2005 - 11:01 PM

No the question should be, why should all other religions, faiths etc. over rule Christianity.

And since when do you see other specific religions favored over christianity? What other patriotic song/anthem/pledge gives other religions power over christianity? By removing "God" from the pledge, it simply puts Christianity on the same level as other religions, AS IT SHOULD BE.

This is happening all over America. The removal of Nativity scenes, the mention of Christmas and Jesus in ( what used to be Christmas programs.)
All the while, symbols of other faiths are left alone.
The majority, is quickly becoming the minority.
The is no "equality" only, the fact that, Christianity is being jailed while other faiths roam free.

Since when have you seen a Chanukkah (spelling probably way off) play in public? Kwanzaa (once again, way off)? Since when do jewish people run around giving people dreidels and protesting for plays? How come it's the christian faith that seems to want the ability to do everything, while other religions are basically just pushed aside by the majority? Aren't all religions supposed to be treated equally in this country?

The majority of American's are Christian!

The "majority" of American's also "voted" for bush, and now we're missing thousands of soldiers because of it. The "majority" of American's supported the possession of slaves. The "majority" of American's are white (i think). Does that mean we should show favoritism to white people in the pledge/on money?

I say get over it and sit it out.

Oh, so non-christians are the ones that have to "get over it". Why can't christians stop whining about "God" being taken out of government? Don't you get enough of "god" in church already? Why must it overshadow the country? Not everyone is christian, but everyone's beliefs deserve to be treated equally. GET OVER IT.

This is the age of the OMG poor me. I am being discrimanated against.
I must begin a frivolus lawsuit. That will show them.
There are sooo many injustices in this world of ours.
To be nit picking at something that is harmless.

I do agree that the majority of law-suits in this age are completely hilarious, but how is the US saying "your religion is wrong, God is the true way" harmless?

It is such liberal :thumbsup:

Not really, it's called LOGIC and REASONING. You messed up your nouns.

Wasn't the original pledge WITHOUT "under God"? How come christians weren't fighting back then to put their deity into it? Oh yeah, BECAUSE THEY WERE HAPPY WITH IT. But oh no, if it's put it, it can't be pulled out!!!! THAT'D BE DESTROYING THE RIGHTS OF CHRISTIANS!!!

Such christian :flowers:

#14 Pandy

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Posted 18 September 2005 - 11:24 PM

Posted Image

:thumbsup: Thank you Scarlett :flowers:

To Heretic Monkey...

You are off topic.. the topic is The Pledge of Allegiance, not God per se. I think that if I wanted to see a Chanukka play I will go to a Synagogue and see one. Where do you get forced to see Christian plays? I feel you are just living up to your name there. Another one of my humble opinions is that anyone who denies God still believes in God.. you cannot deny what does not exist.. You just refute Him.

I would like to say that I am not actually a fervently religious person. But I am a Christian.. I just practice in my own way and am not much for going to church. I do believe in God tho.

"When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."


I myself, do not dismiss anyone's God. If I respect their God thay can respect mine. If I want to say one nation under God, who says I cannot?

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#15 Heretic Monkey

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Posted 18 September 2005 - 11:33 PM

Posted Image

:thumbsup: Thank you Scarlett :flowers:

To Heretic Monkey...

You are off topic.. the topic is The Pledge of Allegiance, not God per se. I think that if I wanted to see a Chanukka play I will go to a Synagogue and see one. Where do you get forced to see Christian plays? I feel you are just living up to your name there. Another one of my humble opinions is that anyone who denies God still believes in God.. you cannot deny what does not exist.. You just refute Him.

I would like to say that I am not actually a fervently religious person. But I am a Christian.. I just practice in my own way and am not much for going to church. I do believe in God tho.

"When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."


I myself, do not dismiss anyone's God. If I respect their God thay can respect mine. If I want to say one nation under God, who says I cannot?

I was merely responding to Scarlett's post, which talked about how christianity was being "stepped all over" by other religions.

I'm in my first year of college. Every single christmas play i had from kindergarten to now had consisted of icons from the christian faith, and hell, i was FORCED to be an angel in one of them. If i wasn't, i would've gotten an F for the assignment. It was a PUBLIC school in North Carolina (Northwest Elementary School, to be exact).

And i deny ALL deities, for your information. My beliefs (if you can call them that) are that no higher power exists. For this reason, i treat ALL religions equally, and see ABSOLUTELY NO REASON why one should be favored by the government over another. I like to think i am un-biased and neutral when it comes to religious equallity issues.

If you choose christianity over other religions, then you are dismissing other gods in favor of a singular deity. In other words, you REJECTED the other possibilities and focused on your single religion, unless you also believe in Zeus...




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