A Bad Court Thing


Also, when are we gonna get around to that 51st star? Come on, Congress and Peurto Rico! Get it in gear!

Also, when are we gonna get around to that 51st star? Come on, Congress and Peurto Rico! Get it in gear!

I am against the Pledge of Allegiance for several reasons. First off, it’s an odious little loyalty oath. I dislike those. I especially dislike children being made to say it in school. Part of having freedom is having the freedom to not say these things, and especially to not say them when the words “under God” are included.

Yeah, that’s in the news again, and this time a judge in New Jersey threw out a case seeking to remove the words in question from the Pledge when it’s recited by schoolchildren. His reasoning was faulty.

In his decision, Bauman noted that the nation was founded on a belief in God. He cited historical references to the nation’s founding fathers, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, and the writers of New Jersey’s constitution exhibiting faith in and reliance upon God.

“The words ‘under God’ are now as interwoven through the fabric of the Pledge of Allegiance as the threads of red, white and blue into the fabric of the flag to which the Pledge is recited,” Bauman wrote.

Irrelevant on several levels, and not especially accurate. First off, if the Founders were all that concerned about Christianity, or God in general, they could have added a lot about it to our Constitution. They did not. In fact the only reference to religion in the Constitution is where it says we have freedom to practice whatever religion we like and that we don’t have a national one. I can’t speak to New Jersey’s constitution, but it takes second place to the national one regardless.

As for the second part of his statement, it seems to basically say, “We’ve been doing this long enough that you people can just get over it.” That’s like saying, “That slavery thing has worked for the last few centuries, so why not keep going with it?” And, “Monarchy was good enough for my ancestors, so it should be good enough for you, rebel scum!”

I’m very pleased with the next sentence I wrote about this, so I’m going to highlight it: Doing the wrong thing repeatedly doesn’t magically transform it into the right thing.

The judge went on to say:

Bauman said the Pledge of Allegiance, in its historical context, has never been viewed as a religious exercise, but as a vehicle to transmit “those core values of duty, honor, pride and fidelity to country on which the social contract between the United States and its citizens is ultimately based.”

This is a lie. It is right to say that prior to the 1950s, it wasn’t viewed as a religious exercise. Then the Knights of Columbus, a religious organization, pressured Congress and the White House, and under Eisenhower the words “under God”, which were not part of the original Pledge, were added to it. Doing that is what made this a religious exercise. Either this judge is ignorant of history or straight-up lying when he says otherwise.

Oh, and as for transmitting values, etc, that’s what we have civics classes for.

The Pledge needs to die the death it so richly deserves, but failing that, I don’t think it’s at all wrong for people like me to ask that the words “under God”, which by definition cannot have anything other than a religious context, be removed from it.

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One Response to “A Bad Court Thing”

  1. Cynthia Says:

    I stopped saying the pledge in the seventh grade. The “under God” part didn’t offend me as much as “liberty and justice for all.”


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