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Supreme Court Will Hear Pledge of Allegiance Case 1476

Decaffeinated Jedi writes "As reported in this article, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear a case next year (most likely in June) involving whether public schools can lead students in a 'voluntary' recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. At issue in this case is whether the inclusion of the phrase 'under God' in the pledge constitutes an establishment of religion on the part of the state and an infringement on students' religious liberty when it is recited in the public school setting. This case comes to the Supreme Court as an appeal of the June 2002 ruling made by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals--a decision that led to one of the most active stories in Slashdot history." The CNN article's emphasis on voluntariness -- "whether schoolchildren can be allowed to recite the Pledge voluntarily" -- is grossly misleading, almost propagandistic. Most states have laws requiring the pledge to be recited every day as a class activity, and these are the laws in question. In theory students shouldn't be punished for failing to recite along with the rest of the class (due to a previous Supreme Court decision). No state has a law prohibiting anyone from reciting the pledge voluntarily, whenever they want to.
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Supreme Court Will Hear Pledge of Allegiance Case

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  • by gcalvin ( 325380 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2003 @06:41PM (#7213817) Homepage
    ...and let the kids recite the Gettysburg Address. It's more stirring, it has a better pedigree, and it's not a Loyalty Oath. Oh, it's still got that "nation under God" phrase? Darn. How about just reciting the national motto, "In God we trust"? No good? Sing the national anthem? Well, the first verse is okay, since it's mostly about stuff getting blowed up, but suppose somebody notices that the later verses invoke the Almighty? Can't have that, can we? I know! Let's teach our kids what's really important in today's America, and have them recite the Microsft EULA. They should be able to get through it in time for lunch.
  • by aardvarkjoe ( 156801 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2003 @06:51PM (#7213891)
    Michael, can't you find another website to pound your drums on?

    Sorry; there are no other blogs that will hire somebody that inept.
  • by conner_bw ( 120497 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2003 @06:52PM (#7213898) Journal
    Not interesting?! Somewhere, you just broke a young pre-pubescent mid-western nerd's heart. Somewhere, an 8 year old refusing the pledge is being called terrorist by their class mates and stonned to death, the old fashioned christian way! (or the new fashioned patriot act way!)

  • by Lucas Membrane ( 524640 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2003 @06:56PM (#7213933)
    The guy who wrote the pledge back in the 19th century was very religious, but after considering the issue, he decided to leave God out of it. Congress added God in the 1950's. Altering the text of an author's work without permission is an offense against IP law. And, although it is legal after the author's rights are expired, as they were for the pledge in the 1950's, it is very contrary to the current utmost respect in which copyright owners are held under the American system. Restore the old-time values. Restore the author's intent. Get the God out.
  • by hondo77 ( 324058 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2003 @06:56PM (#7213935) Homepage

    I didn't know the Pilgrims founded the U.S. Silly me! I thought it was colonists who wanted to be free of England. Wow! All this time I hadn't realized that the Boston Tea Party was really about freedom from religious persecution. Thanks for shedding light on those misconceptions, brother!

    And what did those pilgrims do after the Revolutionary War broke us free from our English masters? Slavery! Yep, nothing like having God bless the practice of slavery.

    I'll stop frothing now.

  • by tilrman ( 234948 ) on Tuesday October 14, 2003 @10:55PM (#7215984) Homepage

    Good start. I think Congress should have to sacrifice a goat (or at least a few chickens) right after reciting the pledge each day too.

    I guess the point would be lost on many. But at least I'd watch CSPAN a lot more!

You will never amount to much. -- Munich Schoolmaster, to Albert Einstein, age 10