Massachusetts court rules that Pledge of Allegiance’s use of “God” doesn’t discriminate against atheists

In the U.S., many school classrooms, particularly those harboring younger kids, recite the Pledge of Allegiance, an official government “creed,” every morning. (I did this for many years.) You’re supposed to stand, face the flag, and put your hand over your heart, and say the words in the box below.

The pledge has gone through a lot of changes, including the addition of the word “God” in 1954 to distinguish our proudly religious nation from the Godless Communists during the Cold War.  Here, from Wikipedia, are its various incarnations:

Screen shot 2014-05-09 at 2.17.55 PM

Two series of court rulings have established some ground rules. First, no child can be forced to recite the Pledge, or stand and salute the flag. (That’s the only good thing the Jehovah’s Witnesses ever did.) Second, the words “under God” have been repeatedly affirmed to be Constitutional, though of course they’re not. And now the highest court in Massachusetts has buttressed the latter stand, ruling that the use of “under God” does not constitute discrimination against atheists.

As CBS Boston reports:

The highest court in Massachusetts ruled Friday that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools does not discriminate against atheists.

The Supreme Judicial Court said the words “under God” in the pledge reflect a patriotic practice, not a religious one.

“We hold that the recitation of the pledge, which is entirely voluntary, violates neither the Constitution nor the statute,” Chief Justice Roderick Ireland wrote, later adding “it is not a litmus test for defining who is or is not patriotic.”

“Although the words “under God” undeniably have a religious tinge, courts that have considered the history of the pledge and the presence of those words have consistently concluded that the pledge, notwithstanding its reference to God, is a fundamentally patriotic exercise, not a religious one.”

An atheist family from Acton sued in 2010 claiming that the daily recitation of the pledge in classrooms violated their three children’s constitutional rights.

The family, who are not identified in the suit, claimed the ruling insinuates that nonbelievers are less patriotic.

You can see the court’s ruling here I’m not sure about the lower-court’s ruling about the insinuation of nonpatriotism (the family had appealed), but that certainly was the case when I was a kid. Anybody who refused to stand and recite the Pledge would, at least in my classes, have been completely ostracized. But now that the right to not recite the pledge is protected by the courts, the real reason “God” should go is because it violates the First Amendment, just as the words “In God We Trust” do on our currency. (That was added in 1957, and every year at its annual meeting, the Freedom from Religion Foundation auctions off “clean money”: godless bills made before 1957.) I certainly don’t trust in God!

Of course now that courts are repeatedly affirming that the invocation of God in public forums isn’t really religion, but merely a “historical tradition,” there’s not a prayer of getting this stuff out of the Pledge or off the currency. The long-term plan of the religious Right, now supported by the Supreme Court, is to establish Christianity as a de facto official religion of the U.S. We have to fight this whenever we see it, even if the issue is as small as a cross on a courthouse lawn.  For if anything is a slippery slope, it’s the creeping incursion of religion into American public life.

h/t: Matt

77 Comments

  1. Posted May 9, 2014 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    One salubrious outcome of being raised in a Mennonite church was that we never said the Pledge or sang the National Anthem. Still don’t. [Is that the NSA at our door?]

  2. bpuharic
    Posted May 9, 2014 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    In high school during the Vietnam war I refused to say the pledge during the Pentagon Papers incident when Nixon censored the NY Times. The teacher threatened to have me expelled. Fortunately the SCOTUS resolved this in favor of freedom of the press before we had to find out if she was serious…

    • tomh
      Posted May 9, 2014 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      I guess it all depended where you were, or maybe who the teachers were. In high school in NY in the early sixties, I never stood up or recited the Pledge (which we only seemed to recite in the auditorium, in large groups), and no one ever spoke to me about it or seemed to care. A few others did the same.

  3. Diana MacPherson
    Posted May 9, 2014 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Historical tradition! Why not bring back witch burnings too since they were part of life in historical Salem.

    Honestly, I feel bad for those atheist kids that have to recite that. I had to say the Lord’s Prayer as a kid and I just hated it. I don’t do well being thought controlled. I never would have survived a totalitarian regime. I’d snap, reveal myself & get shot.

    • bpuharic
      Posted May 9, 2014 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      I never understood why conservatives think the constitution means what it says except when they get to modify the 1st amendment with ‘historical tradition’.

      The 1st doesn’t say that. But they say religion is more important than the constitution

  4. Posted May 9, 2014 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    But now that the right to not recite the pledge is protected by the courts

    -Technically, it was protected since before you were born:

    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/319/624

    This decision shows the immense power a Chief Justice can have on the outcome of a decision: Stone was the only dissenter in Minersville School District v. Gobitis!

  5. Posted May 9, 2014 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never had any trouble leaving out the under god stuff. Full disclosure: I learned the pledge before the sky fairy phrase was added!

  6. Posted May 9, 2014 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Note: kids are still getting suspended for not standing for the Pledge; this happened in Texas recently:

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/05/09/teen-suspended-for-refusing-to-recite-pledge-allegiance/

    • Karst
      Posted May 9, 2014 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Suspending the kid for not standing for the pledge is liable to get the school in serious trouble. If the family gets lawyers and pursues this, they could get the suspension removed from the record and win a big settlement and lawyer’s fees. Supreme Court precedents are clear on the unconstitutionality of the school’s actions. Refusing to stand and recite the pledge is not itself disruptive, so long as the student is not actively interfering with the observance by others.

      Many school districts have long recognized this, and have instituted policies that allow students to opt out in ways that prevent problems in the first place.

      • bpuharic
        Posted May 9, 2014 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        Since when do Christians care about the constitution?

      • Posted May 9, 2014 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        I’m not so sure. Reciting and standing are different things. I, for one, am confident the school can get away on this (ridiculous) technicality.

    • Posted May 9, 2014 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      I love the woman quoted in the article who says he should be forced to stand for the pledge because he has freedom in this country. The irony is almost too much to bear.

      • BilBy
        Posted May 9, 2014 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

        It’s getting so wearing to see the same damn comments under article like that: “if he/she doesn’t like ‘it’ they are welcome to leave the country/state”. Jebus…

  7. Barry Lyons
    Posted May 9, 2014 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    How the hell does “under god” represent a
    “patriotic” stance?

    • Posted May 9, 2014 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      Because it differentiates us from the godless commies in the USSR…or at least that was the thought process which led to it.

  8. Greg Esres
    Posted May 9, 2014 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    What I don’t understand is why conservatives think that reciting the pledge has any utility at all. A local gun club that I thought about joining (just to have a place where I can shoot a home defense shotgun) requires a loyalty oath before they’ll let you join. That was enough to turn me off the idea. Such a stupid thing.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted May 9, 2014 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      Loyalty oath to the US?

  9. Posted May 9, 2014 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Never mind the superstitious nonsense of declaring fealty to an imaginary ghoul; I have serious problems pledging allegiance to a piece of fabric.

    Loyalty oaths of any form are unconscionable, but about the only one I could personally make in good conscience would be to the Constitution. An abbreviated version of the Presidential oath of office would perhaps be tolerated:

    I do solemnly affirm that I will, to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

    b&

    • Posted May 9, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. Pledging allegiance to a piece of cloth never made any sense to me at all.

      • still learning
        Posted May 9, 2014 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

        And it seems like that piece of cloth gets more attention than the citizens it represents.

      • abrotherhoodofman
        Posted May 9, 2014 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        It ranks right up there with giving an award to a statue.

        • HaggisForBrains
          Posted May 10, 2014 at 3:38 am | Permalink

          +1

        • Posted May 12, 2014 at 9:30 am | Permalink

          In fact, aren’t there religious groups who oppose the PofA because they think it is idoltary?

          • Posted May 12, 2014 at 10:00 am | Permalink

            That’s right. Also, it was the anabaptists of the 1500’s who basically demanded the separation of church and state because they did not want the state to dictate how they should practice their beliefs, primarily infant baptism and church/state sponsored violence.

    • Kevin
      Posted May 9, 2014 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. There is no escaping the feeling that I am being forced to worship polyester fabric, rather than the principles of democracy described in the constitution.

    • Diane G.
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 12:07 am | Permalink

      Agreed. Have always felt this way; the pledge has always struck me as a secular religious rite. (Not even so secular, anymore.)

  10. Pete
    Posted May 9, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Sadly, this week’s Greece v Galloway decision in the SCOTU appears to be consistent with this Massachusetts decision. It may have been cited as precedent in the ruling.

  11. Posted May 9, 2014 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    The pledge always seemed odd from the perspective of someone born elsewhere (in NZ we do not have an equivalent). It seems to an outsider to be surprisingly Orwellian for a free country, so much so that I never thought to question the “under God” part. It seems to me to be the least of its problems.

  12. Stephen Barnard
    Posted May 9, 2014 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Present to 2020: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, with liberty and justice for all nonheathens.

    • Stephen Barnard
      Posted May 9, 2014 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      sub

    • Posted May 9, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      2025: I profess my faith to the all-seeing eye of God of the United States of Jesusstan, and to the theocracy for which it stands, one nation under our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, with retribution and smiting for all free thinkers.

  13. Gordon Hill
    Posted May 9, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    I don’t remember posting this here previously, hence my apology if I have. My solution in the meantime is to substitute “eating cod’, “living mod”, “toting hod”, “Calvin Hobbs”, “without mobs”, “hear the sobs”… or something else. Since everyone is on auto-pilot, no one notices.

    • Latverian Diplomat
      Posted May 9, 2014 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      I like “under Zeus”. If it has to be a data I don’t believe in, it’s gonna be somebody more interesting than Yahweh.

      • Latverian Diplomat
        Posted May 9, 2014 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        Not sure how “deity” became “data”. They’re practically opposites! Must be Friday.

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted May 9, 2014 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

          Blame Zeus!

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted May 9, 2014 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      There are various parody versions online, and it is fun to look for them. One is for mathematicians:

      “I pledge my support for the semiautonomous, evolving, complex dynamical network known as the United States of America and for those principles that maximize the degrees of freedom and independence of its human nodes.”

      • NAY
        Posted May 11, 2014 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        I like it! I think I’ll keep it!
        Having been born after WWII, I said the pledge in elementary school, including the under god part, until we got into American History and I figured out that under god shouldn’t be there-so I stopped saying “under god”. A couple weeks later, I figured out that the whole pledge was a loyalty oath that was un-American -so I stopped saying it altogether and stopped putting my hand over my heart. The kid next to me gave me a couple of sideways glances, but didn’t squeal. I was lucky that my last name starting with “Y” put me in the back row, but this is probably the best solution for kids still in school: stand when the teacher says to stand, but ignore the pledge part. That way, you demonstrate your membership in the class and willingness to participate, but opt out of unconstitutional activities without being disruptive.

        • Diane G.
          Posted May 11, 2014 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

          My generally preferred strategy as well. Especially for one’s children; school social circles are already tough enough…

    • Posted May 9, 2014 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      One of my friends went years thinking the correct pledge was to the “Republic for Richard Stands.”

      • Posted May 9, 2014 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        Reminds me of a certain bear, named, “Gladly,” who always stared at his nose….

        b&

        >

        • HaggisForBrains
          Posted May 10, 2014 at 3:41 am | Permalink

          And Olive, the other reindeer.

  14. James
    Posted May 9, 2014 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    the pledge, notwithstanding its reference to God, is a fundamentally patriotic exercise, not a religious one.

    And requiring people to walk into church and sit through the service is a fundamentally physical exercise, but it’s still religious … just like referring to a god in the pledge is.

  15. noncarborundum
    Posted May 9, 2014 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    The court needs to learn some history. Far from being a patriotic expression bearing a mere “religious tinge”, the phrase “under God” had an explicitly religious motivation. Here’s what Eisenhower is reported to have said when he signed the bill that added the phrase to the Pledge:

    From this day forward, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural school house, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty…. In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource, in peace or in war.

    “Tinge” indeed.

  16. Posted May 9, 2014 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    I grew up in northern Virginia, so the Plejalleejunce was mandatory in elementary school every morning and for assemblies. Nobody ever explained who Richard Stands is, or why the nation is invisible.

    • Posted May 9, 2014 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      I didn’t know Richard Stands was that well known.

      • Diane G.
        Posted May 10, 2014 at 12:12 am | Permalink

        I’d be surprised if there are many who haven’t heard it. ;)

    • Timothy Hughbanks
      Posted May 9, 2014 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

      That is, for all intensive purposes, the way we read it too.

  17. Diana MacPherson
    Posted May 9, 2014 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    :) it is funny but also terrifying. Like a roller coaster.

  18. Posted May 9, 2014 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    All these incremental little steps. No big deal.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_Can't_Happen_Here

  19. Latverian Diplomat
    Posted May 9, 2014 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    One thing about the pledge, whatever the merits or faults of having such a thing, it was originally intended partly as a reminder of exactly who won the Civil War, “one nation indivisible” was a key phrase.

    I think it’s no accident, given the correlation of “Southern pride” with ostentatious and oppressive religiosity, that “under God” was inserted in such a way that “one nation indivisible” doesn’t scan and doesn’t register the way it used to. For them, it was a twofer.

    • Diane G.
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 12:13 am | Permalink

      Interesting point!

  20. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted May 9, 2014 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    The Fox News web site has reported today that a student in Texas was given a 2 day suspension for refusing to stand to say the pledge. I just stumbled upon a link to it. Really. Why are you all looking at me like that?

  21. Jeffery
    Posted May 9, 2014 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Oh, no- now they’re going to start screaming that JAC is “UnAmerican”, too!

  22. zackoz
    Posted May 9, 2014 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    “The Supreme Judicial Court said the words “under God” in the pledge reflect a patriotic practice, not a religious one.”

    So God is an American?

    Riiight – always suspected that.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      David Bowie told me that years ago! :)

  23. Posted May 9, 2014 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    BULL PUCKY!

    These people need to understand that the insistence of Christians to PRAY out LOUD in publicly funded venues…is just FINE!
    Of course, it’s in conflict with any possible interpretion of the first amendment! And it’s definitive of the policies of that committee.

    TO HELL with other religions!

    TO HELL with anyone who objects to having religion in publicly-funded venues….and to HELL with those who might possibly sympathise with others in the field of caring for exotic animals.

    We have the same agenda…..ubt 99% of them HATE me for being an atheist.

    VERY CHRISTIAN of them, isn’t it? Of course, it’s definitive of the hate-filled right-wing or conservative Muslim organization that they add ”vital signs” to our legacies.

  24. infiniteimprobabilit
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 12:52 am | Permalink

    I regard patriotism (and its more egregious manifestations like saluting flags and loyalty oaths) with as much deep suspicion and distaste as I do religion. It all seems very Hitler Youth to me and I find it bizarre and disconcerting that a nation that claims to be free should feel it necessary to indulge in it. All credit to the JWs for standing against it (even if they did so for laughably misguided motives).

    (I guess I was fortunate that in my schools in England and New Zealand we never did such stuff, or I would have been in trouble).

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      I wonder sometimes if nationalism is on the decline in many Western societies. When you live through history, it’s hard to see the overall trends.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      I wonder sometimes if nationalism is on the decline in many Western societies. When you live through history, it’s hard to see the overall trends.

      • infiniteimprobabilit
        Posted May 10, 2014 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

        I do hope it is on the decline (though spasms of nationalism keep recurring at times like a relapse like a relapse of an old disease).

        I drove through the Alps last year from France to Italy to Switzerland – kept crossing borders, often at the top of passes – every border had its customs posts and every customs post was closed and deserted. There’s nothing gladdens my heart so much as the sight of a piece of officialdom that’s shut up shop and gone away.

  25. Lurker111
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    I disagree with the court’s decision, but I’m glad it went this way _at this time_. With the midterm elections coming up and the razor-thin situation in the Senate, a decision against the pledge might just have been the impetus to get that last RWNJ out there to the polls.

    I’m looking at the long run here. The short term looks crappy.

  26. Posted May 10, 2014 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    If religious nonsense at public meetings, in pledges, etc is only “ceremonial”, “patriotic” or “tradition”, then it means that the religious nonsense is meaningless to theists. One wonders why if this religious nonsense doesn’t mean what it says, why theists insist on having it said/done? If it is truly not religious, then theists should not miss it if it is not done.

  27. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    You’re supposed to stand, face the flag,

    They never show that bit in the stock footage of American classrooms.
    Why on earth do you have flags in your class rooms? Are people afraid that the kids are going to forget which country they’re in, and take a wrong turn when walking home and end up in Moscow?
    No, seriously. Why on earth do you need a flag in the classroom? I can’t recall ever seeing a Union Flag in a British school, let alone a classroom. Not once. Nor on a local government building, though I can’t say I’ve ever had reason to notice (except at the wife & step-daughter’s citizenship ceremony, when they did take a pledge on the basis of which they could be hung in time of war. One-time-only pledge, of course.)

    • Posted May 10, 2014 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

      Why on earth do you have flags in your class rooms?

      You know how dogs piss on everything in sight so as to claim it as their personal property?

      Same thing.

      b&

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted May 10, 2014 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        Ahem, *male* dogs.🐕

      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted May 10, 2014 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        So … Americans piss on every flag? Or only their own? And … isn’t their something in federal (i.e. not your own State’s) law requiring [blah] treatmant of the flag and [blah] rituals about the flag.
        Why do you bother with a flag in [state-funded] premises. Like schools.
        Failure to communicate.

        • Posted May 10, 2014 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

          That is one hell of a good question, inspector, and one that has never occurred to me before. The pledge was not a ritual when I was in k-12 (graduated ’69), and I recall the state and federal flags standing on the stage platform in the gym but not in any classroom — which does not mean they were not there, only that if they were, they apparently were less meaningful to me than the chalkboards they’d have been placed next to — I remember those, and spent time standing close, nose touching while centered in a circle Mr. Backus drew with chalk.

          Back to your question: Why a flag in state-funded school premises? Public education began in the US in the 1840’s, and a quick search says flag display began with it.

          Maybe when a country is busy implementing Manifest Destiny (stealing a continent from both indigenous inhabitants and a large country on your southern border) its citizens develop token fetish as a means of keeping their energy level in a constant charging state. After a few decades you have an unquestioned tradition. And a quick and easy way for authority to impose its will. For all the ‘home of the free’ rhetoric in this country, I’ve noticed there is at least as much obedience streak as independent spirit.

          There is undoubtedly an actual answer available out there regarding the excellent flag query, and with luck a reader will swiftly supply it. Until then, there is this:http://www.pbs.org/kcet/publicschool/evolving_classroom/flags.html

          • gravelinspector-Aidan
            Posted May 13, 2014 at 2:08 am | Permalink

            Why a flag in state-funded school premises? Public education began in the US in the 1840′s, and a quick search says flag display began with it.
            Maybe when a country is busy implementing Manifest Destiny (stealing a continent from both indigenous inhabitants and a large country on your southern border) its citizens develop token fetish as a means of keeping their energy level in a constant charging state.

            Which begs the differential diagnosis : at around the same time Britain was starting state-required schooling, and actively engaged in wars of colonial theft and massacre. So why didn’t the same flag habit develop in Britain. Or, why did it disappear before about 1970, while apparently strengthening in the US?

  28. Hayden
    Posted May 10, 2014 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    “In God We Trust” has been on US coinage since 1864. It was added to paper money in 1957. Doesn’t make it any more right, but it’s important to have the facts straight.

    • Posted May 10, 2014 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      Do you understand that by “currency”, I meant “paper money” as opposed to “coinage.”

      I had my facts straight and you are rude. Do you have any idea how a statement like “it’s important to have the facts straight” comes off on the internet?

      I guess you don’t.

  29. Posted May 10, 2014 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    In resisting the dismantling of the the wall of separation that Jefferson promised, we have to pick our battles carefully. We need to prioritize which violations are the most important to address and which can be held in abeyance.

    For example the 1954 alteration of the Allegiance Pledge is not as egregious as prohibiting atheists from seeking public office but fighting for the removal of the word, God, from the Pledge not only incites the far right to firmly resist the edit but to fight for a return to theistic governance all the more zealously. Efforts to repeal restrictions against atheists running for office is unlikely to foster as fervent a reaction.

    • tomh
      Posted May 10, 2014 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      On the other hand, since restrictions against atheists running for office are unenforceable at any level, it seems like sort of an unnecessary battle to choose.

  30. Chris
    Posted May 11, 2014 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    As a Brit I find this weird. I don’t think that I’ve ever pledged anything to the state, certainly not at a public institution. The nearest that I can think of was the Scout promise which mentioned God and the Queen. The national anthem being played at the end of things (theatre, daily BBC tv schedule, etc) has fallen by the way side and usually only comes out on special occasions.

    Maybe this is why we think that many Americans seem inordinately pushy about the greatness of their home nation.

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted May 13, 2014 at 2:29 am | Permalink

      As a Brit I find this weird.

      You and me both.

      I don’t think that I’ve ever pledged anything to the state, certainly not at a public institution.

      I enjoyed going to my wife and step-daughter’s Citizenship ceremony. which had a perfectly secular pledge, since IIRC there were probably Xtians ; people wearing Hindu tilaka on their foreheads ; turbans and therefore probably Sikhs ; salwar kameez and niqabs therefore probably Muslim …

      The national anthem being played at the end of things (theatre, daily BBC tv schedule, etc) has fallen by the way side and usually only comes out on special occasions.

      Not so occasionally. I was driving back from my fossicking last night and the close down of Radio 4 is still accompanied by over a minute of national anthem filling between the tail end of the Shipping Forecast and the pips.
      I do normally turn it off though. Of course. One wouldn’t want to be seen to be a nationalist, would one?

  31. Jarle Georg Tveitan
    Posted May 14, 2014 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    It begins:

    http://www.opposingviews.com/i/religion/christianity/virginia-lawmaker-doesnt-want-non-christian-prayers-public-meetings

    The supreme court ruling on prayer has emboldened the christian right. I think we will be seeing more and more of this.


2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. […] It’s been in the papers, but here’s what Jerry Coyne says on Why Evolution Is True:Massachusetts court rules that Pledge of Allegiance’s use of “God” doesn’t discriminate agai…. […]

  2. […] In the U.S., many school classrooms, particularly those harboring younger kids, recite the Pledge of Allegiance, an official government “creed,” every morning. (I did this for many years.) You’re supposed to stand, face the flag, and put your hand over your heart, and say the words in the box below. The pledge has gone through a lot of changes, including the addition of the word “God” in 1954 to distinguish our proudly religious nation from the Godless Communists during the Cold War. [Read more] […]

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