Pledge ruling is ridiculous

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 27, 2002

The president’s reaction was that this ruling was "ridiculous." That’s what a White House spokesman had to say Wednesday about a federal

appeals court ruling that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in schools is

unconstitutional. The ruling hinges on two words, "under God," and the

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appeals court ruling says those words violate the required separation of

church and state.

If the ruling holds, school children in nine Western states will no longer be

able to recite the pledge as part of their school day.

And that’s just the beginning … our motto "In God We Trust" could be called

into question, as could the singing of "God Bless America" at public events

and the swearing of the "so help me God" oath in courtrooms across America.

We, too, think this ruling is ridiculous.

As staunch defenders of the First Amendment, we strongly advocate separation

of church and state and Americans’ rights to speak as the choose. And we

object to any being forced to swear and oath or allegiance they do not


But we do not believe the Pledge of Allegiance is an inherently

unconstitutional pledge. Nor do we believe having school children recite that

pledge inherently infringes on their rights.

The reality is our country was founded by religious men, and women, who came

to America seeking the freedom to worship as they pleased. They founded

America as a nation under "God" and they openly recognized the higher power

in all they did.

Why would we forsake that recognition now? Yes, we have the freedom to worship how – or if – we choose. And as

As Americans we know that no one can force us to recognize or worship any higher

power, whether by forcing us to adhere to one religion’s tenets or by forcing

us to swear an allegiance to any faith.

But we cannot ignore our history, nor can we ignore the fact that our country

is based on moral laws and rights, and that in creating our nation and the

Bill of Rights that governed it, our Founding Fathers drew on their faith and their belief that a higher power was at work in the world.

Much has changed in those 200-plus years. Ironically, it is the very freedom

to worship as "one nation under God" that created this country and the system

that ultimately led to a judicial challenge of the pledge of allegiance and,

ultimately, led to this ruling.

We wonder what our Founding Fathers would think; probably, that this ruling

is "ridiculous."  

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