"Michael Newdow, an atheist, was offended by the phrase "In God We Trust" on the coins of American currency, believing that the phrase was a state-sponsored statement of religious faith - illegal under the separation of church and state. He argued that he had a right to raise his daughter "without God being imposed into her life by her schoolteachers."
Some of the judges in the 2002 ruling agreed that Newdow had a right to direct the religious education of his daughter. Newdow explained his view of 'freedom of religious exercise' by asking whether Christians would be glad if the atheists were in the majority and if the atheists inserted into the pledge of allegiance the phrase "one nation under NO God." In an interview with Connie Chung, Newdow stated, "The Constitution says the congress will make no laws respecting an establishment of religion which means that the Supreme Court says, and as you have said, nobody should be made to feel like an outsider. And I would only ask everyone of those people to ask themselves, if they had to say every morning when they pledged allegiance to the flag, that we were one nation under Sun Myung Moon, or one nation under David Koresh, or one nation under Jesus, or one nation under Mohammad, how would they feel?"
Thus Newdow claimed that the reference to God is meaningful, and hence the court should recognize, and correct, the resulting religious bias. Meanwhile, the "under God" clause is often defended as "ceremonial deism," acceptable because it is religiously meaningless."
I read this and thought Newdow was right on the money. We should definately take "God" out of the Pledge.
I agree, Elena, and I thank you for researching and posting the info.
The courts should take the words from the pledge but xians would react ferociously. America's highest court, SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the US), fears them.
Will xians comply with Matthew 6:6, which tells them to go into their closets to pray?
No, they don't accept their bible instructions.
My reasons for wanting those two words taken out?
1. The "god" part violates the First Amendment's Establishment clause.
2. The "under" part violates my dignity.
BTW, during the two World Wars, 1914-1918 and 1939-1945, German soldiers' belt buckles carried the words "GOTT MIT UNS". The "MIT" means "with".
The xians and others who want to keep the word "under" are submissives, or bottoms. I hope they enjoy their submissiveness, although I'm sure that most of them are passive-aggressives.
Good point about the belt buckles. The Germans had "God With Us" on their buckles, yet the Christian majority will claim Hitler was an atheist.... But that's another topic.
"Under God" should be removed from the pledge, as in the original, and "In God We Trust" should be removed and returned to the one put in by our forefathers "E Pluribus Unum".
I agree. I have seen a few friends on Facebook complaining about removing all the god references. I haven't talked to them about it. No point. They are already offended and defensive. In other words, not willing to listen to the whole story and the original intent of the founding fathers.
With some folks, the scars of religion will never go away.
It was not even added to the pledge until 1954. It would be nice if the government would return it to its original form. However, Tom is right, the backlash would be terrifying and immense. Taking the word "god" out of our pledge and off our money would be huge step in the right direction.
I was born in 1940 and recall saying the pledge with out the mighty sky guy's inclusion. In 1956 I was 16 and a vocal Atheist and railed aganist the change to deaf ears - still do to more deaf ears.
A more subtile change was in the opening line. Bellamy wrote, "I pledge allegiance to MY flag of the United States...". That was changed to, "I pledge allegiance to THE flag..." Translation: it aint your flag it belongs to the government.
Serendipity, Jim. Your mentioning 1940 and booklover's (in the previous post) mentioning 1943.
In 1940, SCOTUS ruled that schools could expel kids who refused to pledge allegiance. America's patriots (and local governments) promptly started a campaign of violence against the parents of these kids and against the kids themselves.
In 1943, SCOTUS admitted their mistake and reversed their 1940 ruling.
Searching on <SCOTUS Gobitis 1940> and <SCOTUS Barnette 1943> might show you the two stories.
Hmph ... "ceremonial deism," my muscular buttocks! That phrase was inserted as a result from pressure from the Knights of Columbus, an organization which is based in if not supported by the catholic church. The whole point of their action was to draw a distinction from the "godless communists" who were the US's primary enemy at the time. I'd bet a cup of coffee that if you had asked any member of the KofC about just WHOSE god they were talking about, there would be about as much mention of "ceremonial deism" as a hole in the head!
If the US is serious about a separation between church and state, it's time we recognized that these bullshit excuses such as "ceremonial deism" are just that - excuses - and that the primary focus of such actions is to push a specific religious agenda on the government.
My attitude is simple: remove the phrase "under god" from the pledge NOW.
You must remember though, religion is money...... so I guess they 'own' it.
"If money is the root of all evil, then why do they keep asking for it?"
In all fairness the quote is actually "The love of money is the root of all evil" but it's nearly the same thing. :-)
These excuses are just like the ones used by lawmakers to make access to abortion difficult. Christian hypocrisy. You see it with the far right Republican candidates (e.g., Palin, Bachmann, Caine) who can't keep their stories straight. They lie to themselves and everyone else, though intellectual irresponsibility plays a part. Religion is a refuge for the worst.