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Passions in Poetry

Let us not offend... Yeah, right... well I'm offended!

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suthern
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0 posted 06-26-2002 03:46 PM       View Profile for suthern   Email suthern   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for suthern

From CNN Headline News

Pledge of Allegiance ruled unconstitutional
June 26, 2002 Posted: 3:04 PM EDT (1904 GMT)

SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- For the first time ever, a federal appeals court declared the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional Wednesday because of the words "under God" added by Congress in 1954.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the phrase amounts to a government endorsement of religion in violation of the Constitution's Establishment Clause, which requires a separation of church and state.

"A profession that we are a nation 'under God' is identical, for Establishment Clause purposes, to a profession that we are a nation 'under Jesus,' a nation 'under Vishnu,' a nation 'under Zeus,' or a nation 'under no god,' because none of these professions can be neutral with respect to religion," Judge Alfred T. Goodwin wrote for the three-judge panel.

The appeals said that when President Eisenhower signed the legislation inserting "under God" after the words "one nation," he wrote that "millions of our schoolchildren will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural schoolhouse, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty."

The court noted that the U.S. Supreme Court has said students cannot hold religious invocations at graduations and cannot be compelled to recite the pledge. But when the pledge is recited in a classroom, a student who objects is confronted with an "unacceptable choice between participating and protesting," the appeals court said.

"Although students cannot be forced to participate in recitation of the pledge, the school district is nonetheless conveying a message of state endorsement of a religious belief when it requires public school teachers to recite, and lead the recitation of, the current form of the pledge," the court said.

The case was brought by Michael A. Newdow, a Sacramento atheist who objected because his second-grade daughter was required to recite the pledge at the Elk Grove school district. A federal judge dismissed his lawsuit, but the 9th Circuit ordered that the case proceed to trial.

"I'm an American citizen. I don't like my rights infringed upon by my government," he said in an interview. Newdow called the pledge a "religious idea that certain people don't agree with."

The government had argued that the religious content of "one nation under God" is minimal.

But the appeals court said that an atheist or a holder of certain non-Judeo-Christian beliefs could see it as an attempt to "enforce a 'religious orthodoxy' of monotheism."

Janet Marie
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1 posted 06-26-2002 04:09 PM       View Profile for Janet Marie   Email Janet Marie   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Janet Marie

So....I assume then that this "Michael A. Newdow" is also going to find a new currency to spend, as our American money says "In God We Trust" on it. I suppose he will make the ultimate sacrifice for his rights and beliefs and no longer accept his paycheck.
I mean someone with his conviction would want to be totally Politically Correct wouldnt he?

The things that people with power wastes time and money on and ties up the judicial system with has always been offensive to me.

Sven
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2 posted 06-26-2002 04:21 PM       View Profile for Sven   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Sven

you know, when I heard about this on the news. . . I just couldn't believe it. . . I mean, what's next???

the Pledge of Alligence is something that's become a basic tenet of our delcaration of being Americans. . . it gives our highest promise that we will defend and protect everything that the flag stands for. . .

well. . . here. . . you read it. . .

I pledge alligence 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.

"under God. . ." which God??  You could argue semantics here. . . but, the term so vague that you would be agruing about it for days. . .

how does this enforce Monotheism?  simply because it says "under God"?  what if it said, "under the God and Goddess"?  would that be the same thing?  what if it did say "under Vishnu" or "under Zeus"?  is that "forced Monotheism?"  

some would say yes. . . others would have other things to say. . .

the Pledge is a pledge to the Flag of this country. . . it says that we give it our allegience to it and to everything that this country stands for. . . one nation, under God (whichever God you may choose or choose not to follow), indivisible (no matter what those divisions might be), with Liberty and Justice for all (for all. . . including those who would try to have us believe that they are all)

ok. . . I've said enough. . . this is going to the biggest thing in the News and on the minds and hearts of people (not just Americans) everywhere. . .

let's hear some more opinions. . . for both sides. . .

-----------------------------------------------------------

To the world, you may only be one person. But to one person, you may be the world.


[This message has been edited by Sven (06-26-2002 04:24 PM).]

Poet deVine
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3 posted 06-26-2002 04:38 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

What if the Government was Satanist and required you, as Christians, to say 'one nation, under Satan'????
Sven
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4 posted 06-26-2002 04:58 PM       View Profile for Sven   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Sven

now that's a good question!!!!

can't wait to see the answers. . .

---------------------------------------------------------------

To the world, you may only be one person. But to one person, you may be the world.

Brad
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5 posted 06-26-2002 06:26 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I don't really have a problem with 'under God'(and I smile when the same child who says under God followed by 'invisible'), and I don't think we should deny our history and our traditions, but in some ways I think this is the best thing for those who advocate religious activism.

It polarizes, it forces one to choose sides, and brings questions of private belief to the forefront of public service. I think they're irrelevant to public service or rather that private beliefs shouldn't be used as litmus test-- unfortunately, we now have every politician running to wrap themselves in God's cloak. So, what do you do if you're a good, hardworking public servant and an aetheist?

I'm of the mind that the term is so vague that most people don't give it a second thought in their daily lives and that's the way it should be.

Toad
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6 posted 06-26-2002 07:42 PM       View Profile for Toad   Email Toad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Toad


Iíve never really understood this particular ritual even before the ruling.

Iím not sure but Iíd take a wild guess that some people who recite them donít believe in them and will say the words but do as they please in any case. While the people that honestly believe in the sentiments behind the words donít really need to constantly chant them to be reminded.

The inclusion or exclusion of God is probably, as some have said, a minor point to most people, which may be why the case was rejected initially. The reason that judgement was overturned could be that it was a major point to some people who deserved a fair hearing. At the end of the day you either trust in God or the Justice System to reach the right decision or you change the one nation part to reflect the difference of opinions.

Thanks for the chance to read and reply.
Christopher
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7 posted 06-26-2002 09:10 PM       View Profile for Christopher   Email Christopher   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Christopher

Sharon - I'm going to be laughing for DAYS about that!!! ROFLMAO!!!

I'm kind of twisted on this one and will likely think about it more as the day goes by. On one side, i agree with brad that it's history, and to deny the religious factor (which, you have to admit, brought about as a catalyst a good portion of what has happened in the past) is to basically deny the entirety of our "upbringing" as a country.

On the other hand, it's almost like a declaration of values - implied, of course - that i can understand some being upset about.

On the other hand (i have three of them today) - who cares? don't we have better things to spend our time, money, and effort on than something which, sadly, holds little meaning to the American public in general anymore?

Sharon - that was beautiful!

C
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8 posted 06-26-2002 09:17 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine


I am outraged.  Period.
Larry C
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9 posted 06-26-2002 09:53 PM       View Profile for Larry C   Email Larry C   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Larry C's Home Page   View IP for Larry C

So let me get this right...Now that God has so richly blessed our country (remember our founding fathers and the basis of our existance as a country) we no longer need Him? Is that right? I think we're in trouble.
Local Rebel
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10 posted 06-27-2002 12:16 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

actually it is ironic that this headline shares the page with robber barron CEO's accounting scandals....

it is the perfect illustration of how unbridled ideology (in either direction) self destructs
suthern
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11 posted 06-27-2002 09:51 AM       View Profile for suthern   Email suthern   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for suthern

Sharon, there are those who already think that's the case. *S* I can't imagine I'd be living in this country if that were so... and I certainly wouldn't be pledging the flag.

Hypotheticals aside, I'm writing anyone and everyone who even THINKS they have power... and stopped dead in my tracks this morning to say the pledge of allegiance to the flag waving over the federal building.

I thought my tolerance for other people and their beliefs had no limits. I was wrong... for this 9th circuit opinion outrages me, offends me and infuriates me.
Sunshine
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12 posted 06-27-2002 09:54 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine


Suthern, girl, see my link in announcements.  You'll feel better.  Then send it to everyone you know!
serenity blaze
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13 posted 06-27-2002 10:58 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Well, I can't say that I am outraged. And, as a practitioner of an "alternative" religion--I can't say that I was outraged by the Pledge of Allegiance before either. I did find it interesting, however, that according to the article I read, the words "under God" were a rather recent inclusion to the Pledge. (1954 Smiling, well, it seems recent to ME--I forget how old I am sometimes.) But at the risk of offending anyone further, I have to say that I understand the reasoning. This country was founded on the principle of freedom. Freedom of religion, which, logically, has to mean freedom FROM religion, if that is the preference of some. I loved Sharon's point, as well. But let's say instead of using the extreme of Satanism, let's try, hmmm, say, BUDDHA. I know many Christians who would be offended to be forced or coerced into reciting a pledge that offered up an "allegiance" that recited a belief in another deity. Again, I mean no offense, but I think that we have to understand, that "we the people" means ALL citizens of this country--even those outside of the mainstream.

Okay. sigh. Let the "stoning" begin.
Sunshine
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14 posted 06-27-2002 11:16 AM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine


...and the sensibilities have been, Serene One, that no one is forced to say the pledge of allegiance.  All children, all People, have the right to refrain from doing so.  But I see no reason to waste tax dollars and people's time to get into the bruhaha of having it removed from the schools.  None whatsoever.  It gives children a start from which to base their opinions.  At an age that is comfortable to them, they can then opt out, or opt to stay with a symbol, and words, that should have bearing and weight to them.

Just as the USA allows all forms of practice of religion, business, personal pursuits, and the like.

[This message has been edited by Sunshine (06-27-2002 11:18 AM).]

Poet deVine
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15 posted 06-27-2002 11:38 AM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

If it's to be a 'start' a base from which to form opinions, then leave out "under God" and let the child's family religion come into play then.

I am a Christian, but I also am very tolerant of others religions and would not like to force MY way of thinking on anyone. I would not want to tell a child, raised in another religion, that he/she must pray to my God.

This is just the Circuit Court for the western U.S. - you in the midwest and east are NOT affected. If pursued, it could go as far as the Supreme Court though.

And realistically? Who's going to monitor this? If my child was standing in a group of kids reciting the Pledge and inserted the "under God" phrase, who would know? Who would say anything? Would he/she be arrested? I think this is something that is unenforceable except in large Government groups (and even Congress was outraged and proceeded to recite the Pledge after hearing this).

As I said, it's the Ninth Circuit Court in San Francisco - it's NOT the Supreme Court. Yet.
serenity blaze
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16 posted 06-27-2002 11:55 AM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

My brother was once doused with sodas and had food thrown at him at a baseball game in the early seventies because of his refusal to stand during the National Anthem. Agreed, it was a very different political climate in the late sixties, and yet, knowing the infamous cruelty of children, I don't think it a stretch to imagine what could happen to a child who rebelled against the norm.

Interestingly, I just spoke to a Christian friend, and he also refuses to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. According to his beliefs, God is offended by "swearing" and oaths, and even with the editorial "under God"? He is adamant regarding the issue.

But I do agree--if they can add words, they can remove them.

Oh, and popped back in to add, that I do seem to remember that I was taught the Pledge of Allegiance in school. It WAS a part of the curriculum that I learn to recite it. Oh, and I used to work for the State of Louisiana, and I also recall being "written up" for having a Bible on my desk, in plain view of the public. That was a "no-no" apparently. (and yes, grin, I have an avid interest in ALL religion, and I am NOT anti-Christian. In fact, in the study group that I belonged to, the teachings of Christ were a major part of my studies.)But I do believe that the separation of church and state was a cautionary measure to avoid the religious persecution which was suffered by many of our founding families.

I realize mine is not a popular opinion, but alas, in according to my conscience, popularity has no influence of what I actually believe. (smiling again, I suppose that has been obvious for some time, eh?)

[This message has been edited by serenity (06-27-2002 12:04 PM).]

Sunshine
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17 posted 06-27-2002 01:27 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Janet Marie said,  
quote:
So....I assume then that this "Michael A. Newdow" is also going to find a new currency to spend, as our American money says "In God We Trust" on it. I suppose he will make the ultimate sacrifice for his rights and beliefs and no longer accept his paycheck.
I mean someone with his conviction would want to be totally Politically Correct wouldnt he?

He already tried the argument of having God removed from currency once, JM, in Florida.  Then he changed residence, and could no longer try his matter in that circuit.  Then he "did some research" and felt that he would make a bigger impact if he took this approach.

I think he needs a life.

[This message has been edited by Sunshine (06-27-2002 01:45 PM).]

Opeth
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18 posted 06-27-2002 01:58 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

Poet DeVine

~ excellent point.

Brad

~ I agree with your statement most of all.

Larry C

ďSo let me get this right...Now that God has so richly blessed our country (remember our founding fathers and the basis of our existance as a country) we no longer need Him? Is that right? I think we're in trouble.Ē

~ The founding fathers were not injecting Christianity into the country, but Deism, big difference.

Southern

ďI thought my tolerance for other people and their beliefs had no limits. I was wrong... for this 9th circuit opinion outrages me, offends me and infuriates me.Ē

~ And you have every right be so infuriated, just like the court had the right to make the decision they made.  That is what makes this country so great.
Brad
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19 posted 06-27-2002 02:08 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Maybe we're all looking at it from the wrong direction. If this is simply the flip side of the Creationist/Evolution debate, if it is one more battle for or against school prayer, maybe the Establishment clause isn't the problem.

Maybe it's compulsory education.

Let's dismantle the whole thing and let private schools take care of education.

Toad
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20 posted 06-27-2002 06:33 PM       View Profile for Toad   Email Toad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Toad


Iíve been reading the threads, including a couple of poems that have been posted on this subject, and Iím surprised at some of the things that have been said. One person wants to start tattooing people that hold different religious beliefs and another is promoting the idea that it would be better if they just left the country. Are people really that wound up about this issue, and if so arenít some of the comments being used contrary to the meaning behind the words of the pledge itself?

Iím not American by the way, Iím just curious.

Brad

Wouldnít private schools given full autonomy on religious matters only lead to segregation along religious lines?


Thanks for the chance to read and reply
serenity blaze
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21 posted 06-27-2002 09:25 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Toad? It pained me to even offer up my opinion on this one. Emotion is still high so soon after the horrific assault of terrorism on our country. I am not the least bit surprised at the vehemnence of reaction--but it does pain me to feel the lack of understanding--I personally am dismayed to find that because I support a separation of church and state, I am perceived as an atheistic ingrate. I can only hope that through discussions such as these, that I can somewhat nullify that viewpoint. I agree with you about the private school issue as well, and there are many more issues besides that ONE, regarding the dismantling of the public school system. But that is another thread, and one worthy of addressing, considering the problems we are now facing regarding it.

As to the currency issue? What is printed on it is of no importance to me. I agree with a certain famous quote that we should, "render unto Caesar, what is Caesar's..."   (And actually, I don't hang on to the stuff long enough to consider it as reading material!  

GROAN...I knew I would misspell vehemence. Oh, what the hell? IT STAYS.

[This message has been edited by serenity (06-27-2002 09:33 PM).]

Brad
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22 posted 06-27-2002 10:44 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I don't know what would happen. I was working from principle. We allow the free exercise of religion or of no religion and if people feel that compulsory education interferes with that right, it supercedes the right to Education. Last time I checked the right to Education was neither in the constitution nor in the Bill of Rights.
hush
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23 posted 06-28-2002 12:27 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Well, regarding currency, the guy can always deal exclusively in plastic and checks. I don't remember the last time my credit card said I trust God.

In all seriousness though- Someone made the point that the founding fathers founded the country with Christian ideals in mind. It seems to me that the seperation of Church and State is meant to keep one denomination's views from influencing legislation. I mean, let's face it- in Puritanical Colonial America, I'm sure Jefferson and his cronies weren't terribly concerned with the rights of atheists. They weren't even terribly concerned with the rights of other ethnicities, let alone other belief systems. To them, in that time period, accepting different denominations of Christianity was probably a radical sign of tolerance.

With that in mind, it is also evident to me that the Constitution needs to be read in context of time periods. To say "All men are created equal" now is saying something radically different from what you were saying 200+ years ago. Now, we are saying that all people are created equal.As a nation, we still need to work on that concept, but we are leaps and bounds away from the definition of the phrase being: "All white, Christian, landowning men are equal."

So, we must also adapt to the provision of a seperation of Church and State. What it meant then, and what it means now, are two different things, and the government should adapt to that. Take the words "under God" out of the Pledge- how hard is that? If there is no real religious pressure in that phrase, and in the PLedge itself, it doesn't much change the meaning, does it? And if the removal of those two words really does change the meaning of the pledge that much, maybe it should be removed; maybe it is too much religious pressure, especially when it is recited as a matter of course in grade-school classrooms.

Interesting subject.
Skyfire
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24 posted 06-28-2002 01:19 AM       View Profile for Skyfire   Email Skyfire   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Skyfire

One thing that I'm really confused about, is why there wasn't a huge controversy over this when those two words, eight little letters, were put into the Constitution. Maybe there was; I'm not American, and I wasn't around at that time. But what's with the controversy NOW? I find it rather ironic, that people who don't believe in God, or have different religions, or who get on the backs of Christians for being "intolerant", seem to be the ones who are being the most intolerant. Sharon raised an interesting question earlier, which wasn't really addressed. If I, as a Christian, and as an American, had to say the Pledge with the words "under Satan" in it, I just wouldn't say it. Fortunately, I don't have to make that decision, and I wouldn't even if I were secure in my faith in God. Or maybe it's unfortunate. It all depends on the point of view. I just don't get it... it's so remeniscent of what happened a few years ago when one of Canada's politicians tried to get the word "God" removed from our Constitution. "God" is just a word. To Christians, yes, it has meaning. But why get in a flap about a word? Just my point of view, and my very confused questions. Sorry if I offended anyone
 
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