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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Virginia's Pledge law sustained



By Larry O'Dell
ASSOCIATED PRESS
August 11, 2005

RICHMOND -- A federal appeals court yesterday upheld a Virginia law requiring public schools to lead a daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Edward Myers of Sterling, a father of three, claimed the reference to "one nation under God" in the Pledge was an unconstitutional promotion of religion.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, ruling that the Pledge is a patriotic exercise, not an affirmation of religion similar to a prayer.

"Undoubtedly, the pledge contains a religious phrase, and it is demeaning to persons of any faith to assert that the words 'under God' contain no religious significance," Judge Karen Williams wrote. "The inclusion of those two words, however, does not alter the nature of the pledge as a patriotic activity."

Source: The Washington Times

5 comments:

Buffalo said...

I enjoy saying the pledge. It makes me feel good.

But should it be legislated?

i eat puppies said...

I don't have a problem with mandating the pledge be led by the school every morning, so long as there is no requirement that staff and students participate, with sanctions for faculty which try to enforce mandatory recitation (like that teacher I saw on O'Reilly who pulled the seat from a kid who wouldn't rise).

James Howard Shott said...

I'm with Buffalo: Saying the Pledge makes me feel good. I was in school when the words "under God" were added. It seemed natural, and given the folks who were around when our nation was born, would have been a natural thing to have in the Pledge back then, even though the Pledge wasn't written until a hundred years later.

I take a slightly different view from i e p. I don't advocate that the Pledge be mandatory for students, and I certainly don't think we need a(nother) law. I do think, however, that to not stand when the Pledge is recited, or to not recite the Pledge, leaving out the words "under God" for those who are offended by them, is disrespectful to the great nation that these people are so fortunate to be living in.

i eat puppies said...

Mr. Shott,
You misunderstood me.
I believe the pledge shoot be read over the PA every morning. I DON'T think students or faculty should have to recite it along with the PA (although I think most would).

So long as someone isn't changing the words to something offensive, I got no problem- you can sit, stand, be silent, etc.

I don't believe leaving out "Under God" is offensive. It wasn't even in the original pledge. It was added in the 50s to distinguish us from the "Godless communists". I mean, what should someone who doesn't believe in God say? Isn't it disrespectful to God to feign belief in him?

Of course, this reminds me of the Life in Hell's take on the Pledge:

"I pledge alliance, to the flakes, of the United Snakes of a Merry Cow. And to the Republicans, for which they scam, one nacho, underpants, with licorice, and jugs of wine for owls."

Needless to say, that boy was punished.

James Howard Shott said...

I think I wasn't very clear on one of my points. I meant to say that if a person wants to recite the Pledge, but omit the words "under God" if those words are offensive, that would be okay.

However, to refuse to recite the Pledge because there are two words in it that you disagree with, or to refuse to stand when the Pledge is being recited, I regard as disrespectful.

I compare that to how I believe it would be proper to act in another country, if I was a guest there. Out of courtesy, I would stand for their Pledge (if they had one). It's just the polite, respectful thing to do. And for American citizens to not show that respect is, in my opinion, shameful.