Friday, September 16, 2005

Newdow's Case to Return to Supreme Court

Michael Newdow's challenge to forcing school children to recite "under God" in the pledge of allegiance will soon be back before the Supreme Court.

Last year the Supreme Court dismissed the case on a technicality. Newdow refiled the case with new complainants and a District Court in California has upheld the findings of the previous Newdow decision.

This case is the most egregious example of the duplicitous witness of evangelical Christians in American history.

In court, evangelical Christians will argue that the words "under God" do not violate the First Amendment prohibition against establishing a religion because the words have "no significant religious content." In other words, "under God" in the pledge of allegiance does precisely what is proscribed in the ten commandments when men are commanded to not take the name of the Lord God in vain and make it meaningless.

In public, evangelical Christians will argue that the words "under God" refer to the Divine and lament that the courts are persecuting people of faith and trying to kick God out of the public square.

The only prominent figure on the right who does not engage in doublespeak on this issue is Judge Roy Moore. He is open and honest about expressing his belief that Christianity is the established religion of the United States and that the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance mean something.

Although I strongly disagree with Moore about the U.S. having an established religion, I strongly concur with his admission that the words "under God" in the pledge of allegiance have religious meaning. They are not symbols of "ceremonial Deism," they are intended to express religious content, and for evangelical lawyers to argue otherwise is an outright lie -- which violates the prohibition in the ten commandments against bearing false witness.

What is the value of breaking two of God's commandments in order to force children to mouth the words "under God" at school?

This entry is cross-posted from the Mainstream Baptist blog.

2 Comments:

Blogger rhetoretician said...

This came up during the Roberts nomination hearings. The Senator who brought it up duplicitously claimed that the pledge of allegiance had been shot down, implying the pledge itself was under attack.

He couldn't (in such a public forum, at least) describe the truth - the words Under God in the pledge were found to be unconstitutional.

You've got to admire their persistence for dredging up the same failed arguments they used in the "Pledge Protection Act" debate:

(http://mataliandy.blogspot.com/2004/09/activism-or-checks-and-balances.html)

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