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A little too much Political Correctness?

 
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i've skimmed this thread, so i apologize if this has been said, but...
This case has nothing to do with what YOU or I can or can't say. This has to do with SCHOOLCHILDREN. Can they be forced to say it?
The courts have upheld in the past (specifically, school prayer) that just telling a child "you don't have to participate" is not enough. These are 5,6,7 year old kids. Usually, they are pretty impressionable. If EVERYONE else stands up and says "under god", do you really think this child will not feel like she has to as well??? It's a form of coercion.
I also believe there is a difference between having the word "god" on a coin, and having to say the words myself.
 
mister krabs
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Is coercion always a bad thing? Children are coerced into behaving in class. They are coerced into attending school functions.
As to Jim's problem with children being coerced into saying that there is no God... well, that is what you get for living in a country of atheists. The US is made up of mostly religious people. Do you really want to rile them up and have them pass a constitutional ammendment that says that the pledge must be said in every class room in America?
 
fred rosenberger
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always bad? no.
sometimes bad? yes.
coercing them to go to school helps them, whether they believe so or not.
i don't think you can argue that coercing someone to state a belief in a supreme being, when they don't believe it, helps them.
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by fred rosenberger:
i don't think you can argue that coercing someone to state a belief in a supreme being, when they don't believe it, helps them.


I think that you need to think carefully about the battles you fight. In most classes I have ever been in, half the class is staring out the window during the pledge. No one is being coerced to recite anything. But if the Supreme Court outlaws religious expression of any kind in the classroom, there is a large enough portion of the population that might want a constitutional ammendment to change that ruling.
One other point, trying to protect your children from religion is impossible in the US. We are a religious country whether you choose to admit it or not.
 
fred rosenberger
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Originally posted by Thomas Paul:

I think that you need to think carefully about the battles you fight.



agreed. Personally, i think this is a pretty silly thing to make such a stink over. I personally think the two words should be removed from the pledge, and the four from our money, but i'm not gonna take it to the supreme court.
we are a religious country, i won't argue that. most of the population (well, all if you count atheism as a religion) is religious, but our GOVERNMENT has nothing to do with religion. The Constitution, that thing that establishes the rules, never contains the word God or religion. The only reference of any kind is in the first amendment, and only 16 words on the topic.
The Declaration of Independance, which you might also argue established our country, refers to Nature's God. But that document is the reason WHY we felt the need to separate from England's rule. It is NOT the blueprint for setting up a new country. It's the why, the constitution is the HOW.
[ October 15, 2003: Message edited by: fred rosenberger ]
 
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Just 1 more reason to put my kids in private schools.
 
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[Tom]: Is coercion always a bad thing?
Certainly not. But what they're being coerced to is certainly relevant.
As to Jim's problem with children being coerced into saying that there is no God... well, that is what you get for living in a country of atheists. The US is made up of mostly religious people. Do you really want to rile them up and have them pass a constitutional ammendment that says that the pledge must be said in every class room in America?
Ummm... what? Where did "no" come from in the first sentence, and why does the second sentence contradict the latter part of the first? I can't tell if this is a simple error, or being deliberately facetious, or some other rhetorical strategy (deliberately reversing statements to produce irony?). The last two sentences might be taken at face value, but the lead-in makes no sense to me. Clarification would be appreciated.
As to the last part though (assuming it can be taken at face value):
Do you really want to rile them up and have them pass a constitutional ammendment that says that the pledge must be said in every class room in America?
You mean the way people were able to pass a flag-buring amendment when they were riled up about that? Oh wait, that didn't happen, did it? Sure, there are lots and lots of religious people in the US. But there are also a good number who have some respect for other traditional American values like free speech, or separation of church and state. I think you overstate the possibility of getting a constitutional amendment here.
I think that you need to think carefully about the battles you fight.
This applies both ways - is this really something that's worth the time & effort to try to make an amendment?
For my part, I've noted several times that this isn't a very big deal to me; it's a relatively minor issue. (That is, the underlying principle is important to me, but "under God" is a relatively minor infraction of it.) OTOH given that the issue is working its way through the court system, I do have an opinion on how I hope it's resolved.
One other point, trying to protect your children from religion is impossible in the US. We are a religious country whether you choose to admit it or not.
We are a country with a very large number of religious people in it, and sure, it would be impossible to insulate chidren from all effects of this, and foolish to try. But I don't think it's unreasonable to try to protect them from effects which (a) are directly under the control of publicly funded institutions, and (b) relate to what our children are being encouraged to believe and say. Exposing them to the beliefs of others is one thing; expecting them to conform to those beliefs, or lie about their beliefs in a public oath, is quite another.
 
Jim Yingst
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[Jason]: Which religion?
[Jim]: Theism.

Amended answer: Monotheism.
 
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Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
Amended answer: Monotheism.


That might be the intent, but that's not explicitly stated. Therefore you have room to apply your own interpretation of the concept of God. I would think an aetheist parent would a) not force their aetheism on their children in the first place, and b) explain to their children that "God" means different things to different people. Something along the lines that as the "idea" of God to many implies "all that is good", then when you are reciting the pledge, the idea you are espousing by saying "one nation under God" is simply "one nation under all that is good". It's the parent's responsibility to explain to their children what they believe "God" is, or what the idea of God might represent, even if they reject a monotheistic deity. But I suspect that would be more effort than many parents would be willing to undertake.
 
fred rosenberger
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Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
Similarly, I'm curious if anyone knows how it's handled if you're being sworn in to testify in court.


this was posted a while ago, and i didn't see the answer anywhere. You are not required to swear, "...so help you God". According to my wife, at least in Missouri, you can "affrim", and there is no mention of "the Big Guy". I assume that a bible would therefore not be required either.
[ October 15, 2003: Message edited by: fred rosenberger ]
 
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Congratulations on hitting 4000 posts, Jason!
(thought this is the last thread I did not hijacked yet, not good)
 
Thomas Paul
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Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
This applies both ways - is this really something that's worth the time & effort to try to make an amendment?

I think yes. In a typical elemantary school classroom there are exactly zero atheists. So why must the entire class be prevented from saying the pledge because exactly zero people in that classroom are being coerced into saying something they don't believe? Because an atheist somewhere is offended? I think we need a constitutional ammendment because we have stretched separation of church and state into this mythical creation that is beyond what anyone ever thought it would become.
 
Jim Yingst
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Fred: thanks for the info.
[Jason]: That might be the intent, but that's not explicitly stated.
"One nation under God."
Therefore you have room to apply your own interpretation of the concept of God.
...creative as it may be. :roll:
I would think an aetheist parent would a) not force their aetheism on their children in the first place,
Not sure how this is supposed to relate to the rest of the discussion. I'm not advocating forcing atheism on my kids; I'm advocating protecting them from having religion forced on them. "Forced" may be too strong a term for the latter; it's certainly too stong for anything I was advocating however.
I imagine most atheists (at least, the ones I'd prefer to identify with) would want to allow their child as much freedom as possible to make up their own mind on the topic. If my kid expresses an interest in going to church or sunday school, for example, I'd almost certainly allow it (after chacking the place out - hopefully we're talking about an institution attended be a friend whose parents I trust). And if they didn't express interest on their own, I'd probably encourage them to check these things out at some point. (Not sure at what age this would be appropriate, but I'd be open to the idea at least.)
On the other hand, if some atheist parents chose to disallow their childeren from go to church or sunday school, I'd argue that they have just as much right to do that as a Christian parent has to compel attendance for their own kid. And to deny them that right would be extremely objectionable.
and b) explain to their children that "God" means different things to different people. Something along the lines that as the "idea" of God to many implies "all that is good", then when you are reciting the pledge, the idea you are espousing by saying "one nation under God" is simply "one nation under all that is good". It's the parent's responsibility to explain to their children what they believe "God" is, or what the idea of God might represent, even if they reject a monotheistic deity. But I suspect that would be more effort than many parents would be willing to undertake.
I'd think that creative reinterpretation of words to mean something which they clearly do not mean is a somewhat advanced topic, and not one I'd choose to teach by example. I can't really speak to how this might be interpreted by a plytheist - maybe they're comfortable with the idea that their "gods" are aspects of an underlying "God", kinda like the Christina trinity - or maybe not.
But from an atheist perspective, no, it's blatantly obvious to any third-grader that "God" does not mean "no God", and any attempt to redefine it as such would be seen as the utter sham it is. Might be a good way to teach "distrust authority" if you want to, but again, that's not one I want to teach by example.
[ October 15, 2003: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]
 
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Here is what I don't understand. Why does an athiest care in the first place? An athiest has no religeous beliefs at all. An athiest does not believe in any gods or God. So what are words? The athiest shouldn't care if we said "...one nation, under Lucifer...". Although, I would because I believe in God. So it makes sense that I would be upset.
I could understand it better if it was a muslim that didn't want to say God or wanted to say Alah instead. But for an athiest to be that determined to remove a word is strange.
 
Thomas Paul
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Good point, Gregg. To an atheist, it should be the same as saying, "one nation under the Easter Bunny."
 
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So would you pledge allegiance to "one nation under the Easter Bunny"? Why do you think it's Ok for an atheist to pledge nonsense? Do you feel it's Ok for you to pledge nonsense?
--------------------
"It's getting really babylonic here" -- Chris Baron
 
Jim Yingst
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[GB]: Why does an athiest care in the first place? An athiest has no religeous beliefs at all.
Some people would eagerly argue about that last point, but I don't care either way, so onward...
An athiest does not believe in any gods or God.
OK.
So what are words?
A means of communicating with other people. This helps us to succeed in life. And the integrity of what we say is important, even if we don't belive there's a God who will punish us for lying. If my child gets the idea that it's OK to say things he does not actually believe, others may notice that my child cannot be trusted to tell the truth, and this impairs his chances of success in the world. In particular if he gets the idea it's OK to lie when you're taking an oath, he could well find himself imprisined later in life for perjury or some such.
Admittedly it's not always possible or even a good idea to be completely and utterly honest in all things. ("Do I look fat in this?") But I think a public oath is a poor place to introduce the concept of "little white lies" to a third-grader.
You don't mind if atheists chose to teach the concept of integrity to their kids, do you?
The athiest shouldn't care if we said "...one nation, under Lucifer...".
I could care less what other people might choose to say, but I certainly care about what I or my children are expected to say.
[TP]: To an atheist, it should be the same as saying, "one nation under the Easter Bunny."
Yes it is, and I'd object to that too. Though I'd be less concerned that anyone else was taking the whole oath thing seriously at that point.
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
I could care less what other people might choose to say, but I certainly care about what I or my children are expected to say.


This argument keeps being repeated but it is a dead end. This has already been decided by the courts. Children are not required/expected/forced to recite the pledge. The argument that others should be denied their rights just in case a child feels some pressure to say something which they (or far more likely the parents) don't believe in is ridiculous. A law already exists to deal with the issue of people being forced to recite the pledge, so denying the rights of others serves no additional purpose.
Separation of Church and State also does not hold. Let's look at the Constitution again: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...". Is there any law which requires the recitation of the Pledge in the class? Regardless, the Pledge would not seem to respect an establishment of religion, rather than an acknowledgement of how the historical context under which the US was founded. Further, and this has already been asked, which religion is established? We all assume Christianity, but nowhere is that mentioned, nor other beliefs excluded. It would also seem to me that disallowing the recitation of the Pledge by law would in fact be a prohibition of the "free exercise thereof", whereas the decision already in place which allows people to remain silent abridges nobody's rights.
 
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Speaking about naturalized citizens, to become one immigrants have to take the oath of allegiance:

I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God."
http://www.immigration.gov/graphics/services/natz/oath.htm


Pacifists can omit this part:

... that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by law...


but nothing is said about atheists.
 
Jim Yingst
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[Jason]: This argument keeps being repeated but it is a dead end. This has already been decided by the courts. Children are not required/expected/forced to recite the pledge.
This is also repeated from above. Forced, no. Expected - yes. I agree that the level of coercion is not all that high, and this is why I've agreed that the issue is not that big a deal. If the courts decide in favor of the school here, it's not the end of the world; it was a borderline case in my opinion. I'm more up in arms over some of the offensive or ridiculous reasoning used here to justify keeping the pledge. I strongly disagree with many of the specific arguments here, while agreeing that on this particular point, the anti-pledge case is not so strong. But I still think "expected" is a reasonable way to phrase it. It's an organized activity led by adults in a position of authority. How do the kids learn the words? Spontaneously? The teacher teaches them. If they forget words, they get prompting. Does the teacher realy take the time to point out "now you don't have to say this if you don't want to" while the children are learning? Seems pretty doubtful to me. The pledge is usually presented in a context where it's clear the authority figure wants the children to learn the pledge and recite it.
Now Tom's point is also true - enforcement is not high, and what generally happens is that half the kids aren't really paying any attention to the pledge as it's being recited anyway. As I agree, the level of coercion is not high - but it does exist. If "expected" is too strong for your taste here - would you accept "encouraged"?
The argument that others should be denied their rights just in case a child feels some pressure to say something which they (or far more likely the parents)
(Aside) As opposed to the beliefs of the religious kids, which formed spontaneously with no intervention from the parents whatsoever? :roll:
...don't believe in is ridiculous. A law already exists to deal with the issue of people being forced to recite the pledge, so denying the rights of others serves no additional purpose.
Which rights of others are those? We're not talking about kids who spontaneously choose to recite the pledge because they feel like it. Why do the school officials have the right to teach and encourage the recitation of a pledge with specific religious meaning? (Not very specific I admit, but it's there.)
Separation of Church and State also does not hold. Let's look at the Constitution again: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...". Is there any law which requires the recitation of the Pledge in the class? Regardless, the Pledge would not seem to respect an establishment of religion, rather than an acknowledgement of how the historical context under which the US was founded.
As noted above - "If the text were something like 'one nation founded under a belief in God', fine. But that's not what it says." It's not about the historical context of the founding, it's an assertion that the nation is, in the present tense, under God.
As to the text of the constitution here - it is unfortunately somewhat vague, IMO, in the "respecting an establishment of religion" part. Does "respecting" mean "having to do with" or "showing respect to"? Probably the former. More perplexingly "establishment of religion"? A religious establishment (i.e. organization)? The act of creation of a new religion? Any act providing some official sanction or aid to a religion? Does it pertain to a religion, or to religion in general? (I see no hint that this clause only applies if there's a specific named religion involved.) I mean, on one hand I'm pretty sure they at least intended to prevent congress from, say, declaring that a particular religion was the official religion of the United States, a la the Church of England. But for this they could have just said "Congress shall make no law establishing an official religion" or some such. Using "respecting" and "establishment" rather than "establishing" introduces a whole lot of other possible interpretations; I really don't know for sure which are intended.
But the way I interpret it is: congress shall make so law which provides official support or recognition for any religion, nor prohibiting the free excercise of any religion. (BTW do we atheists qualify as a religion here or not? According to TP I think I can qualify if I've got enough blind faith in hte correctness of my views...) I can accept that others may legitimately interpret the wording somewhat differently, but that's my take.
Of course, the causal chain connecting Congress to support or recognition of a religion is a bit indirect, but it's still there, IMO. Congress passes laws providing for funding for public institutions; those institutions promote religion (albeit subtly) by encouraging recitation of the pledge; thus, congress has passed a law which promotes religion, (or a religion, or group of religions, or whatever).
Note that when I brought up separation of chruch and state, I was talking about the prevalence of people's beliefs in the idea of separation church and state. We were talking about an amendment to the constutution at the time anyway, so in this context the exact interpretation of lamentably vague language is somewhat vague anyway. If enough people believe that promoting a pledge that included "under god" is a good idea, they can make an amendment that explicitly narrows the interpretation of "respecting an establishment" (or even just plain overrides it) so that promoting "under God" in school is OK. Conversely if enough people oppose this idea based on the notion that more extreme separation of chruch and state is a good thing, then the proposed amendment would not get passed. In the context of an amendment, what the constitution currently says is not really important; what people want it to say is.
Of course, unless an until an amendment is made, what the constituition currently says does matter. It's unfortunate that they chose such vague wording here.
Further, and this has already been asked,
And answered.
which religion is established? We all assume Christianity, but nowhere is that mentioned, nor other beliefs excluded.
Except for the exceedingly obvious exceptions already noted, atheism and polytheism. And except that the amendment wording doesn't seem to refer to a particular religion; it can perfectly well refer to religion in general.
It would also seem to me that disallowing the recitation of the Pledge by law would in fact be a prohibition of the "free exercise thereof", whereas the decision already in place which allows people to remain silent abridges nobody's rights.
Allowing people to recite it spontaneously would not be a problem for me, but fostering an environment where it's expected (though not required) still is a problem. (Though, again, a relatively small one given that the expectation is not strong.) It's the standard limitation on rights of people - they stop where they infringe on the rights of others.
----
Out of curiosity, let's imagine that you live as a Christian in a nation much like the US, except that kids are encouraged (though not required) to say they live in one nation "under Allah". (Let's skip the issue of school prayer.) Now when asked, the people running the school patiently explain that this should be OK to you, as the God they refer to as Allah is really the same god you worship. (Albeit with some teensy doctrinal differences along the way.) Can you honestly say you wouldn't feel as though your beliefs were being slighted by this, to some extent at least? I mean yeah, you could live with it I suppose, but deep down, would you really believe that the state had your interests in mind when they wrote the pledge?
Applicability of this analogy is rather limited, unfortunately; I'm just trying to suggest that "God" may not be as neutral a term as some here seem to think, even to other monotheists.
[ October 15, 2003: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]
 
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Children are not required/expected/forced to recite the pledge.
As a matter of law, that's clear.
The argument that others should be denied their rights just in case a child feels some pressure to say something which they (or far more likely the parents) don't believe in is ridiculous. A law already exists to deal with the issue of people being forced to recite the pledge, so denying the rights of others serves no additional purpose.
Are you suggesting others have a right to say "under God" as part of a federally-endorsed Pledge of Allegiance? There I don't see your point at all. Using the First Amendment to say the government must protect your right to declare the country as "one nation under God" is not the same as saying the Federal government has an obligation to maintain that phrase in a Pledge of Allegiance.
I don't believe the First Amendment holds without constraint here; the Pledge is by definition speech the Congress "protects." Can a Federally-approved Pledge legally include words that ambiguate its meaning to a Godless patriotic person? The issue is not (and never was, in my view), whether God-fearing folks are losing the right to say what they want, but rather whether they may press Congress to include words that support their way of thinking.
You can go ahead and say "under God" whenever you want -- in your protected forum. What your argument really amounts to is saying I have to remain silent and listen to you say it, and that intrudes on my rights.
A national pledge should be wholly and unambiguously pointed to that purpose. When we pledge allegiance to our country, we should pledge to that institution alone. When praying to a god, or gods, or not at all, do as your conscience requires. That, I think, is the point.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...". Is there any law which requires the recitation of the Pledge in the class?
It's a given Congress cannot make one, but what about state and local governments? This power is at the heart of the debate. Is the prohibition upon Congress also a prohibition on state and local governments as well? The Supreme Court will rule on that. Naturally that will have ramifications for everyone else. It does not mean everyone will have to rewrite their rules to comply the day after. It never works that way anyway.
Regardless, the Pledge would not seem to respect an establishment of religion, rather than an acknowledgement of how the historical context under which the US was founded.
I admire the clever thinking behind this argument, but no one's going to argue that the kids knowingly acknowledge a historical context when they say "under God" -- they're just reciting what they're told by a governmental authority is the Pledge of Allegiance.
Which religion is established? We all assume Christianity, but nowhere is that mentioned, nor other beliefs excluded.
Any belief system that has no single God, or the word 'God' or acknowledges the existence of any God is plainly excluded. This "everyone's included" argument is at the heart and soul of Judeo-Christian politicking -- "God can mean darn near anything, so let's just all agree on it and save ourselves the fuss of nitpicking." When in fact it's an agreement by a majority to ignore certain fundamental differences. A vocal minority has now rejected that offer. The challenge is, I'll admit, seemingly pedantic, but it's not wrong.
It would also seem to me that disallowing the recitation of the Pledge by law would in fact be a prohibition of the "free exercise thereof", whereas the decision already in place which allows people to remain silent abridges nobody's rights.
The right to freely exercise a Federally-endorsed statement is, as I see it, a secondary (and specious) issue. A group recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in a publicly-ordained setting, such as a public school, amounts to a captive audience. What is legally expressible in such settings does often fall under federal protection.
[ October 15, 2003: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
 
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A panel of the 9th Federal Circuit Court in San Francisco (surprise) has ruled that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is an unconstitutional "endorsement of religion" because of the phrase "one nation under God".


The other thing you must remember: the 9th circuit is the most overturned court in the US. In keeping with their tradition, last year out of 27 rulings, 27 were overturned. Which speaks volumes about the morons at the bench and those that place them there!
 
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Which speaks volumes about the morons at the bench and those that place them there!

The United States Senate late Monday (Sept. 29) confirmed President Bush's nomination of San Francisco Superior Court Judge Carlos T. Bea to serve on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Judge Bea, 69, was confirmed by the full Senate on a vote of 86-0 with 14 senators not voting. He had been nominated April 11, was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 25.
http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/


 
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It's a given Congress cannot make one, but what about state and local governments? This power is at the heart of the debate. Is the prohibition upon Congress also a prohibition on state and local governments as well? The Supreme Court will rule on that. Naturally that will have ramifications for everyone else. It does not mean everyone will have to rewrite their rules to comply the day after. It never works that way anyway.
I admire the clever thinking behind this argument, but no one's going to argue that the kids knowingly acknowledge a historical context when they say "under God" -- they're just reciting what they're told by a governmental authority is the Pledge of Allegiance.


Both of these are related. Teachers are not Federal workers so if states have the right to exercise the constitutional amendment granting them all powers not explicitly given the federal government. Then this isn't an issue at all.
So does the Supreme court interpret the constitution as written or again create new law. At the time of the writing of the constitution states had state religions. So clearly the constitution was not meant to prevent that. What was the reasoning behind putting those words in the constitution? The King of England doing what he wanted.
I am not religious but it is plain that the courts have gone too far in many cases. I read an article about a nursing home where the residents where forbidden from bowing their heads and praying before meals. By what authority where they forbiden. The ACLU and the courts. Explain to me how that is not a violation of the 1st amendment?
 
Donald R. Cossitt
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The United States Senate late Monday (Sept. 29) confirmed President Bush's nomination of San Francisco Superior Court Judge Carlos T. Bea to serve on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Judge Bea, 69, was confirmed by the full Senate on a vote of 86-0 with 14 senators not voting. He had been nominated April 11, was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 25.
http://www.ca9.uscourts.gov/


If you are trying to make a point Map, I guess I am missing it; seeing the placement was last month
 
Mapraputa Is
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I had no idea how the process of "placing the morons there" works, so I was a bit surprised to learn that apparently judges are nominated by the President and approved by the Senate. Then by induction, we could ask who placed the President and the Senate there...
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"No language can express every thought unambiguously, least of all this one." -- D. Hofstadter, Metamagical themas
 
Donald R. Cossitt
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I had no idea how the process of "placing the morons there" works, so I was a bit surprised to learn that apparently judges are nominated by the President and approved by the Senate. Then by induction, we could ask who placed the President and the Senate there...


Ah yes, indeed! A question I often ask myself. It's kind of like what is going on in the Portland, Oregon area: voters by majority voted to increase their own property taxes and now that the bill is about to be presented, they are outraged! I am guessing they will blame the Assessor and brow beat the legislature into creating another Measure 5/Measure 50 debacle?
My brother often gives this quote from a long forgotten source: "I am amazed at a society that while administering the cure, dispenses the poison!"
 
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Originally posted by Jim Yingst:
An update I just came across: Supreme Court accepts Pledge of Allegiance case. Who knows, sometime next June we may finally get some closure on this burning issue.


Another update: Justice Rehnquist has excused himself from the case and among the remaining 8 justices, the decision is expected to be 4 to 4. If so, it will mean that the 9th Circuit Court ruling will be upheld. I am sorry that I can't provide a link, -- heard it yesterday on the FOX "O'Reilly Factor" .
 
Mapraputa Is
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I just read this:

My public school classmates and I suffered no apparent ill effects from being required to stand up in class and publicly declare our love for our country five days a week for at least eight years.
http://www.sunspot.net/news/opinion/oped/bal-op.mccarthy22oct22,0,4892498.story?coll=bal-oped-headlines


Is this true? In public schools children are expected to recite the Pledge every day? I thought they have to do it once in their lives!
 
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Is this true? In public schools children are expected to recite the Pledge every day? I thought they have to do it once in their lives!


It was true when I was growing up.
 
Jim Yingst
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Yes, typically. Where "expected" may be replaced with "encouraged". As Tom noted, it happens often enough that the students are usually pretty bored with the whole thing. This is what we've been talking about in this thread - glad you could join us.
 
Mapraputa Is
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They did not make us do that even in the Soviet Union... You would certainly see the flag on big holidays, and you were supposed to stand up when the anthem was played, but not every day... What is the point of reciting the same words every day? To make sure that none of 5-graders changed his/her mind? I thought it's not a big deal to hear your classmates saying "one nation under God" -- well, once. But to have to listen to it every day...
[ October 22, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
John Smith
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What is the point of reciting the same words every day?
Same point as singing the military songs, -- to break the individual will by indoctrination of the hierarchy principle: individual -- country -- God. Very barbaric, indeed.
 
Jim Yingst
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Not that I disagree much, Map, but you do realize this has all already been discussed extensively in this very thread, right?
 
Mapraputa Is
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I believe what has already been discussed extensively in this very thread is one phrase from the Pledge of Allegiance, while I am trying to get used to the idea that kids have to recite the Pledge every single day. How is it organized? Each class in their classroom, or the whole school in a hall or what? Why 8 years -- not in high school or not in elementary school?
 
John Smith
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I am trying to get used to the idea that kids have to recite the Pledge every single day
Makes you consider the emigration, doesn't it?
 
Jim Yingst
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Fair enough. Just so you realize that if you erupt in irate disbelief now, we'll proably just end up repeating all these arguments one more time, which seems rather unnecessary. But to answer your questions: There is no national standard on how it's organized; schools are generally controlled at the local community level. (By school district.) So depending when & where one went to school, there might have been a daily pledge all through 12 years of school, or 0, or somewhere in between. But 8 years is probably typical, and it's more common when kids are younger than later on. In high school the idea is more likely to be treated with derision - largely because high schoolers will treat most school activities with derision. (Though post-9/11 there was undoubtedly less derision at the idea.)
Typically the way it works is, all the students go to their own classrom at the beginning of the day. Classrooms are wired with public address systems, and maybe 5-10 minutes after the start of class, there's an announcement over the speakers, "please rise for the pledge of allegiance" or some such. The voice on the speaker recites the pledge, as do many of the students. Then everyone sits down, and the voice on the speaker may make some additional announcments about things happening in the school, fairly brief. Then they're done, and school goes on without further interruption.
[ October 22, 2003: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]
 
Mapraputa Is
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Thanks for explanations, Jim. My first reaction to "Classrooms are wired with public address systems, and maybe 5-10 minutes after the start of class, there's an announcement over the speakers, 'please rise for the pledge of allegiance' or some such" was "Orwell".
Eugene, I am considering it since "Iraqi threat" was conjured. To watch performance on TV I used to it, but to watch the general population actually believing in it, that was quite an experience... There is an article in Guardian that said it better than I can.
 
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<laughing>
Oh, my! Eugene, Map, you guys absolutely SLAY me!
The pledge of allegiance is only ONE way in which we insist on a national faithfulness, if you will. We also play the anthem before evey ballgame, and we expect people to at least shut the hell up while it's being played. We also play the anthem at the end of every broadcast day and at the beginning of the day.
We also require respect to the flag, although we've also in our infinite capacity for diversity battled over whether burning it is a crime.
Yes, we expect EACH AND EVERY citizen of this country to pledge their allegiance, and if you can't do that every day, if not out loud, then at least in your heart, then there are LOTS of planes, trains and automobiles to take you someplace else.
If you don't absolutely commit yourself to making this country a better palce, to not destroy her, to not dissolve her, then you don't belong here. And if you want to CHANGE her, please do so! Unite, protest, deomnstrate! Find people who share your views, organize campaigns, elect new leaders! Burn a flag, if you feel it necessary!
But don't go all googly eyed that we recite a pledge to honor and cherish our country. I only wish that that we had different pledges, different things to say, different things for our youngsters to honor. It would be nice if someone came up with 365 things to honor in the country, one for every day, something other than outside jumpers and junk in the trunk.
It's not indoctrination, it's not brainwashing, it's simply the indication that we love this country and what it stands for. If you don't have that kind of love for your homeland, then I pity you. You are missing something.
Joe
 
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Originally posted by Joe Pluta:

If you don't absolutely commit yourself to making this country a better place, to not destroy her, to not dissolve her, then you don't belong here. And if you want to CHANGE her, please do so! Unite, protest, deomnstrate! Find people who share your views, organize campaigns, elect new leaders!


I agree.
During the recall election here in California, the candidate for the Democrat party, Cruz Bustamante, was repeatedly asked to denounce the goals of an organization that advocates the separation of California and other western states from the union. Bustamante never once voiced opposition to any of the stated goals of Mecha. Following his non-response to the question in more than one debate, his position in the polls plummeted. Fortunately, a large number of Californians were unwilling to accept a governor that is not willing to voice support for our continued existence as one nation.
Hit the road Cruz! We don't need you!
 
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