Sunday, November 21, 2010

Court Upheld "God" in Pledge at Schools

Last week, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in New Hampshire's public schools. In 2007, the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit on behalf of two parents — proclaiming to be atheist and agnostic — whose three children were attending public school. 

The group challenged the New Hampshire School Patriot Act which requires that the state's public schools authorize a period during the school day for students to voluntarily participate in the recitation of the national pledge. The act allows students who choose not to participate to stand silently or remain seated and to respect the rights of those pupils electing to participate. FFRF argues that the schools' pledge practices are religious because the pledge itself is a religious exercise in that it uses the phrase "under God."

Chief Judge Sandra Lea Lynch wrote in the opinion that by design, the primary effect of the New Hampshire Act is not the advancement of religion, but the advancement of patriotism. Lynch added, "It takes more than the presence of words with religious content to have the effect of advancing religion, let alone to do so as a primary effect. The Pledge and the phrase "under God" are not themselves prayers, nor are they readings from or recitations of a sacred text of a religion. Here, the words "under God" appear in a pledge to a flag — itself a secular exercise, accompanied by no other religious language or symbolism." [, FotF's Pastor's Weekly Briefing]


Chris Meirose said...

I mistakenly deleted a comment rather than approving it. You'll see it below (I retrieved it from email, but can't restore it via Blogger apparently).

Spherical has left a new comment on your post "Court Upheld "God" in Pledge at Schools":

Oddly enough, I find the fact that people so vehmently oppose anything that smacks of GOD a more compelling arguement for hte existence of GOD than two words in our pledge.

Do they so oppose the Santa in the store window as well, for he does not exist either!

OBdaDA said...

SaNta doesn'T maKe theM uNcoMforTabLe wiTh theiR LusT aNd GreeD (i.e. SIN)

{{hoW oDD tO see a cLaSSrOOm wiThouT aNy KiDs oF CoLoR!--i'M jusT SaYiN' }}