Sun. Jan 23rd, 2022

“I pledge defiance to the Courts of the Ninth Circuit of America. I love the Republic, which they can’t stand, one nation UNDER GOD, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”In the summer of 2002, the Ninth Circuit Court in California decided to declare the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional because of the words “under God.” That day, the court surrendered to the anti-religious fanatic, Michael Newdow. In doing so, the court invoked the fury of much of the American public as well as the government.

Both conservative and liberal politicians criticized the court’s ruling. The Senate voted 99-0 and the House of Representatives voted 416-3 to reaffirm the words “under God” in the Pledge.

Naturally, the U.S. Supreme Court had no trouble dismissing the case on the grounds that Newdow could not properly represent his daughter, who attended the school where the pledge was voluntarily recited.

Additionally, neither his daughter nor her mother who actually has custody has a problem with reciting the pledge. Talk about exploiting children for politics! The madness should have ended in 2002 when the Supreme Court threw out his case.

However, he’s back, having spent the last two years finding fellow atheists who actually have custody of their children in schools that recite the Pledge to file suit. Just last week in the Ninth District Court, Judge Lawrence Karlton ruled in favor of the other atheist families, saying that the reference to God in the pledge violates the rights of children in three California school districts to be “free from a coercive requirement to affirm God.” Karlton partly based his ruling on the previous Ninth Circuit ruling mentioned above. The case is likely to find its way to higher courts when it is appealed. Here we go again!

New York Senator Chuck Schumer, a liberal Democrat, said last week on The O’Reilly Factor, “this is bad for Democrats.” It is pleasing to see liberals rejecting their leftist extremists, just as I have rejected conservative extremists in the past (we’ll never forget Brother Steven, the religious zealot who taunted WCU students, and who is now in jail), but the damage is done.

Now given the moderateto-conservative bend of the U.S. Supreme Court, it is assured that Michael Newdow, who has his own chapter in Bernard Goldberg’s 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America, doesn’t have a chance of winning.

However, he’s already succeeded in wasting the judge’s time and our taxpayer dollars on this trivial case.

In the 1940s and 1950s when the U.S. Supreme Court, under Chief Justice Earl Warren, was confronted with cases regarding church and state, Justice Tom C. Clark established a test: “What is the purpose and primary effect of the action? If it is eitherthe advancement or inhibitionof religion then the enactment exceeds the scope of legislative power as circumscribed in the Constitution.” The Pledge of Allegiance was not set up to foster a religion, but rather national identity.

While the words “under God” were not added until the ’50s, the purpose was to contrast the socalled “godless Communists.”

Honestly, I don’t think the Pledge has contributed toward the establishment of a “church of America.” This is simply my reasoning. Your own may be different. Constitutional arguments can be made on both sides, but again, this is becoming a cultural war over two words!

So I leave you with these questions to ponder: Does there really need to be a fight over this? Do two simple words really offend people so much that this crusade will continue until no one else can say them? That’s not my idea of American freedom.

Anthony Maalouf is a senior majoring in political science with a minor in Spanish.

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