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Under God

If it's news, but not politics, then it goes here.

How are the robed ones going to rule on this one?

Get your god away from me!
18
58%
Save me Jesus
9
29%
deadlock - establishment clause only meaningful in the 9th district
4
13%
 
Total votes : 31

Under God

Postby Eastsider » Thu Oct 16, 2003 9:03 am

Will Scalia's absense from this result in a deadlock?
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Under God

Postby Marge » Thu Oct 16, 2003 9:11 am

IMHO the best resolution would be to just remove the offending phrase from the plegde.

I'm a little bit out of the loop. Will they be ruling on whether it's unconstitutional to say the pledge in school or whether it's unconstitutional to require saying the pledge in school?
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Postby eratik » Thu Oct 16, 2003 9:20 am

Its already unconstitutional to require kids to say the pledge in school, i.e. if you have the pledge you have to allow kids to opt out.

This lawsuit if I'm not mistaken, seeks to have the pledge treated like a prayer, and it would therefore, be impermissible for schools to have an officially sanctioned pledge at all.

Chances are the Supremes would find the "under God" part to be a de minimus violation of the 1st Amendment, and allow schools and/ or legislatures to do as they choose. Federal courts may not be subject to elections, but they do know when to duck and cover sometimes.
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Postby snoqueen » Thu Oct 16, 2003 9:40 am

When they put "under God" into the pledge, I was in maybe second grade (yep, I'm that old). At the same time they also changed the hand movements. After the change you put your right hand on your heart (or breast, or pectoral muscle) and just left it there as we do today. Previously when you reached "to the flag" you extended your right hand out toward the flag and held it sticking out throughout the remainder of the Pledge. Looked too much like a Nazi propaganda movie so they cancelled that part (1954?).

Anyway, I'm in second grade and we are told to add these new words "under God" after "one nation." In second grade, words are just words and you don't get the sense until years and years later. I knew what God was (a muscular hairy man with few clothes on, mostly) but I wasn't sure how things could be "under God." At this point my imagination transformed God into a gigantic chicken squatting so that "one nation" was nestled under him/her/it like an egg. (Was this before or after they published Horton Hatches an Egg? not sure.)

So if they continue to force people to mouthe "under God" when pledging the flag, think of the big chicken and you'll be OK.

Now let's tell what we thought the words in the Star Spangled Banner meant. "Grapefruit thru the night," anyone?
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Postby wee beastie » Thu Oct 16, 2003 10:06 am

First off, the phrase "under God" is highly insulting to God -- as if God inhabits a particular point of locus.

Over God, Under God, Through God, what the hell is that?!
How constricting for the Great-Being-From-Which-All-Things-Derive -Existence has to be restricted by a goddamn English preposition. How limiting.

The Super-Galactic-Omnipotent-Onmiscient-Onmipresent-Dude/Babe permeates all substance and void. The Dude isn't posing for a goddamn photograph.
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Postby solitaire » Thu Oct 16, 2003 10:57 am

I agree that it's nearly a certainty that the Supremes will find the words "under God" to be de minimus. They'll say something about how the word "God" is sort of generic and doesn't refer to any one particular religion. The thing is, I would guess that a lot of the religious fanatics in this country would take offense at that, as they really do see this as a prayer, of sorts. But to get around that, the Court's going to have to say it's not a prayer and it doesn't really mean anything.

Personally, I hate the Pledge, with or without God. I think it's ridiculous to think that forcing kids to say these words will somehow make people more patriotic, as if it's a magical incantation!
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Postby gr0upie » Thu Oct 16, 2003 11:12 am

solitaire wrote:I would guess that a lot of the religious fanatics in this country would take offense at that, as they really do see this as a prayer, of sorts.

bingo. i remember some u.s. congressperson during the last pledge go-around asking 'what if there had been a law in place banning our children from saying the pledge on or after 9/11?' i remember thinking, geez, i would much prefer my child to be able to pray to a deity, or to nature, or just to gather his/her thoughts respectfully rather than attempt some sort of prayer to a NATION. i mean, i love my country as much as the next person, but i have never once felt like PRAYING TO IT!
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Postby eratik » Thu Oct 16, 2003 12:30 pm

I agree, the pledge and perhaps 3/4 of the religious-patriotic stuff is absolute meaningless tripe. This garbage, though, is what gets the Fox News crowd exited. As if the greatness of the US is somehow tied to magical incantations that must be forceably repeated by each citizen in order for its mystical powers to be effected.

It never ceases to amaze me that the Ned Flanders, wmd, etc. crowd will call reaction to the Patriot Act premature or overstated, but will shout themselves unconcious if someone wonders about the true benefit of forcing 6 year olds to muddle through a hackneyed poem that half of them don't know the right words to.

I pledge allegience to Queen Fragg...
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Postby TAsunder » Thu Oct 16, 2003 12:39 pm

With or without the "under god" I think the pledge is scary and unethical. If you replace the words of the pledge with random gibberish and made kids recite it, i'd think the same thing. Teaching kids to chant something every day... to what end? they probably don't care/know what it means. is it just a lesson in discipline? It feels too much like zombie occult chanting to me.

And more specifically, I find it suffocating to think that children are taught to pledge allegience to their country each day. It discourages rational dissent and freedom of political views. I pledge allegiance each day, no matter what I think about the current political atmosphere... great. And if I refuse, well them I'm teased and beaten up. What a great thing to teach a kid - get into line. you don't have to, but we'll make you pay if you don't.

I wonder, do they make the president, congress, and other representative government officials pledge allegiance to their people every day? That seems like it would be more effective to me.
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Postby eratik » Thu Oct 16, 2003 12:40 pm

Heres a question: Why does one pledge allegience first to the flag, THEN to the republic for which it stands? Almost like an afterthout... :(
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Postby solitaire » Thu Oct 16, 2003 1:05 pm

And if we're pledging our allegiance to anything, shouldn't it be the Constitution?

(I still think forcing kids to recite chants is a big fat waste of time, but I'm just saying, why a FLAG?)
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Postby TAsunder » Thu Oct 16, 2003 1:58 pm

But you'd have to pledge allegiance to the amendments, along with all the 'case law' interpretations of both. Too much pledging.
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Postby Henry Vilas » Thu Oct 16, 2003 2:29 pm

I wonder if all the super patriotic right wingers who want to defend the Pledge with their lives realize that it was written by a socialist as part of an advertizing campaign for a flag maker.
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Postby Steve Vokers » Thu Oct 16, 2003 2:38 pm

I heard one guy arguing that most of the framers of the constitution were Christians, therefore "under God" was following their intent (or something like that...).

I wanted to ask him to support me in my campaign to bring back slavery and deny women the right to vote. I knew he wouldn't refuse, what with the intent of the framers and all...
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Postby Chuck_Schick » Thu Oct 16, 2003 2:41 pm

The Pledge is for pussies. Bring back the loyalty oath!!!
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