Religious laws. School prayer
The U.S. Pledge of Allegiance.
|"From this day forward, the millions of our school children will
daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural
schoolhouse, the dedication of our Nation and our people to the Almighty."
President Eisenhower (1954) after signing into law a bill to have "under
God" added to the original pledge. 1|
|"The statement that the United States is a nation 'under God' is an
endorsement of religion. It is a profession of a religious belief, namely,
a belief in monotheism," Rulings by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
in 2002-JUN and 2003-FEB. 2|
|"If you doubt that the phrase "under God" is religious, then try
substituting 'under Buddha' or 'under Allah,' or 'under Krishna,' and
repeat the Pledge." From an E-mail received by this web site.
|"...the Pledge of Allegiance presents a vision of a monotheistic Judeo-Christian country, and ignores the fact that there a large number of Buddhist Americans who do not adhere to monotheistic beliefs." Ken Pierce of the New York law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP.|
Since 1954, tens of millions of school children in America have recited the Pledge of Allegiance without much controversy:
"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."
In 2002-JUN, Michael A. Newdow, an Atheist from Sacramento, CA, was successful in having the phrase "under God" declared unconstitutional by a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. However, an act by Congress limited the power of the Judiciary, thus preventing the removal of the phrase.
|Background material: Overview,
history of the Pledge, suggested future changes to the Pledge.|
|Controversy about the "under God" phrase:
Its implications; agreement & opposition; why does it matter?; attempts to
extend its use.|
|Controversy about the "under" word:
A donated essay An essay by John Kyff, Jr. |
|The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
decision, reactions, dissents by judges, federal bill, House resolution.|
|The appeal to the Supreme Court: The
|A possible win-win compromise.|
|Conflict between two rulings in Virginia and
|Pledge Protection Act of 2004|
|Religious mottos and symbols:|
|Separation of church and state:|
|The public schools:|
Cartoon courtesy of AtheistCartoons.com. Visit their website for other hilarious cartoons
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
"Ashcroft vows Pledge appeal -- 'ceremonial deism' v. separation," AANews, 2003-MAR-1.
Frank J. Murray, "Pledge dispute heads to justices," Washington Times, 2003-MAR-1, at: http://washingtontimes.com/national/
Copyright © 2002 to 2013 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2002-JUN-26
Latest update and review: 2013-APR-14
Author: B.A. Robinson
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