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Archive through June 27, 2002

Sepulchritude Forum » The Absinthe Forum Archive thru January 2003 » The Monkey Hole » Under god? » Archive through June 27, 2002 « Previous Next »

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Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 10:43 am:   Edit PostPrint Post


Why not carry this farther? Why not eliminate the Pledge of Allegiance entirely? It's rote indoctrination; kids say it because they're taught to do so.

Well, as I said, there is no logic in forcing children to take an oath they cannot understand and to which they are not legally bound. It's just silly.
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 10:41 am:   Edit PostPrint Post


So what if the pledge is "offensive"?

It's not a question of offensive. It's a question of whether it is establishment of religion for our state-run schools to ritualistically instruct children to swear an oath in the name of a deity. ANY deity.

As I said, Eisenhower said SPECIFICALLY that the purpose of adding the reference to God in the pledge was to promote religiousity. That sounds an awful lot like establishment to me.

I have already explained why the use of the capitalized, article-free "God" is implicitly a reference to the Judeo-Christian-Islamic deity. If you translated the pledge into Arabic, it would be saying "under Allah", becaust "Allah" means "THE God". It is unquestionably an endorsement of monotheism, so it's not just the atheists who are being excluded. Th statement endorses a specific set of religious beliefs.

Nobody has answered the question of what GOOD this phrase is going in the pledge, or what harm it would do to remove it. If it is even REMOTELY establishment, unless there is some compelling reason to leave it in, aren't we better off not taking chances?
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 10:36 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

The G-word issue goes round and round without ever being "solved". More tangible is the matter of schools encouraging children to recite vague, nationalistic pledges they hardly understand.

Kill two birds with one stone: retire the Pledge.
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 10:28 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

So what if the pledge is "offensive"? Since when does that make something illegal, much less unconstitutional? Every year we all engage in an activity that I venture to say 90% of the population finds offensive - namely paying taxes. Offensive does not mean unconstitutional. While some students may see the pledge as unwanted or their parents see it as intrusive - the same could be said for spelling tests and alegbra. Perhaps the NEA and other educational unions will cease their pretense about caring about kids and have these declared unconstitutional also.

The Circuit Court's decision falls flat on its face. In the pledge "God" in the context of the pledge is not defined. Thus to equate the term "God" with Vishnu or Zues is comparing apples and oranges. If the pledge said "one nation under a judeo-christian God" or "Allah" then there would be a point. But the fact of the matter is the pledge refers to "God" and that is it. "God" is defined by the speaker not the text.

As for atheists, if they find the pledge offensive - tough. Including "God" in a (even a mandatory) pledge does not even remotely come close to establishing a state religion (ala the Anglican Church in England circa 1776) for which the "establishment" clause was included in the constitution.

If nothing else this ruling bolsters the case for school choice. If the pledge is so offensive to so many students and their parents, then by all means they should not be forced to attend a school where this is a part of the day's activities. Alternatives should exist if this is such a large problem. Unfortunately, other more pressing problems - such as illiteracy and incompetent teachers - have not forced the school choice issue so I doubt this will.
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 10:23 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Why not carry this farther? Why not eliminate the Pledge of Allegiance entirely? It's rote indoctrination; kids say it because they're taught to do so. And what is this nonsense about the nation being "indivisible", as if the event were an absolute impossibility? "Justice for all" -- what do kids know about justice, in theory or in practice?

If state colleges and universities don't have their "Pledge of Allegiance" moments, why should public elementary schools?
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 10:01 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

BlackJack - I do not disagree with you or the ruling. In fact I appreciated the opinion that the uproar should have occurred in 1954 when under god was added. It is not inclusive.
My point was merely that one does not have to participate in that which one finds offensive.

- Yeah, I agree with you on the stupid drug testing ruling. And here, I violate my statement about suing for rights. If my kid came home and told me he'd been required to pee in a bottle to participate in the debate team, I'd be calling a lawyer.
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 9:45 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

"I'm not a Christian either. I'm a member of the Church of the anti-Stupid. Euthanasia is too good for the moron who brought this crap into a courtroom."--Artemis Limbaugh

Objectively, inserting "Under God" into the pledge, which was specifically done by Congress in 1954 to establish the US as a "Religious" nation in opposition to "Atheistic" communism, is unconstitutional. Period. The decision was not "split" either. It was 2 to 1. 66% of the court, a LEGAL MAJORITY, agreed that the "Under God" part of the pledge (NOT THE ENTIRE PLEDGE) was unconstitutional. The job of the courts is to interpret the constitution. Neither the court nor the doctor was trying to strike down the entire pledge of allegiance, and I'm sure they are both very patriotic.

I ask you, Artemis, what value does saying "under god" in a pledge to a secular democracy have? It implies that this country is "under" (or subservient to) God, and that is 100% unconstitutional. That is not idiocy. It's objective fact.
Religions have ALL the freedom they could possibly need. You can go to any kind of church anytime anywhere, and you can pray on your own anytime anywhere. The seperation of church and state is there to PROTECT religion from a government which would advance one religion over another. The current pledge of allegiance advances GOD! Not Allah, not Vishnu, not Stephen Hawking, but the one Christians refer to as GOD. I for one, as an Atheist, have always been offended by being forced by my public school teachers to say that my country is under the rule of a deity which I don't believe in. The under God line has nothing to do with true patriotism, and was inserted as a knee jerk reaction from a bunch of xenophobic commie hunters.

I think Dr. Newdow's efforts were timed rather poorly, but this man is getting death threats from jerks like yourself, Artemis, who proclaim that Euthanisia is too good for someone who's requesting that his constitutional rights be respected. I think that's pretty un-fucking patriotic to declare that someone who is trying to protect their constitutional rights should be put to death. Not too far a cry from Stalin putting Christians to death for their beliefs, eh?
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 9:35 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

god is great, god is good and we thank him for our food...
sounds appetizing, eh?
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 9:24 am:   Edit PostPrint Post


I don't see anyone's God named anywhere, I feel that it's simply a recognition of the existence of something beyond ourselves.

OK, first of all, by saying "God", you are excluding those religons with more than one. So that means Vishnu and Odin our out by default. You are also excluding thosereligions with no gods at all, which includes a great many Buddhists, Taoists, Unitarians, etc. Third, you are excluding us godless atheist and other with no religion at all. If the government is not supposed to be establishing a religion, it shouldn not be taking an official position on this "concept", OK?
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 9:21 am:   Edit PostPrint Post


Things happen to everybody everyday that offend sensibilities, but we don't sue to have them eliminated.

Because most of these things are not a) specific to a freedom guranteed in the constitution, b) enforced by the government and c) enforced upon our children.

Ah, fuck it. Just when I thought the courts were getting some common sense, they just upheld random drug testing for ALL school students, with no need for probable cause or a compelling safety reason.
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 9:20 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

And besides, it's not true: "In God we trust". As Americans we are supposed to trust the Constitution. Period.
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 9:17 am:   Edit PostPrint Post


There are no "deities" named on any currency of the United States.

Er, what's that "God" bit, then? I don't follow. "God" (capitalized) is the traditional English appelation of the deity worshiped by the Jews, Christians and Mulsims (Elohim in Hebrew, Al Ilyah in Arabic). He obviously has other appelations, but it usually isn't considered good form to use them. If it read "In a god we trust," it would just be a general statement of theism (which would still exclude a great number of religions), but the fact that it is SPECIFIC, that it uses no article and capitalizes the word, makes it pretty clear which deity they mean.
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 9:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

And tells the Israelites to go into the land of Canaan and kill everyone they find there, man, woman and child...
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 9:14 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I like the part where God kills all those people.
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 9:05 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I've read the bible... and it's babble... about a bubble... even a bobble...
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 9:03 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

While I have no particular belief in the the bible and no easily explainable supreme being concept, I wonder why this particular decision, and why now? Things happen to everybody everyday that offend sensibilities, but we don't sue to have them eliminated. Partake in which you wish - leave the rest alone. Allow others the capability to make their own decisions.
In researching this - I actually find the original pledge more to my liking...

1892 version
'I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.'
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 7:59 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Jesse Ventura just vetoed a bill that would have mandated The Pledge in Minnesota schools. He said: "Do we need this law? Is there a lack of patriotism in the land right now?"
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 6:46 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I'm not a Christian either. I'm a member of the Church of the anti-Stupid. Euthanasia is too good for the moron who brought this crap into a courtroom.
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 6:27 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Is it so hard to see "under God" as stating a concept? I don't see anyone's God named anywhere, I feel that it's simply a recognition of the existence of something beyond ourselves. No is saying Vishnu, Jehova, Odin, they're just stating a concept.

BTW, I'm not Christian, you can believe anything you want as far as I'm concerned. But I hope this stupidity is overturned.
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 3:18 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

It wasn't the whole court, it was a panel of three people and even then the vote was split. And the court in question is overturned more than any other, because they're FUCKED UP. And the Supreme Court will overturn it this time.

There are no "deities" named on any currency of the United States. I saw a halfwit on TV commenting on this disgrace of a "decision", who claimed that saying "under God" is the same as saying "under Jesus" or "under Vishnu" or "under Zeus". If you think that's the same thing, you have no businesss commenting on anything other more complicated than "who farted?"
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 2:56 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I ain't got no freak flag . . . why, a gal at school (oops, I mean young lady . . . no, being from California, she finds "lady" to be laden with value judgment and is offended by it . . . young woman) tells me my manners are often "positively Victorian." (All because I don't believe it appropriate to play a Red Hot Chili Peppers album in front of a foreign exchange student who may find all that vulgarity offensive. Meanwhile, I listen to the Tiger Lillies and Disturbed, each far more offensive, via headphones.)

I'd be an angel ()=o) if I believed in invisible winged critters with glowing frisbees about their heads.
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 2:43 am:   Edit PostPrint Post


let your freak flag fly, faggot. You got out in the nick of time.

Peace, Marc
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 2:34 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well put, Bun-Bun.

It is my belief that the names of deities do not belong in the oaths or on the currency of any country that is not a theocracy. Is the United States a theocracy?

If Dubya wants to yammer about his religion, that's his right, as long as he's not presenting it as policy for the United States.

I don't consider someone who sues to remove such offensive things a nut job, but rather someone with the balls to tell the Establishment where to stick their false piety (as so eloquently expressed by Bun-Bun).

Do I find the mention of deities on my currency offensive? Yes, I do. Do I believe that many who lack the courage to speak against the majority are equally offended? Yes, I do.

It's only "political correctness" for those in the group that believes that a particular deity belongs in the oaths and currencies of a supposed "democracy." A Hindu, or Shintoist, or Satanist, or atheist might think quite differently.

Is this the very most horrifically important issue in the United States today? No. Is it worth discussing? I believe so. Perhaps it will help some to think about the beliefs of others, and realize that their tax dollars (and the bills themselves) are used to indoctrinate children into a monotheistic belief system.

Many have pointed out in this thread that children don't know what they're saying . . . Does it occur to no one that this is the point of beginning indoctrination at an early age? Once something becomes habit, it is an "obvious" part of the established belief system when the child gets older and does understand. The majority lack the critical thinking skills to challenge such a lifelong belief system, or the courage to use them in the face of "eternal damnation," and follow without question. Does such indoctrination belong in the schools? Shouldn't brainwashing be left to the parents?

On a side note: My parents tried to brainwash me as a child, and even continue with feeble attempts now that I am over 30. My mother told me recently that she "feels sorry for me" because I do not believe in the concept of "Divinity." For some reason, in our culture, saying that to me is considered acceptable (my mother is known far and wide for her good manners), and is not incredibly darned rude. Were I to say the same to her, "I'm sorry for you, because you place blind faith in some old book written by nomads and riddled with self-contradiction," who would be the one who is insulting and insensitive to someone's belief system? Her, or me?

Have I personal evidence that people follow without question? Why, yes, I have. First and foremost are my own observations from several years in a born-again Christian cult. As an added bonus, I had the experience of observing my parents as "deacons" in their American Baptist church . . . Lay clergy unable to coherently debate why deceitful, sleazy snakes-in-the-grass like Jacob, who, according to the Bible, conspired with his mother to lie to his dying father and steal from his elder brother, are considered heroes in their religion. They were not "sufficiently familiar" with that particular character to discuss it with me. Where's the critical thinking there? Doesn't exist. They were indoctrinated, and never thought to challenge.

Goodness, I DO go on! [End of rant.]
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 1:02 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Under God.....and over my head.
Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 12:47 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

JPS (Jewish Publication Society) does a great job of translation and also in pointing out that we really have no clue what around 30% of Hebrew words mean. I would be weary however of anything by Artscroll. Orthodox scholars who love to "theologically translate" the text as opposed to dealing with the text itself.

Another translation of the Torah I really like is by physicist and kabbalah scholar Aryeh Kaplan. Very nice.

- J

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