Religious laws. School prayer
The U.S. Pledge of Allegiance.
The recently added "under God" phrase.
"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.
The original pledge was adopted in 1892 and changed multiple times:
This is the 1924 version:
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.
Topics covered in this section:
||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.
Fred Jackson and Jody Brown, "In Remembrance of School Prayer: ACLU
Attributes Notion of Effective Prayer to 'Radical Religious Right',"
ChristianWebSite.com, 2002-JUN-25, at:
http://headlines.agapepress.org/ (This was only a
The Texas Justice Foundation is a conservative group which "provides
free legal representation in landmark cases in protect individual rights,
limit government to its appropriate role, and promote a better business
climate for job growth in Texas." Their web site is at:
John W. Baer, "The Pledge of Allegiance: A short history,"
- "Court rules Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional," Associated
Pete Winn, "Court Declares Pledge Unconstitutional," Focus on the
Family, 2002-JUN-26, at:
U.S. Supreme Court, "Engel et al. v. Vitale et al.," 1962-JUN-25,
Bob Kellogg, "Response swift to pledge ruling," Focus on the
Family, 2002-JUN-27, at:
- Tony Norman, "Is God so small he needs a Pledge for validation,"
2002-JUN-28, Post-Gazette.com, Pittsburgh, PA.
"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:
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