Friday, March 26, 2004

What it Says

Amendment 1. Proposed September 25, 1789; ratified December 15, 1791.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; ...

If Congress passes a law that says we are a nation "under God" then Congress has taken sides in the discussion as to whether or not there is a God. To require a group of school children to then affirm Congress' decision is forcing a religious concept on those children. It seems pretty clear to me.

If the Supreme Court says, "Dr. Newdow, sit down. You're incredibly silly for being here." I would probably agree with them. I think it's an incredible waste of effort and resources. In fairness though, I say that about a lot of issues with which I disagree. Dr. Newdow doesn't need to get your permission or mine to exercise his constitutional rights. It bothered him and he pursued it at his own expense and expertise all the way to the Supreme Court. That's his right. I still disagree with him on the importance, but then I'm a White, Protestant Christian, traditionally raised, so there is no doubt in my mind that the God being invoked is mine. I can afford to be cavalier about it.

As silly as I think Dr. Newdow is though, I have to say that I think he's absolutely right. I also think he's going to lose. Despite what the Constitution says, it means what five of nine justices says it means.

I predict the Supreme Court will allow under God to remain in the Pledge. Millions of kids will continue pledging their little hearts away, never giving any thought to what they're saying, just as they have for the past 100 years. I would like to propose some additional wording to the pledge. They can be tacked onto the end. Here's my proposed sentence: "And I promise to vote in each and all elections."

It would give it a lot more punch than invoking an indifferent God who really doesn't take sides in national disputes.

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