Observations on the world today.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Polling for God & Country 

Yahoo! News - Supreme Court Takes Up 'Under God' Case
Americans overwhelmingly want the phrase "under God" preserved in the Pledge of Allegiance, a new poll says as the Supreme Court examines whether the classroom salute crosses the division of church and state.

Almost nine in 10 people said the reference to God belongs in the pledge despite constitutional questions about the separation of church and state, according to an Associated Press poll.
Herein lies the fundamental problem with this case. It's about fifty years too late.

Congress should never have voted to put this phrase in the pledge. Hell, there shouldn't even be talk about a pledge in congress at all, but that's another issue. However, it is patently obvious that when Congress put this phrase in the pledge, they were advancing i.e. promoting monotheism, an act specifically prohibited by the first amendment.

But now, here we are five decades later finally getting around to arguing the propriety of something that a bunch of mostly dead guys did. It's too late. The pledge no longer belongs to Joe McCarthy. It's been re-written and the present version stands in the hearts and minds of a traditionalist society.

Look, the original version of "A Visit From St. Nick" probably called the seventh reindeer Donder, not "Donner," but try convincing people that there is a need to correct the mistake they have been making since childhood...

The real issue is not whether or not the pledge should be changed. Who cares if the pledge has God in it? The real issue is "Should children be required to recite it?" Actually, the real issue is even more specific. "Should schools even be allowed to make the reading optional?" Even if the "offending" reference to God were stripped from the pledge, my answer would be "No." However, I doubt that THIS supreme court will see it that way ... even without Scalia.
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