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Sep 15 2005
the pledge...another view

As y'all know, the merits of the first challenge that Newdow made to the Pledge on constitutional grounds were never actually ruled on by the Supreme Court. They turned him down on the grounds that he did not have standing because his ex-wife had partially custody of his daughter. But, he's back with a second challenge that includes some other parents and their children. Yesterday, this challenge passed its first hurdle when a judge in California again held that it is unconstitutional for government run public schools to require children to recite "one nation, under God".

Of course, I agree with Judge Karlton’s ruling on this case. The words “under God” included in the Pledge implies that people like me, people like Lance Armstrong and Pat Tillman, are somehow not really Americans. And, in schools where children are so impressionable, this is even worse. To me, it clearly DOES cross the line of establishment of religion set up in the Constitution...but I am surprised that politicians in South Carolina are so firmly behind the Pledge in the first place!

We should face the facts. Americans have freedom of religion and freedom to disagree with their government, but the Pledge is designed to trick us into thinking that we don’t have either. It was written shortly after the Civil War, but did not originally have the phrase “under God” in it. I would think that at the time, the phrase “indivisible” and the whole idea that one has sworn an allegiance to the country (no matter what its government may be doing) would have been controversial. What was its purpose if not to impose on children in the South these views that contradicted the ideas of the Confederacy? Then, in the 1950’s and the Cold War was a bigger threat than the war between the states, a bit of religious brainwashing was added to it as well.

Forget about “under God” in the Pledge and the fact that it seems to force the majority religious belief on a minority...we should get rid of the Pledge in any case! America should be good enough to win the allegiance of its citizens on its merits, rather than through brainwashing techniques and patriotism should be judged by people’s actions rather than how well they can recite a single memorized sentence.

Sep 25 2005
the pledge...another view

Nicely stated, it's amazing how much we stifle our own free thinking process sometimes.

Dec 19 2005
pledge in it's third version & alleged to have Nazi orig

One of the most vigorous opponents of all 3 pledge texts, claims it is of National Socialist origins, not a timid Unitarian socialist ministers poem for school children in 1892! I suspect this guy pretends to be a freethinker when he is more likely a rabid anti-communist seeking a new target. The original text is a simple school child's recitation that caught fire in the pride of diversity of immigrants who often had their flags in classrooms along with Old Glory. I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG AND TO THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS, ONE NATION INDIVISIBLE WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL, then Congress changed it to read: "the flag of the United States of America" removing the word "my" .....that in the early twenties as an anti-bolshevik measure, no red flags around our kids Calvin Coolidge signed.....and it was godly Ike who added "under god" just 50 years ago. I think the entire history of this praying to the flag business needs to be taught, so that kids learn how petty, how violent and how corrupt some politicians can be.....and rather than recite words of a amended poem, RECITE THE SELECTED SHORT SECTIONS OF THE US CONSTITUTION like Article 6: "No religious test shall ever be required for any office or public trust under these United States." This is the intelligent design of Madison, Monroe, Jefferson & visionaries 214 years ago. 'Intelligent Design' is now code words for scientists are evil and the bible is totally true therefore Evolution is sinful and biology is wrong. This is most dangerous as schools best pass on viral infections and kids should learn that single cells are not irriducibly "created" but can be broken down

artificially or sponteneously as this is how a virus operates. Creation mythology is dangerous and anti-science & medically incompetent concept that can never equate with the various theories of factual evolution.

May 28 2006
What does "In God We Trust" mean?

What does "In God We Trust" mean?

May 30 2006

That's a good question, Fred. Though, perhaps we should let someone who has this on their license plate answer the question. I could try to speculate on what they think it means, but I'd rather hear from someone who feels that the phrase is accurate.

I'm not sure exactly what it means. (Does it mean that we trust God to save us and so we don't have to take action ourselves? or that we trust that God had our best interests in mind when he gave the torah to Moses and so will follow those laws carefully? Or that we that God must have good reasons for the things that happen which are NOT in our best interests?)

But, I do not have to know its precise meaning to object to it being our national motto. Making this phrase our national motto suggests that "we" (as a nation) have a belief in God and are in agreement that we "trust in him". The "we" clearly refers to all Americans when it is stated in our national motto, and I object to the suggestion that having any viewpoint other than "trust in God" (whatever it may mean) excludes me from being one of "us". It is the suggestion that because of my religious views I am not truly and American.

In any case, I'm more curious to know what "God Bless America" means to the people who say it. (Is that a phrase you can explain to me, Fred?) Do people really think that God will do more for America if they say it? (This is what it looks like to me. It is a command. Do people who say/post it really feel comfortable giving commands like this to their God, like telling a dog to fetch a paper!?!)

Jun 5 2006

I confess myself incapable of conceiving any method of establish a religion by law unless it be by the establishment of its tenets. The first tenet of many religious sects is a belief in God. For example: The first words of the “Apostles Creed” is “ I believe in God.” The first words of the “Nicene Creed” are “We believe in one God.”

I am unable to discover any principle which authorizes Congress to make a belief in God part and parcel of the law of the land that does not justify the transposition of the entire Apostles or Nicene Creeds into the U. S. Code. What principle allows Congress to establish the duty to believe in one God but would prevent Congress from establishing other duties to God. What would prohibit Congress from changing the Pledge to read “one Nation under God who gave his only-begotten Son for our salvation, indivisible with liberty and justice for all?”

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