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June 30, 2002
Threat Against the Pledge
"There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right in America."

-- William J. Clinton

Continued from Front Page:
Fourth Of July Marks American Independence & Loss of Pledge of Alligence in Schools

What we have come to know as the pledge to the flag, was originally written by socialist editor and clergyman Francis Bellamy in 1892. The original words are: "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands; one nation indivisible, with liberty and Justice for all." On June 14, 1924, Flag Day, the words "the flag of the United States of America" are substituted for "my Flag." In 1942, the Government officially recognized the Pledge to the Flag. Religious leaders lobbied lawmakers to insert the words "under God" into the pledge in 1954. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, fearing an atomic war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, joined the lobbyist requesting changes be made to the pledge. Congress submitted to Eisenhower's wishes and the Pledge was revised to what we now know it to be. "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."


What we have come to know as the pledge to the flag, was originally written by socialist editor and clergyman Francis Bellamy in 1892.  The original words are: "I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands; one nation indivisible, with liberty and Justice for all." On June 14, 1924, Flag Day, the words "the flag of the United States of America" are substituted for "my Flag." In 1942, the Government officially recognized the Pledge to the Flag. Religious leaders lobbied lawmakers to insert the words "under God" into the pledge in 1954. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, fearing an atomic war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, joined the lobbyist requesting changes be made to the pledge. Congress submitted to Eisenhower's wishes and the Pledge was revised to what we now know it to be. "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

So how is it that suddenly the "Pledge" is being threatened? A man named. Michael Newdow, a Sacramento, California, physician with a law degree  and an atheist whose daughter attends public school in California, brought the lawsuit against the United States, the U.S. Congress, California, two school districts and its officials.  On Wednesday, June 26, 2002, an appeals court panel in San Francisco, California, with a two to one vote, ruled  that the phrase "under God" amounts to a government endorsement of religion. 

This is America, the good doctor has a right not only to his opinion, but to defend it within our courts. Of course, sometimes we have to stop and think about the dilemma we are causing. If this decision is upheld in a higher court, does that mean our legal tender will become illegal? After all, does our money not say "In God We Trust?" 

I am not a religious person. I believe in God, I believe in life after death, I believe in miracles, but I do not believe in religion. It is my belief that religion is a manmade concept that separates people just as ethnic backgrounds, class, and prejudice. That is my belief, my opinion. Am I offended by people belonging to an organized religion? No. This is America, my rights assure me to be allowed my opinion and beliefs, not to infringe on other's opinions or beliefs unless they are violating the law or endangering someone else. In other words, I am not going to take on the rest of America to make them stop organized religion, I just 'do my own thing.' Mr. Newdow has the right to his belief, but his actions are now infringing on the rights of others. He has other options, he could send his child to a private school that does not Pledge, or conduct a home schooling for his daughter. 

This issue seems like a topic for referendum rather than court decision. Mr. Newdow has bad timing with his lawsuit, but then again; publicity no matter how you obtain it, is all some people thrive to obtain.

Issues has chosen this as the topic of this months debate. Please write us, giving us your view on removing the Pledge from American schools.




issuesny@hotmail.com

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Page Last Updated: 6/30/2002
C 2002 L Munro


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