The end of the world? No... just the next day.
I gotta go on record - I agree with the decision.
Published on September 15, 2005 By Lotherius In US Domestic
I'm spiritual. I believe there's a spiritual aspect to life not explained by science.

That said, i've also studied a lot more of human history (and therefore humanity itself) than most of you. It's what my degree was in. I know enough of human history to have serious doubts about the authenticity of this book we call the bible. Much of it was made up, created, edited to suit current political agendas (in Rome as well as later).. Many of the errors are by ommission, others by interpretation. Worse, when you actually read the New Testament, and then observe what "Christians" are doing on a daily basis, you see they aren't even practicing what the book tells them. Turn the other cheek? I don't see that happening. Love thy neighbour? Very rarely. So, the point is - I'm not a Christian. I think you figured that out by now.

The words 'Under God' in the pledge never really bothered me, to be honest. I have not set out on a vendetta to have them removed.

Someone else did take it upon themselves.

Just because a single thing doesn't bother me, doesn't mean it's okay. Given the choice, I'd say No to the "Under God" terminology in the pledge. I am more strongly against school prayer and forced prayer at public events.

My basic concern is this - if I do not believe, I should not be pressured into participating. Many people take it as an insult if you refuse to recite the pledge or participate in prayer. Most non-believers fake a belief in Christianity to 'get along' in society without having to deal with the social ramifications of being a non-christian.

That means they are being hippocrites. In a strict interpretation of the Bible, they are blaspheming the Christian God. I wonder WHY Christians want to put non-believers in such a position that they will be inclined to be blasphemous?

I would rather be silent and respect your religion than to participate and be a hippocrite. Your social pressures would have me BE a hippocrite.

Would any of you Christians be okay if tomorrow, you were asked to please kneel and face Mecca? You are told you can opt out, but when you do, you're the only one in the room not kneeling, and afterward, everyone looks at you funny, and some even take the opportunity to criticize you for not respecting Allah. You then go out and find your tires have been slashed by a 'believer' who resents your non-belief. Pretty soon, you kneel too, just like everyone else. You are not only blaspheming one religion - theirs - but TWO - your own as well.

This is what Christians are asking non-christians to do - BLASPHEME. By the actions of many Christians, it is made a non-option in many cases to refuse to participate.

People say this is a free country. They are wrong. Society ensures that deviants are punished. Those who are openly Atheist, or among other religions, have to fear reprisals from supposed Christians. Six million Jews died in Germany because someone didn't like their religious affiliation. This is the kind of things non-christians fear, and RIGHTFULLY SO, in a climate where revealing your lack of belief can result in hate crimes.

You think it isn't so? Maybe not in your state - but in Texas I've SEEN it. I have been kicked out of my own sister's home because I refuse to accept their version of politics and religion. I have been threatened to my face by someone who discovered I was not a Christian. It is easier to just fake it.

So this 'Under God' thing. It's about the attitude of society and government. Our government was founded on the principle NOT THAT WE ARE ALL CHRISTIAN, but that we EACH have the right to WORSHIP AS WE SEE FIT (OR NOT). One of the things that existed in Europe at the time was COMPULSORY ATTENDANCE at church. This meant that if you weren't in church on Sunday, the preacher would come to your house after services (or a representative thereof) and ask why. If you weren't bedridden, you could suffer criminal penalties. This was the kind of thing our government was set up to never do. The government must not meddle in religious affairs, or religion is hindered. This protects Christianity just as much as it does any other religion. Have most Christians in this country forgotten, for example, just how many variations of Christianity we HAVE in this country? What if the government chose just one to endorse? What if that one chosen form were, say, the Mormons... I'm sure all the Pentecostals would happily convert. NOT.

Okay.... to wrap up the rant...

This 'Under God' thing. By itself it seems innocuous. But it is a part of something bigger - an overall movement in the last 50 years, primarily in the last 15, to a country that is increasingly religious rather than secular. Despite current popular opinion, the 'founding fathers' were, as a hole, not anything close to what would be considered 'Good Christians' today. They set up a secular government for a variety of reasons. We (as a nation) are throwing that down the drain. It scares me shitless.

The courts upholding the intent of the constitution in the case of the Pledge is a good move in combatting this increased desecularization of society.Therefore, even though the one thing didn't bother me much, I'm glad it bothered someone, and I'm glad the phrasing was struck down.

Comments (Page 1)
on Sep 15, 2005

I would rather be silent and respect your religion than to participate and be a hippocrite. Your social pressures would have me BE a hippocrite.

*stands up, applauding and cheering wildly*

YES!!!!!!  Thank you!

I'm perfectly happy to be silent and respect other people's right to worship, revere and practice their faith.  What I'm not happy doing is feeling like I HAVE to participate.

Would any of you Christians be okay if tomorrow, you were asked to please kneel and face Mecca? You are told you can opt out, but when you do, you're the only one in the room not kneeling, and afterward, everyone looks at you funny, and some even take the opportunity to criticize you for not respecting Allah.

That's what happened to my daughter after she omitted the words 'under god' in the pledge at school one morning.  Not only did her teacher give her a hard time, but her peers did too....and still do, as do certain members of staff.  I have to admire her for standing up for her beliefs...but I wish it didn't have to be such a showdown getting everyone else to respect her beliefs.

on Sep 15, 2005

Great article!
on Sep 15, 2005
I personally don't see any problem with taking those two words out of the pledge....rather that than make the whole thing illegal
on Sep 15, 2005

Would any of you Christians be okay if tomorrow, you were asked to please kneel and face Mecca? You are told you can opt out, but when you do, you're the only one in the room not kneeling, and afterward, everyone looks at you funny, and some even take the opportunity to criticize you for not respecting Allah. You then go out and find your tires have been slashed by a 'believer' who resents your non-belief. Pretty soon, you kneel too, just like everyone else. You are not only blaspheming one religion - theirs - but TWO - your own as well


Nope, I wouldn't do it. I'd tell them to eat me just as I did when I was "in" school!
on Sep 15, 2005
Me, I don't like to pay taxes to people I have to tell to "eat me." I pay their salary to do their job. I BELIEVE in God, and I still don't think affirming His existance is part of their job.

I'm selfish. I protect other people's rights because in the process I protect my own. I don't want to tolerate some Hindi teacher pawning Hinduism off on my kid, so I won't tolerate anyone else doing it either, even if I agree with them. The rights I abuse today might be abused by someone I disagree with later.
on Sep 16, 2005
I personally don't see any problem with taking those two words out of the pledge....rather that than make the whole thing illegal


Well basically that's the point. With those two words - that is, as it stands now, it's a problem, therefore it can't be said.

However, I'm willing to bet (a cup of coffee, how's that?) that if those words were REMOVED, that the modified pledge would be allowed, and I'd be fine with that.
on Sep 16, 2005
Has anyone said the pledge needs to be taken out of school completely? Anyone in these suits, I mean? The whole point is the "under God", unless I am mistaken.

I don't understand how, if kids aren't harmed by having to opt-in to silent prayer, that they are somehow harmed by having to opt-in to saying "under God". WHat's the difference?
on Sep 16, 2005
The rights I abuse today might be abused by someone I disagree with later.


Spot on!!!!!

I don't understand how, if kids aren't harmed by having to opt-in to silent prayer, that they are somehow harmed by having to opt-in to saying "under God". WHat's the difference?


But, are they not harmed? How do you know that? I disagree with the notion of silent prayer in schools. Because, the premise that those kids who don't pray can just stand there and be silent isn't good enough. Fact is, they have to pretend to pray, otherwise they can be subject to the wrath of fellow students and teachers. As a Jew growing up in predominantly Catholic schools, it was misery making having to say the Lord's Prayer every morning. It was misery having to pretend. So please, don't assume kids aren't hurt.

As for the words "under God", it seems to me that as they were never there in the first place, and putting the words on our bills and our pledge was a knee jerk reaction to communism and McCarthyism, then remove them. Period. Clearly, our framers didn't ever intend for them to be there in the first place. Not only is there freedom of religion, there is also freedom from religion. Any place where "under God" or "In God we trust" exists, the government is presuming that God does exist. It's not a presumption that our government should be making.
on Sep 16, 2005
there is also freedom from religion. Any place where "under God" or "In God we trust" exists, the government is presuming that God does exist. It's not a presumption that our government should be making


Show me where you are guaranteed freedom "from" religion! The only guarantee is freedom "of" religion. And the government "presumes" nothing of the sort. And just an FYI... they may have been placed there by US law but, the law was enacted due to "Americans" wanting it and from what I was able to gather...quite a few wanted it.

The following is a quote from the US Treasury:

The motto IN GOD WE TRUST was placed on United States coins largely because of the increased religious sentiment existing during the Civil War. Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase received many appeals from devout persons throughout the country, urging that the United States recognize the Deity on United States coins. From Treasury Department records, it appears that the first such appeal came in a letter dated November 13, 1861




In 1923 and 1924 the National Flag Conference, under the 'leadership of the American Legion and the Daughters of the American Revolution, changed the Pledge's words, 'my Flag,' to 'the Flag of the United States of America.' Bellamy disliked this change, but his protest was ignored.

In 1954, Congress after a campaign by the Knights of Columbus, added the words, 'under God,' to the Pledge. The Pledge was now both a patriotic oath and a public prayer.
on Sep 16, 2005
Show me where you are guaranteed freedom "from" religion! The only guarantee is freedom "of" religion. And the government "presumes" nothing of the sort. And just an FYI... they may have been placed there by US law but, the law was enacted due to "Americans" wanting it and from what I was able to gather...quite a few wanted it.


I have showed you this on a number of threads. THe first amendment contains the Establishment Clause, " Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." Right there--that's the freedom from religion!
on Sep 16, 2005
I have showed you this on a number of threads. THe first amendment contains the Establishment Clause, " Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." Right there--that's the freedom from religion!


Sorry but you're wrong. "No law respecting an "establishment" of religion". That means they (the government) can't start their own religion which btw is what happened in Britain and made our founders write this in the first place. It does NOT mean "from" religion! Only from a state run/ owned religion!
on Sep 16, 2005
Sorry but you're wrong. "No law respecting an "establishment" of religion". That means they (the government) can't start their own religion which btw is what happened in Britain and made our founders write this in the first place. It does NOT mean "from" religion! Only from a state run/ owned religion!


I'm very glad that you are confident in your position, but I disagree.

At an absolute minimum, the Establishment Clause was intended to prohibit the federal government from declaring and financially supporting a national religion, such as existed in many other countries at the time of the nation's founding. However, it can also be interpreted to prevent the federal government from supporting Christianity (or any other religion) in general. The writings of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison suggested the need to establish "a wall of separation" between church and state.

In 1947, in Everson v. the Board of Education, it was found that:

The establishment of religion clause means at least this: Neither a state nor the federal government may set up a church. Neither can pass laws that aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion... . Neither a state or the federal government may, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between church and state.'"
on Sep 16, 2005
I have a number of issues with the whole pledge, but think the current extremism directed against it is just stupid. The pledge should always be an optional recitation, with the only requirement be that you stand and take off your hat as a sign of respect. I find the concept of being mandated to profess our allegiance to the US to fly in the face of much of what we stand for. If you want to recite the pledge, but remain silent during the "Under God" part, that should be a personal choice. Hell, if you want to say "Under Allah" I'm fine with that too.

I think a lot of the current kerfluffel started when schools started to mandate recitation, even the "Under God" phrase. The simple solution is to not make it required. That lets those who believe and such participate and pledge to their hearts desire, and lets others who don't want to participate to their own beliefs and thoughts.

We have the far left seriously assaulting religion everywhere it sees it in the public arena, and then we have much of the far right reacting very strongly against it and trying to spread religion even further into our public lives. It's a sort of social and legal tug-of-war now, where I feel both sides are just flat-out-wrong.
on Sep 16, 2005
Sorry but you're wrong. "No law respecting an "establishment" of religion". That means they (the government) can't start their own religion which btw is what happened in Britain and made our founders write this in the first place. It does NOT mean "from" religion! Only from a state run/ owned religion!


I'm very glad that you are confident in your position, but I disagree.

At an absolute minimum, the Establishment Clause was intended to prohibit the federal government from declaring and financially supporting a national religion, such as existed in many other countries at the time of the nation's founding. However, it can also be interpreted to prevent the federal government from supporting Christianity (or any other religion) in general. The writings of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison suggested the need to establish "a wall of separation" between church and state.


Okay. And this would be "your" interpretation, not mine. And like you do not agree with mine...."I" do not agree with yours.


The establishment of religion clause means at least this: Neither a state nor the federal government may set up a church. Neither can pass laws that aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion... . Neither a state or the federal government may, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between church and state.'"


I can find no bearing in this to support your side of this arguement.
on Sep 16, 2005
kay. And this would be "your" interpretation, not mine. And like you do not agree with mine...."I" do not agree with yours.


Great. Notice I didn't say "you're wrong!"--also, it's not my interpretation, it's the courts interpretation

I can find no bearing in this to support your side of this arguement.


Maybe you should read it more carefully, because it is my argument.

The establishment of religion clause means at least this: Neither a state nor the federal government may set up a church. Neither can pass laws that aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another.

By including the phrase "Under God" the government passed a law that aided one religion (christianity) and prefers it (christianity) over all the rest (especially over atheism)

Neither can force a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion..

The court ruled that you can not before forced to profess that you believe in a religion (saying "under God" is professing a belief in a Christian God. Therefore, the courts found that we have freedom from religion--we can not be forced to participate or believe in a religion we do not personally support.
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