Skip to comments.PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE - NEW INFORMATION
Posted on 06/28/2002 1:25:04 PM PDT by NYer
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ A 1954 letter from President Dwight D. Eisenhower to the Knights of Columbus may have a legal bearing on the national controversy over an appeals court's declaration that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that the phrase ``under God'' amounts to a government endorsement of religion in violation of the U.S. Constitution's Establishment Clause, which requires a separation of church and state. Congress added the phrase to the pledge in 1954 after a campaign by the Knights of Columbus, a Roman Catholic men's service organization. Americans deluged Congress with mail supporting the change, which came at the height of the Cold War, and religious leaders said the United States' pledge should be different from that of communist countries.
On display at the Knights of Columbus museum in New Haven is a letter from Eisenhower thanking the organization for its campaign. ``These words will remind Americans that despite our great physical strength we must remain humble. They will help us to keep constantly in our minds and hearts the spiritual and moral principles which alone give dignity to man, and upon which our way of life is founded,'' the letter says.
Paul Devin, the Knights' executive vice president for legal affairs and general counsel, says the letter implies a secular purpose for inserting the words ``under God,'' and not a religious one. ``The way he sees the words 'under God' are going to affect us is that they will remind us not to worship the state, but to remain humble in the eyes of God, and as a way of remember that we didn't create our own greatness,'' Devin said.
But a legal expert says that won't mean anything in a legal battle. ``It's historically interesting, but not legally significant,'' said Joseph H. Cooper, a professor at Quinnipiac University School of Law.
Cooper said the court's decision won't be reversed solely on the letter. ``There are lots of pieces of legislation that have one intent and because of the way they're interpreted, the impact or consequences of that perhaps is different than what was intended,'' he said. ``It's those consequences that the courts have to deal with.''
Devin said the Knights have been inundated with calls asking them to fight the court's ruling. ``We're considering all the various choices,'' he said. ``Legal steps are only one of those choices.''
Judge Alfred T. Goodwin, who wrote the 2-1 opinion, prevented it from taking effect until the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decides whether it wants to alter course. He gave no reason. Attorney General John Ashcroft has said the Justice Department will request a hearing by an 11-judge panel. Gov. Gray Davis and school officials in the town of Elk Grove, where the plaintiff lives, both promised to appeal.
The appeals court can rehear the case with the same three judges, or an 11-judge panel. Goodwin's action has no immediate result, since the ruling already was on hold by court rules for 45 days to allow for any challenges.
Which reminds me of a good lawyer joke.
Q. How many lawyer jokes are there?
A. Only three. The balance are documented case histories.
Does California have standing to appeal, when it did not participate in the district court proceeding, or in the circuit court proceeding up to now?
I wish I could find the scientific literacy survey that told how many people believe that we see by emitting light rays from our eyes.... Bueller? Bueller?
All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others.
Some other thoughts about the Pledge of Allegiance:
Thoughts on the Pledge of Allegiance.
Thought 1 . God fearing Patriots and Conservatives do NOT Pledge Allegiance to a piece of CLOTH or a tangle of poorly defined concepts.
This is called IDOLATRY.
Thinking Conservatives pledge allegiance to God and BECAUSE of their pledge to God swear to protect and defend those institutions and principles critical to Human Events here on God's Earth.
To understand this concept compare and contrast the Pledge of Allegiance with the Boy Scout Oath or the Oath of Office required of the President as written in the Constitution to wit:
"I solemnly swear (or affirm) I that I will faithfully execute the office of the president of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States.(so help me God)
Distinguish between this oath taken by a man whose allegiance is pledged to God and who seeks to honor God with his vow to serve faithfully and well on Earth and the Pledge of Allegiance to the "flag and the republic for which it stands" (whatever that means!)
This also happens to be the oath administered to members of the United States Military and the vow I took when I joined the Navy.
I must honor that oath by my respectful disagreement with those people who somehow confuse idolatry with an attack on religious belief.
Thought 2. This tempest in a teapot is a direct result of leviathan Government abrogating unto itself the education of the nation through the device of a monolithic Public School establishment.
It is inconceivable the government court system would do anything other than rule for the benefit of the government in the government run school system.
Anyone unhappy with the 9th Circuit ruling should seek to shut down the government monopoly over education immediately.
Impeachment of judges, public street protests, letters to the editor are both useless and meaningless if the Public School Monopoly survives unaltered.
It has been said many times before: "The Government governs best that governs least". This is especially true in regard to the education of the young.
Best regards to all, .
My uncle lives a few miles from Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, and very near James Madison's Montpelier. There are many locals there who are very engrossed with learning the area's history, particularly the minutia regarding our Founding Fathers. According to my uncle, as best I can recall what he said (in a rather, ehh, *emotional* telephone conversation yesterday), here is the "scoop" on how the separation of church and state thing came into being.
Jefferson departed for Paris to assume his role of ambassador, and left the task of completing the Constitution in the hands of country lawyer James Madison. The sticking point of getting the thing radified is that the 2 most populous states (VA and NY) were holding out. It is important to note that at this same time, oppression of every religious denomination that wasn't Anglican was still an ongoing problem in this (brand new) country.
So while JM was working on the Bill of Rights, he met with a Baptist leader who was known to have plenty of influence with the community and asked what the protestant concerns were with the new document. He told JM that their biggest thing was to get rid of the descrimination against the practice of religion. So JM worked out a way to PROTECT religion from the government, which is actually what the words above ("Congess shall make no law...") are all about, and NOT what those who are against God have done with the popularly held misconception (spin) of getting God out of the government.
The Baptists liked JM's work enough to get the vote out and ratify the thing. You see, the Brits settled in the safer areas east of the Blue Ridge and made everybody else go to the more dangerous frontier west of the mountains. That's why Anglican churches are quite rare there, and there is such a high percentage of German folks that came in from PA.
This modern-day deception regarding the relationship of church and state couldn't be farther from the real truth, and is so typical of the liberal agenda. As we know, a similar tactic is being used to undercut the 2nd Amendment.
It's also interesting to see how people react when you tell them how the Constitution was getting absolutely nowhere until the idea of praying before each session came up. A different local minister led the whole assembly in prayer every day, and the whole document was completed in 3 days. They just couldn't have gotten it done without God's help. This is why I almost barf every time some idiot like Michael Newdow tries to look smart and talk about how the Consitution is a secular document. At best, they don't know the history that they presume to speak about. At worst, they *do* know better but just lie about it. The men who wrote those special documents were big-time believers, in fact, I believe that had only 2 more of the signers been ordained ministers, that would've made a majority. Hardly a work of secular minds.
Anyway, that's the way I heared it! ;-)
This is called IDOLATRY.
You might want to look up the definiton of the word "allegiance". I believe you have it confused with the word "worship". There's a BIG difference.
Pigs David, pigs. The rest of us are subservient to the pigs.
I understand the definition of the word "allegiance". Do you understand the definition of the word "idolatry"?
As stated, I would also like clarification of the phrase "and the republic for which it stands" among other vague and poorly defined terms.
Nicely put. It makes one appear even more a moron who would object to the "under God" phrase for that reason.
It was what divided Baptists from Anglicans, Anglicans from Congregationalists, Deists from Congregationalists, etc., etc. Primarily with the governing structure of the churches. Baptists would not want Anglican bishops running the show, etc. Keep in mind that Jefferson wrote that it was "self-evident" that people were endowed by their "Creator" with rights. More:
"Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation deserts the oaths...?" George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796
"Of all the dispositions and habits which least to political prosperity, Religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism who should labor to subvert these great Pillars of human happiness - these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens." Washington´s Farewell Address, 1796
"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." John Adams, 1798
Gee, maybe the ACLU should write these guys a letter. [?]
Webster defines idolatry as:
Main Entry: idol·a·try
Inflected Form(s): plural -tries
Date: 13th century
1 : the worship of a physical object as a god
2 : immoderate attachment or devotion to something
I don't know of anyone who worships Old Glory as a god, but there is no shortage of freaks in the world and it wouldn't surprise me too much if someone out there did. If you are trying to say a good christian doesn't worship the flag as a god, then I would have to thank you for stating the obvious and question why you are making such an odd comment.
The only other possibility (using these two basic definitions) would be that you are trying to say anyone possessing an "immoderate" attachment or devotion to the flag is not behaving like a good christian. Well, OK, let's look more closely at the definition of "immoderate": exceeding just, usual, or suitable bounds. In order for your argument to be feasible using this definition, you would have to explain why an American citizen pledging allegiance to the flag is demonstrating an attachment or devotion that is "exceeding just, usual, or suitable bounds".
Pledging Allegiance is declaring a binding promise of devotion and loyalty. Pledging allegiance to the flag and the republic for which it stands is promising to be devoted and loyal to our great country and the flag which symbolizes it. I do not see anything unjust, unusual, unsuitable, or even unchristian about such an act.
We could go on arguing over semantics, context, translations, and intentions all day long - but, why? I can think of SO many better things to do with my time than defending such an obviously commendable, patriotic, and honorable act that doesn't NEED defense except to those who would choose to undermine the very things that make this country the greatest in the world. If you are not one of those people, why are you trying to convince us that the Pledge of Allegiance is such a bad thing?
If you ARE one of those people, you are posting in the wrong forum! If you are NOT one of those people, find something more worthy of your time. There are much bigger and more important battles to win out there.
I fear we do not use the same dictionary.
I further fear you have not understood the overall point I made in my comments.
1.The nature and purpose of the Pledge of Allegiance is fundamentally different from both the Presidential Oath of Office as defined in the Constitution and other admirable American oaths and vows such as the Boy Scout oath.
2. The "root cause" of the current imbroglio is the passive acceptance of government run education and not specific activities that do or do not occur inside the government run schools such as Prayers or Pledges.
While conservatives,Christians,and patriots may have justly developed a hypersensitivity to any assaults on religion after a century of unrelenting attack, it is unfortunate they picked this particular occasion to indulge in a hysterical reaction to a court ruling.
To embrace the embedded premise that government can determine how Sovereign Citizens should comport themselves in government schools by supporting a peculiar melange of patriotism and religion is tantamount to insisting on a perfect arrangement of deck chairs while the Ship Of State continues to slide slowly under the ocean waves.
You can bet there is much merriment and knee slapping among the Fabian Socialist Left in tofu-filled back rooms everywhere over the notion that conservative Christian Patriots will insist on reciting an oath intrinsically destructive to their primary philosophy as long as it contains the phrase "under God"
Further, the notion that popular passions of the moment embodied in a petition "by the overwhelming vast majority" of citizens can overturn a fundamentally sound court ruling in itself works extreme violence on basic principles of Constitutional rule and equal representation under law.
There must be some way for the Conservative Right to learn and understand the principles underlying their philosophy as well as the left understands both Conservative Philosophy and their own Fabian Socialist world view.
Otherwise we will fall into a bottomless abyss of insanity.
The path out of this wilderness is to develop a complete understanding of the orginal Constitution and the supporting documents,learn,analyze and repeal the grevious injuries inflicted on the orginal principles under the Lincoln, Wilson and Roosevelt Administrations and restore the checks and balances orginally devised so they may work as intended.
This will of necessity be difficult, but it must be done and done correctly otherwise America will metamorphosize into some unrecognizable Tyrannical State.