Archive for June 26th, 2002
for those of you who might not read or watch the news, a federal circuit court here in san francisco today declared the pledge of allegiance unconstitutional in particular cases, abridging the freedom of religion and the seperation of church and state. the judge’s decision is here (in PDF format).
personally i am for this decision. it always struck me as odd that for a country that espoused religious freedom, we should daily as children pledge allegiance to one nation *under God*. i still remember not saying that part as a kid. well, now i know a bit of the history of the pledge. here it is:
1892, original written by francis bellamy, a minister: “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands; one nation indivisible, with liberty and Justice for all.”
1924 it is edited: “the flag of the United States of America” are substituted for “my Flag.”
1942: our government officially recognizes the pledge.
1954: congress, urged by eisenhower, adds “under God”. the pledge in its current form now reads: “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.”
part of the reason “under God” was added to the pledge was the insanity surrounding the red scare and the fear that atheistic communists would take over the country. this is a ridiculous notion now, but an understandable if somewhat unforgivable apprehension at the time.
how hard would it be to remove the disputed “under God” bit -a sentiment not even included by the original author- and leave it at it’s pre-1954 state? it would not be hard. however the forces of “good” are already ramping up to fight this