the near future, the Supreme Court, minus the
opinionated, undisciplined, and noisy Antonin
Scalia, will hear oral arguments regarding what
is being called "The Newdow Case". Michael Newdow
brought suit on behalf of his young daughter,
stating that the school was violating her first
amendment rights by subjecting her to a state-sponsored
prayer in school. The court will consider two
elements of the case; first, if Newdow had standing
to bring suit (he is the father, but divorced
from the mother and does not have custody) and
if the Ninth Circuit was correct in ruling in
did Newdow do it? In his own words: "One
Nation under God" in our Pledge of Allegiance
is infuriating to me - as much as 'one Nation
under white people,' 'one Nation under Jesus,'
or 'one Nation under no god' would be. We are
a nation of laws - to be applied equally for every
citizen. That a religious belief - the one category
of belief that is specifically forbidden by the
Constitution - has been inserted by the government
into the Nation's Pledge is offensive, unconscionable,
unconstitutional and wrong. Since no one else
has righted that wrong, I'm doing it. To end the
offense. To strengthen the Constitution."
case has gathered a lot of attention, and of course,
the right wing spin machine is hurling disinformation
as far as its little fax machines and email routers
can toss it. So let's cover a little bit of ground
the Ninth did not "ban the pledge of allegiance."
It merely stated that the pledge could not include
the words "under God" as that was a specific intermingling
of church and state.
does the pledge reflect the views of the Founders.
Indeed, the little prayer wasn't added until 1954,
when the country made the mistake of electing
both a Republican President and GOP majorities
in both houses. At a time when the country was
coming to grips with a second nuclear power in
the world and a massive change in the world, Republicans
decided this was a good time to force everyone
to pray to their particular little God.
that sounds disrespectful, it stems from the fact
that I have no more use for coercive obeisance
to any deity than I do for such obeisance to the
flag itself. I regard such as the province of
vile little banana republics run by insecure but
vicious little cabals that need to see the masses
all lined up and chanting the same slogans. In
the land which invented the notion of individual
sovereignty, it always struck me as a grotesque
betrayal of the very principles upon which America
was formed. Try to imagine the looks on the faces
of the founders such as Madison, Jefferson, and
Adams, as little kids are told to line up, perform
identical gestures, and recite a silly little
poem to the country.
put the whole pledge thing in perspective, the
pledge was originally formulated by an avowed
socialist who thought that the exercise would
help brainwash the masses into coordinated socialistic
societies. I'm serious. You can look it up. He
particularly wanted the children so inculcated,
and envisioned the children standing all in a
row, right arms outward and up at about a 45 degree
angle, hands extended with palms down. That salute
was changed to the hand over the heart in the
late thirties when the original salute developed
some unsavory connotations. Unfortunately, the
notion of coerced obeisance to state emblems didn't
die with it.
of the things the right wing spin machine loves
to do is assure everyone that America is a "Christian
nation." America never was, and hopefully it never
will be. Christian nations have a way of causing
the deaths of millions who aren't Christian, or
even worse, aren't the right SORT of Christian.
need only look at the amazing nonsense from the
religious right about Creationism, and the purblind
reactions against homosexuality, much biological
science, and history, to get a pretty good notion
that if this cabal ever succeeds in stealing America
from the people, we will see a country that is
morally, intellectually and scientifically crippled,
one trapped in the dead hand of theology as badly
as much of the middle east has been for 1400 years,
or Europe in the days when rival popes and then
rival sects battled for supremacy. Pope Innocent
III and the Cromwells aren't exactly glittering
examples of the virtues of political Christian
regimes, and few Europeans remember them with
many of the founders were Christian, they knew
well the sordid and bloody history of Christian
governments in Europe, and resolved not to let
America fall into the same morass. That is why
there is no mention of God or Jesus in the constitution.
That is why the Constitution forbids Congress
(and by extension, all inferior government bodies)
from involving themselves in an establishment
of religion. That is why the only other mention
the Constitution makes of religion is to ban any
form of religious test for any office seeker or
person in a position of public trust.
the Constitution forbids even ASKING if a job
seeker is Christian, that should be a pretty solid
hint that the Founders did not want the government
giving special treatment to Christians - or any
other religious faith.
oaths for all offices must include "or affirm"
to accommodate those who do not believe in swearing
to God, or who don't believe in a God to swear
claim that Christianity, promoted by the government,
will enhance public morality, is utter hogwash.
In fact, a better description might be that it
strongly resembles the type of substances that
get washed off of that hog.
Constitution makes it very, very simple. People
are free to worship - or not worship - as they
damned well please. No man can EVER go to jail
for being a member of the wrong church, or for
such asinine "crimes" such as heresy, blasphemy,
man can ever be taxed to support someone else's
church. If Putsch pulls off his scheme to put
public funds into church charities and schools,
you should consider it your patriotic duty to
stop paying taxes until this is remedied. Jefferson's
promise to us all was that we would never be taxed
on behalf of any church. Ever.
lot of right wingers are trying to claim that
"liberals" (the term right wingers use for ordinary
Americans who believe in the Constitution) are
trying to destroy Christianity, or are at least
"anti-Christian". What makes them anti-Christian
is that they don't allow "faith-based organizations,
not specifically Christian" to be supported by
tax dollars or granted special priviledges. That's
right, folks: they simultaneously argue that they
aren't trying to promote Christianity, but all
faiths, and in the next breath, condemn those
who oppose them as "anti-Christian."
intellectual dishonesty of such apologetics is
appalling under the best of circumstances. With
this mad rush to establish a new theocracy in
America, it's downright frightening.
have a dangerous outlaw regime that is striving
mightily to tear down the wall of separation that
Thomas Jefferson considered the most vital element
in a healthy society.
you really love America, if you want this country
to remain something more than a backward morass
of religious gobbledegook and repulsive "public
morality" laws, then hope that Newdow prevails
in the Supreme Court.
then hope that free people can prevail, and rid
America of this neo-fascist regime that want to
use our necks as their prayer mats.
Posted: January 20, 2004