Pledge of Allegiance Ruled Unconstitutional

Pledge of Allegiance Ruled Unconstitutional

A federal judge has ruled the Pledge of Allegiance to be unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Karlton sided with atheist Michael Newdow in ruling Wednesday that the pledge’s reference to God violates the rights of children in three school districts to be “free from a coercive requirement to affirm God.”

Okay, this part is pretty much a no-brainer. But there are other problems with the pledge.

I don’t remember when I was first introduced to the Pledge of Allegiance, but it was either kindergarten or elementary school. And at that age, I had no idea what it meant. It was just a bunch of sounds that you learned and repeated. In the morning, we had “And tooter republican widget stand”, during recess we had “Eenie-meenie-miney-moe, catch a tiger by his toe”, and at night we had “Our father, who artin heaven” (except that at my home, it was in Church Slavonic. Imagine the Lord’s Prayer in Middle English, as enshrined by a church deathly afraid of change of any sort).

It didn’t mean anything. It was just something you said because the grownups told you to, or because all the kids were doing it. All sorts of people will tell you that reciting the Pledge is entirely optional, but I didn’t know that when I was a kid. I don’t think the idea ever crossed my mind.

Later, in Junior High School, either we talked about the Pledge in class, or else I finally read it and looked up the hard words, or something. And the whole thing just struck me as odd: why was everyone saying this loyalty oath? No other country that I knew of, with the possible exception of the Soviet Union, had such a thing. Why was it needed? What purpose did it serve? And if I disagreed with it, what were my options? As a teenager, I didn’t really have the option of going to live in another country, did I?

In my class, there was also one kid who always stood ramrod-straight during the Pledge and seemed to be reciting it as if it were the eleventh commandment handed down by God. That always struck me as kind of creepy: that kind of intensity in a person is like a loaded gun, and you have to be very careful about where it’s pointing.

In 1954, the Pledge became a tribal marker, when the words “under God” were inserted to distinguish the US from atheist commies in the Soviet Union. I.e., this was a way of saying, “we’re not those guys.”

Matthew 6:5 also springs to mind:

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men.

It seems that the purpose of the Pledge is not so much to proclaim one’s allegiance to one’s country — after all, that can easily be done in private — but to be seen doing so. It is an inherently public exercise.

If you need to proclaim publicly that you love your country, it seems to me that you may have a problem in that area. Kind of like the guy who’s really way too much into football and NASCAR, and who dumps on gays every chance he gets. The mind just naturally thinks either “Gay but in denial” or maybe just “Small penis.”

If people love America, that’s great. But isn’t it better to show this with deeds than with words? Walk the walk rather than talk the talk? When I’ve visited other countries, it’s always been understood that the French love France, Germans love Germany, and so forth. But they don’t feel the need to boast about it. It’s kind of like the difference between wearing a wedding band, and wearing a T-shirt that says “I’m not cheating on my wife!”

By the way, I don’t think I’m the only one who thinks this photo is disturbing.

And here, you can see Freepers, Michelle Malkin, and LGFers getting their panties in a bunch over the court decision.