[Vision2020] One Should Have Right To Object To 'Under God'

Ted Moffett starbliss at gmail.com
Tue Sep 12 11:29:46 PDT 2006

Donovan et. al.

Apparently you have not read the 9th Federal Circuit Court of Appeals
decision that declared the words "under God" in the pledge to be


"To recite the pledge is not to describe the United States; instead it is to
swear allegiance to the values for which the flag stands: unity,
indivisibility, liberty, justice and -- since 1954 -- monotheism," the court
continued. "A profession that we are a nation 'under God' is identical ...
to a profession that we are a nation 'under Jesus,' a nation 'under Vishnu,'
a nation 'under Zeus,' or a nation 'under no god.'"
I wrote that the pledge promotes "a specific form of religion," not a
specific religion, and I described that form of religion as "monotheism," as
you can read below in my previous post forwarded, referencing the wording of
the court decision.  Even if the pledge said "under Christ" this would not
necessarily be promoting a specific religion, given that there are numerous
religions who follow Christ, in one way or another, with differing views of
the divinity of Christ, the Trinity, etc. differing religions who follow
Christ who vehemently disagree with each other's basic principles.

I'm sure you've read this statement below, the First Amendment to the US

*Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech,
or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to
petition the Government for a redress of grievances.*

Either you take a firm stand on separation of church and state or you do
not.  Apparently you do not take a firm stand on separation of church and
state, because it appears you wish to promote monotheism via the
institutions of the state.

As long as we are clear that this is what you wish to promote...

Ted Moffett

On 9/12/06, Donovan Arnold <donovanjarnold2005 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> "The pledge does amount to state sponsored promotion of a specific form or
> religion." Ted Moffett.
> Ted which specific religion does it promote?
> I do not understand why this is such a big deal. If you do not believe in
> God so what. I don't believe in the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, or little
> Leprechauns. But you don't see me out there smashing the fun and whatever
> others get out of it, do you? Who cares, really, if there is no God, it
> won't hurt to let others say His/Her/Its name?
> Second, it isn't asking you to believe in God, or that you pledge
> allegiance to a God, it isn't even saying saying that God is real. It is
> simply making a statement that it is under God, real of fiction. Does
> Rudolph pull Santa's slay, or are we going to argue that he doesn't because
> the slay and the man he is pulling really doesn't exist? Regardless of your
> belief in Santa, everybody knows that Rudolph has a shiny nose and Santa
> asked him to guide his slay on Christmas Eve night. And everybody knows that
> God is above all things, people, and nations, real of imaginary. Apollo is
> the Sun God, I can say that, even though I personally believe he doesn't
> exist.
> Do you agree with everything else in the pledge? Do you believe that it is
> one nation? A nation being one group of people with a shared culture,
> religion or ethnic background? I should say that is also a false statement.
> What about truth? Does the US ever lie? Is it always truthful, Ted? Another
> false statement. How about, "Liberty and justice for all". Do you believe
> that the US gives liberty and justice for all? Do you Ted? No, so if we want
> to start ripping apart the pledge, and excluding statements we feel are not
> true, we would not have a pledge anymore would we?
> The pledge is simply meant as tool to pull us together, instill pride and
> a commonality among all peoples in the United States, regardless of who or
> what we claim to be. There is no one statement, no one sentence, no words in
> which all peoples in this country will agree. But we can all generally agree
> what this country is suppose to be, or should be, a good nation that is
> dedicated to doing what is right, together, as one for everyone.
> Best,
> _DJA
> *Ted Moffett <starbliss at gmail.com>* wrote:
> Donovan et. al.
> http://www.aclunc.org/opinion/020903-pledge.html
> In adding "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954, Congress
> intended to put religion in public school. As President Eisenhower said in
> signing the law, from "this day forward, the millions of our schoolchildren
> will daily proclaim, in every city and town, every village and rural
> schoolhouse, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty."
> Since students were praying daily in many public schools, the new Pledge
> language was not subject to an immediate constitutional challenge. Courts
> had not yet recognized the rights of minority faiths to be free of religious
> coercion in public schools.
> --------------------------------
> I recall in a 5th grade public school in North Carolina in 1961 starting
> every school day with the Lord's prayer... The pledge of allegiance's "under
> God" phrase was then a minor issue!
> The words "In God We Trust" on currency are not a pledge that I am
> compelled to recite with my hand over my heart.  The pledge of allegiance
> is, or was when I was in the public school system.
> The out for those who defend the pledge of allegiance with the words
> "under God" continuing in public schools, despite the apparent state
> promotion of specific religious beliefs (monotheism over the State), is that
> any student can refuse to recite it without being officially compelled to
> conform, or officially punished.  The student can legally opt out of saying
> the pledge.  It is not "forced" on any student, technically speaking.
> The pledge, to be more religiously broad, might read "under whatever God,
> Gods, Goddesses or other forms of spiritual beings or powers, or the lack of
> them, that prevail" to avoid state promotion of specific forms of religious
> belief, but this is cumbersome and wordy for a pledge.  And the reason the
> words "under God" were placed in the pledge during the 1950s was not to be
> open minded about including different religious beliefs, but to send a
> specific message to the atheists of the godless Communist Soviet Union, and
> other communist nations, that the USA was a nation under God, a specific
> sort of God.  The words "under God" added to the pledge are thus a legacy of
> cold war politics.
> I find the argument that the words "under God" are spiritually generic,
> and can refer to all forms of spiritual belief, and thus are not state
> endorsement of a specific religion, disingenuous.  I heard this exact
> argument from a federal lawyer working in the federal court in Boise, a
> lawyer who knew the justices involved in the 9th US Circuit Court who ruled
> that the pledge's "under God" was unconstitutional.
> Given the pressures young students face to be popular, accepted, to
> conform to the dominant values of their peers and adult leaders, odds are
> many students will recite the pledge anyway, even if they object, or don't
> understand the meaning of the words they parrot.
> The pledge does amount to state sponsored promotion of a specific form or
> religion.
> Ted Moffett
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