Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Here It Comes

SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal judge declared the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools unconstitutional Wednesday, a decision that could put the divisive issue on track for another round of Supreme Court arguments.

The case was brought by the same atheist whose previous battle against the words "under God" was rejected last year by the Supreme Court on procedural grounds. Judge: School Pledge Is Unconstitutional

Well, I suppose now is as good a time as any for this to happen. Let's get the argument out in the open. Maybe it's time to settle this once and for all -- did the Founding Fathers intend for America to be a theocracy, or did they intend for separation between church and state?

The relevant text is Jesus speaking in Matthew 6:
5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites [are]: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The US constitution does not have any provision that requires citizens to take a loyalty oath, or to swear allegiance. A few states did have such provisions in their first constitutions, but they didn't last. Pennsylvania's first constitution required a loyalty oath, and it did so specifically to deny rights to Quakers, who were perceived by their neighbors to have been disloyal because of their refusal to fight. Loyalty oaths were pretty much a thing of the past by twenty years after the ratification of the federal constitution. In fact, loyalty oaths faded as sufferage for all white adult males became standard- suggesting that within a generation our forebears had decided that they could trust each other in a number of ways.

The Pledge was originally written without mention of God. That was added during the Cold War, to differentiate between us good-guys (we have The Bomb and God) and the bad guys (they have godless communism and they stole The Bomb).

The pledge is really a symptom of a growing distrust of our own friends, neighbors, and even our children.

That seems to me to be just about right for these people who don't trust our schools to provide a family life curriculum, or trust their own children to learn the curriculum without turning into unbridled hedonists.

September 14, 2005 9:36 PM  

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