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 2)
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.


I think the absolute best thing would be to not raise a big stink about those 2 words and allow people who feel that way, not to have to say those 2 words. To forbid the recitation of the pledge in school is wrong. What message does that send to our kids? It's bad enough that a lot do not know much about our government or the way it's supposed to be run or even th constitution itself. Most can't even tell you "what" the first amendment is.
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


Sorry, but if you're backing this then it's "your" interpretation as well. The only way it could not be is if you disagreed with it.
on Sep 16, 2005
Sorry, but if you're backing this then it's "your" interpretation as well. The only way it could not be is if you disagreed with it.


Is that an argument? I didn't come up with the interpretation of the Establishment Clause. The courts did in Everson vs. the Board of Education. It's not my work--it's court precedent.
on Sep 16, 2005
drmiller -
Since those two words were added after the fact, then what harm is there in going back in and removing them? By your reasoning it's just as easy for kids to insert it if they like as it is for kids to skip over it if they like. I think the addition of those words runs the fine line of the church/state issue, and their addition was questionable to begin with. It poses no threat to religion to revert the pledge to what it was. I agree that the out-right banning of the pledge was dumb as hell.
on Sep 16, 2005
I think the absolute best thing would be to not raise a big stink about those 2 words and allow people who feel that way, not to have to say those 2 words.


And I think that the best way would be to remove the two words from the official version of the pledge and allow people that want to express themselves and their beliefs to add them back in. That way, everyone gets to say the official pledge, not a less than official version that can be used against them as proof of their disloyalty and/or godlessness.
on Sep 16, 2005
I agree that the out-right banning of the pledge was dumb as hell.


Well, unless it can be ammended to omit the two words, the only other recourse, if it is found to be unconstitutional, would be to ban the official version until then. I don't think that it would be a life long perma ban. Just until the official version was reconciled with the Constitution.

Again, omitting the words from the official version would allow everyone to say the same pledge. Adding them back in at your personal discretion would be an exercise of free speech and could not be stopped. Hell, you can yell Amen at the end of the pledge if you feel like it and nobody can stop you.
on Sep 17, 2005
Hey guys everyone here is missing the point. I don't know how they got away with doing this since reciting the pledge of alligence is "required" by california state law?
on Sep 17, 2005
drmiller -
Since those two words were added after the fact, then what harm is there in going back in and removing them? By your reasoning it's just as easy for kids to insert it if they like as it is for kids to skip over it if they like. I think the addition of those words runs the fine line of the church/state issue, and their addition was questionable to begin with


This is all really kind of funny since they didn't have a problem with it when it was first done. It's just been a problem recently (last 5-6 years). And zoomba...can you explain to me "why" they would need to be removed instead of letting certain people just not say them? Why add another constitutional amendment?

Well, unless it can
be ammended to omit the two words, the only other recourse, if it is found to be unconstitutional, would be to ban the official version until then. I don't think that it would be a life long perma ban. Just until the official version was reconciled with the Constitution.


There's the rub...."IF" it's found to be unconstutional. And no it's not the only other recourse. Just don't say the 2 words is another recourse, is it not?
on Sep 17, 2005
["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."


I don't want to take it off topic, but what school forces silent prayer? If people are hazing or abusing students, the problem isn't prayer, it is hazing and abuse.

No one should be forced to do something they don't want to do, but you can't build in wariness of illegal behavior. That's like saying that you shouldn't have outdoor displays at stores, because they promote stealing. You punish the abuse, not what is abused.

"There's the rub...."IF" it's found to be unconstutional. And no it's not the only other recourse. Just don't say the 2 words is another recourse, is it not?


The government officially affirming the existence of God is unconstitutional. Period. If Bush wants to speak as an individual, fine. If kids want to say the pledge with 'under God', fine. This springs from the US government seeking to create a religious national identity, and that is profoundly counter to this nations ideals.

I think it is sickening that drmiller and the rest try and portray this as a freedom issue when in reality it was pushed through by a bunch of McCarthyists who were anything but patriots. They were blacklisting bookburners only a few steps up from Nazis or witch hunters.

But, evidently, changing the national motto to "In God We Trust" and making kids say "one nation, under God" is fine as long as you are spitting in the face of godless communists. Think for a bit who you guys are defending. How you can do it without feeling queasy is puzzling.
on Sep 17, 2005
This is all really kind of funny since they didn't have a problem with it when it was first done.


How do you actually know this? I contend that you don't. First of all, when the god words were added to our money and our pledge, it was during the McCarthy years. No one in their right mind was going to speak against it, given the propensity of the gobermint from blacklisting people they didn't like.

Secondly, it was problematic since. Just ask any athiest, or anyone stauchly opposed to the separation of church and state. Just because it wasn't a problem for you, does not mean the problem did not exist. And, it may surprise you, but there is a very large community of people who do not devote their lives to religion, any religion, and even to a god that they do not believe it. This is not about a few cranks. It's bigger than that, something so big even, that it must be hard for you to wrap your mind around.
on Sep 17, 2005
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.


Okay, try to make a point, but don't make up false stories to do so. If you were a Jew, why did your parents have you in Catholic school?

Here's the text of the Lord's prayer:

Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. Amen.

What about that is offensive to a Jew or to a Muslim even for that matter? To an atheist indeed, but any religion that believes in a greater being in heaven would probably all agree with this prayer. It doesn't mention God, so it should not offend the Muslims. It does not speak of His son, so it should not leave the Jews shuddering in fear. What about the Lord's prayer is so offensive unless you are an atheist, in which case I would agree with you. However, you choose to represent yourself as a Jew so therefore I ask the question. What's wrong with the prayer expect for maybe it was written by a christian?

Or is it that you are simply making up a false tortured childhood in a lame attempt to make a point?
on Sep 17, 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.


Man, simple but so damn eloquent. Very well said Zoomba.
on Sep 17, 2005
Okay, try to make a point, but don't make up false stories to do so. If you were a Jew, why did your parents have you in Catholic school?


My mistake. It was a mis-statement. I grew up in a predominantly Catholic town in Connecticut. I went to public schools, wherein most of the students were Catholic. This is what I meant, and what I should have said. Thank you for pointing that out.

What about the Lord's prayer is so offensive unless you are an atheist, in which case I would agree with you. However, you choose to represent yourself as a Jew so therefore I ask the question. What's wrong with the prayer expect for maybe it was written by a christian?


It's completely offensive for a Jew to be required to recite a Christian prayer. Period. It's also offensive for any athiest to have to recite a prayer at all, be it Christian, Jewish, Muslim, whatever. The operative term here is "required". As a kid, and yes I am an athiest Jew, if I did not recite the prayer, I would have been completely ostracized by my classmates. And likely, the teachers, in which I was already exposed to severe ridicule, as a Jew, when I was 8 years old.

Or is it that you are simply making up a false tortured childhood in a lame attempt to make a point?


scru u
on Sep 17, 2005
It's completely offensive for a Jew to be required to recite a Christian prayer. Period. It's also offensive for any athiest to have to recite a prayer at all, be it Christian, Jewish, Muslim, whatever. The operative term here is "required". As a kid, and yes I am an athiest Jew, if I did not recite the prayer, I would have been completely ostracized by my classmates. And likely, the teachers, in which I was already exposed to severe ridicule, as a Jew, when I was 8 years old.


Okay, as an atheist, I can see your revulsion at the idea of being subjected to the recitation of the Lord's prayer and rightfully so. However, I still don't understand why a prayer to the "Lord" with no mention of the "son" is so offensive to Jews.

Thanks for clearing up where you grew up. I'm now more understanding of your point of view now that I know that you grew up in that bastion of anti-judaism called Connecticut.

They must start them up early there in Conn. Hell, I did'nt have the first idea of what a Jew was at 8 years old, definitely not that I was supposed to hate them. And I certainly would not have known to be offended by the Lord's prayer. Imagine how much I missed out on. I'm gonna go kick my dad's ass for not teaching me to hate Jews at a younger age. I will forever hold him responsible for all of the anti-semetism that I missed out on as an 8 year old had I lived in Conn.
on Sep 18, 2005
Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.
is the part that could be offensive. Nevertheless, getting uptight over some of these expressions and symbols is boring--like I should be upset that the motorist in front of me has a yellow ribbon magnet on his car and I don't.

Meta
Views
» 1561
Comments
» 31
Category
Sponsored Links