Apparently a family is suing to get “under God” removed from the pledge of allegiance because it is offensive to atheists. I know previously (I think a couple years ago) there was a petition to remove it as well as “in God we trust” from America’s currency to which Obama responded and denied the request.
How do you guys think this case will go? Hopefully it fails just like the last attempt.
I do not think this will go far whatsoever; the lengths some individuals go to in denial of what this country was founded on and over such an emblematic phrase is truly mind-boggling. :rolleyes: Yet, I suppose this is the mentality our society at this time, either one gets what one wants or protests/petitions/sues until everyone else caters towards one.
Atheists claim that they are not a religion. They claim there is no common trait amongst atheists other than their common disbelief in God. Other than that disbeleif, they have no common set of characteristics. They are diverse. They are definitely not a religion in anyway they claim.
They cannot claim protection under freedom of religion while simultaneously saying they are not a religion. No one is denying their ‘religious’ freedom by their own definition.
We love them and care for them and in no way want to offend them. But constitutionally, we are not infringing on their religious freedom - by their own self definition.
Also, the courts have held that phrases such as “under God” and “in God we trust” aren’t really references to the Christian god, but are rather examples of “ceremonial Deism” and are essentially devoid of religious content. I agree with others that that was just a weak rationalization by the courts to avoid the First Amendment issues brought on by the official use of such phrases.
As I understand it, the First Amendment doesn’t just prohibit the government from endorsing one religion over another, but also prohibits the government from endorsing religion over non-religion. And before we go there, not endorsing any religion is not the same thing as endorsing atheism.
The original pledge was written by a socialist and the “Under God” portion was added at the height of the Red Scare. It was politics, but I’m not willing to wage war over two words…I just don’t say them.
As a nation we are no more under god than any other. The way I see it, we grew to our level of greatness because of an abundance of natural resources and citizens who worked hard to build a better life for their families.
Eliminate the whole pledge, it won’t change a thing, IMO. I have always been leery of runaway patriotism. You know, the type we see before every war.
Just as an interesting point of comparison, there’s a big debate in the UK at the moment following the Prime Minister’s comments about the our being a Christian country. A lot of powerful liberals have reacted quite fiercely to this. Unfortunately for them, the Prime Minister is legally right. The entire foundation of the UK’s constitution is that the highest authority in the land is the Queen-in-Parliament, and UK law recognises that the Queen reigns “by the Grace of God”, is “Defender of the Faith”, and supreme governor of the Church of England by law established. Needless to say, feathers are being ruffled.
The first amendment prohibits the government from passing a law regarding the “establishment of religion”, meaning a state Church. Additionally, it prohibits the government from passing laws that restrict “the free exercise” of religion.
I don’t see the words “under God”, or “in God we trust” as establishing a state Church. They don’t even have the effect of endorsing one Church or another. Further, one can argue the factual nature of the phrase, since our founding documents reference God. Whether or not one believes in God is immaterial to the fact that the nation was established with the belief that we are “under God”.
What would be curious, should this lawsuit win, is how those who would continue to say “under God” in the pledge would be treated. For example, I as a public school teacher would have no intention of not saying it. Would my 1st amendment religious liberty be protected and defended? :hmmm:
As a Christian, I like hearing and seeing the references to my God in our Pledge and on our money. However, I can see the point of those who would like to remove such references. As a Christian, I would not be too keen on having atheists becoming a majority and putting “under no god” in our Pledge and “In no god we trust” on our money nor on having other faiths becoming a majority and putting “under Allah” or “under Satan” or “under Vishnu” or “under Buddha” in our Pledge and “In Allah we trust” or “In Satan we trust” or “In Vishnu we trust” or In Buddha we trust" on our money. I think it would better if all such spiritual references were eliminated from our Pledge and from our money.
I think the federal government should make it clear that they believe in Christianity and that our nation was built on Christian principles. I don’t think the government should ignore its religious basis just because false religions might get into power someday. Not mentioning religion wouldn’t stop that anyway.