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For Immediate Release:

(Washington, DC – May 9, 2014) – In a disappointing ruling against religious equality and the rights of atheists and humanists, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court today ruled against a humanist family in their challenge to the mandated recitation of “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance used in public schools.

The lawsuit, filed by the American Humanist Association and the Massachusetts family in 2010, bypassed previously unsuccessful traditional First Amendment Establishment Clause arguments, instead making the case based on equal protection rights within the state constitution. The daily recitation in public school classrooms of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag—in the version that includes an affirmation that the nation is “under God”—violates state nondiscrimination law, attorneys for the plaintiffs argued.

Read more: http://americanhumanist.org/...

Oligarchy?  

Clearly the next step is a Theocracy...

Earlier this week:

Video surfaced of Chief Justice Roy Moore of the Alabama Supreme Court speaking at the Pastor for Life Luncheon, which was sponsored by Pro-Life Mississippi, declaring that the First Amendment only applies to Christians.


Supreme Court Allows Sectarian Prayer to Open Town Board Sessions

New York Times - In a major decision on the role of religion in government, the Supreme Court on Monday ruled that the Constitution allows town boards to start their sessions with sectarian prayers. The ruling, by a 5-to-4 vote, divided the court’s more conservative members from its liberal ones, and their combative opinions reflected very different views of the role of faith in public life, in contemporary society and in the founding of the Republic.

[...]

“No one can fairly read the prayers from Greece’s town meetings as anything other than explicitly Christian — constantly and exclusively so,” Justice Kagan wrote in her dissent in the case, Town of Greece v. Galloway, No. 12-696.

Moreover, she said, the clergy “put some residents to the unenviable choice of either pretending to pray like the majority or declining to join its communal activity, at the very moment of petitioning their elected leaders.”

In a concurrence with the majority opinion, Justice Alito called the dissent’s qualms “really quite niggling.”

That comment, Justice Kagan responded, “says all there is to say about the difference between our respective views.”


Hmmm. Niggling?

To niggle is to cause slight but persistent annoyance, discomfort, or anxiety.

They aren't worried at all. It seems all is going according to plan.

We have nearly lost the legislative and judicial branches to the theocratic government model.

If you're a believer, now would be a good time to pray. God help us all.

Originally posted to One Last Scandal on Fri May 09, 2014 at 10:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by Progressive Atheists.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Don't they understand that denying the rights (11+ / 0-)

    of those who don't believe in a god will lead to many who do believe in a god to lose their rights too?  

    As soon as the state props up any religion the rights of all people who are not part of that religion are at risk.

    Frankly, even members of a state supported religion are at risk if they come to disagree with those in power.

    All the powerful have to do is point at you and shout "Heresy!"

    "The Trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat." attributed to Lily Tomlin

    by uniqity on Fri May 09, 2014 at 10:15:09 AM PDT

  •  the decision (15+ / 0-)

    Available by clicking through here. Key grafs:

    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. See, e.g., Elk Grove Unified Sch. Dist., 542 U.S. at 6 ("As its history illustrates, the Pledge of Allegiance evolved as a common public acknowledgment of the ideals that our flag symbolizes. Its recitation is a patriotic exercise designed to foster national unity and pride in those principles"); Newdow v. Rio Linda Union Sch. Dist., 597 F.3d at 1014 ("We hold that the Pledge of Allegiance does not violate the Establishment Clause [of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution] because Congress' ostensible and predominant purpose was to inspire patriotism and that the context of the Pledge--its wording as a whole, the preamble to the statute, and this nation's history--demonstrate that it is a predominantly patriotic exercise. For these reasons, the phrase 'one Nation under God' does not turn this patriotic exercise into a religious activity"); Myers v. Loudon County Pub. Sch., 418 F.3d 395, 407 (4th Cir.2005) (distinguishing constitutional challenge to pledge from school prayer cases because of "the simple fact that the Pledge, unlike prayer, is not a religious exercise or activity, but a patriotic one"; stating that inclusion of words "under God," despite their religious significance, "does not alter the nature of the Pledge as a patriotic activity"). It is principally for that reason that all of the Federal appellate courts that have considered a First Amendment challenge to the voluntary recitation of the pledge in public schools, with the words "under God," have held the practice to be constitutional. See Freedom From Religion Found. v. Hanover Sch. Dist., 626 F.3d 1, 4-5 (1st Cir.2010), cert. denied, 131 S.Ct. 2292 (2011); Croft v. Perry, 624 F.3d 157, 162-163 (5th Cir.2010); Newdow v. Rio Linda Union Sch. Dist., supra at 1042; Myers, supra at 408; and Sherman v. Community Consol. Sch. Dist. 21 of Wheeling Township, 980 F.2d 437, 439- 440 (7th Cir.1992), cert. denied, 508 U.S. 950 (1993). [FN17]

    b. Voluntary recitation. It is undisputed, as a matter of Federal constitutional law and as a matter of fact on the summary judgment record before us, that no student is required to recite the pledge....

    Although this court has not been called on previously to so state, we take this opportunity to confirm what has been obvious and understood to be the case for the decades since the Barnette case was decided: no Massachusetts school student is required by law to recite the pledge or to participate in the ceremony of which the pledge is a part. Recitation of the pledge is entirely optional. Students are free, for any reason or for no reason at all, to recite it in its entirety, not recite it at all, or recite or decline to recite any part of it they choose, without fear of punishment.

    Participation is entirely voluntary; all students are presented with the same options; and one student's choice not to participate because of a religiously held belief is, as both a practical and a legal matter, indistinguishable from another's choice to abstain for a wholly different, more mundane, and constitutionally insignificant reason.

    The plaintiffs nevertheless press the claim that the children are adversely affected by the recitation of the pledge because of their religious views. They claim to be "stigmatize[d]" and "marginalized," and to "feel excluded," when the pledge is recited by others, regardless of whether they participate. Specifically, they contend that having the pledge with the words "under God" recited in their schools effectively conveys a message that persons, like them, who do not believe that the Nation is "under God" are "outsiders," "second-class citizens," and "unpatriotic."

    The plaintiffs do not appear to be claiming that their children have been punished, bullied, criticized, ostracized, or otherwise mistreated by anyone as a result of their decision to decline to recite some (or all) of the pledge. There is no evidence in the summary judgment record that the plaintiffs' children have in fact been treated by school administrators, teachers, staff, fellow students, or anyone else any differently from other children because of their religious beliefs, or because of how they participate in the pledge. Nor is there any evidence that they have in fact been perceived any differently for those reasons. The plaintiffs do identify what they claim is a poor public perception of atheists in general, and they maintain that their children's failure to recite the pledge in its entirety may "possibly" lead to "unwanted attention, criticism, and potential bullying." However, there is nothing in the record indicating that this has in fact happened to the plaintiffs' children or to any other Massachusetts schoolchildren because of their decision to exercise their right not to recite the words "under God" in the pledge.

    •  Thanks. (3+ / 0-)

      It's much harder to be indignant about this decision if you actually read it.

    •  So ridiculous (9+ / 0-)

      Students are asked to recite a pledge they know nothing about. They are asked to recite it before they are taught about the enlightenment, the tenets of religious freedom (which includes atheists as well lest it be just a fraud, a big empty promise!), the history of the pledge (which came a hundred years after the founding), nothing of the religious wars in Europe which lead directly to our religious freedom.

      In short, students recite the pledge in a grand ignorance. And, on top of that, we suggest that those that do understand the history and that may object for many various reasons, are supposed to just stand there, quietly, as their class mates recite it and we are expected to believe that they feel no guilt or shame for not just pledging in obediently. They are expected, if they object, to stand quietly at the very time of their lives when fitting in and being part of the group is so very important.

      What the fuck is wrong with this Supreme Court? Oh wait, I know the answer. . .the were appointed by Republican assholes (sorry for being redundant!).

      •  It's the Massachusetts state Supreme Court (4+ / 0-)

        And 5/7 are Dem appointees.

        Nothing stops kids from sitting down. Nothing stops teachers, or parents, from teaching them what you think they need to know.

        •  Except ignorance (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Words In Action, jodylanec, matador

          And fear. Why ostracize yourself over something you don't even understand? The need to pledge allegiance to a flag is non-existent. Like matador said, they don't understand it one bit, and frankly, it's a useless exercise in the first place. If I could get rid of any single thing in school, it'd be the pledge. (Of course, I'd get rid of loads of other things too.)

          TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D). Senate ratings map (as of 3/10/14)

          by Le Champignon on Fri May 09, 2014 at 11:17:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ignorance, fear, and (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Words In Action, jodylanec

            massive pressure from peers and authority.

            Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

            by corvo on Fri May 09, 2014 at 12:59:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  HELLO! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo, jodylanec

            So obvious.

            It's as if some people are working overtime NOT to see what's right in front of them.

            I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

            Trust, but verify. - Reagan
            Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

            by Words In Action on Fri May 09, 2014 at 12:59:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Let's come up with a Pledge Against Adams. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          corvo, jodylanec

          Every school kid across the country will recite it. You think you'll be sitting down in protest? Assuming you do, just for giggles, you think that'll make you feel better?

          I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

          Trust, but verify. - Reagan
          Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

          by Words In Action on Fri May 09, 2014 at 01:01:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They presented no evidence of harm. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OrganicChemist
            As the motion judge noted in her memorandum of decision, however, there is no evidence in the summary judgment record that the Doe children have ever been subjected to any type of punishment, bullying or other mistreatment, criticism, condemnation, or ostracism as a result of not participating in the pledge or not reciting the words "under God."
            •  Think about it for two freaking seconds. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              corvo, jodylanec, matador

              If you are a kid who objects and every other kid is saying it, are you likely to sit down?

              I mean, kids are so impressionable and peers are so ruthless. Not fitting in is one of the greatest fears kids have. Heck, most adults are the same way... They want to belong so desperately they will do all kinds of things they wouldn't otherwise do...

              I've never left a blank space on a ballot... but I will not vote for someone [who vows] to spy on me. I will not do it. - dclawyer06

              Trust, but verify. - Reagan
              Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

              by Words In Action on Fri May 09, 2014 at 01:12:00 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  They presented no evidence of harm. (2+ / 0-)
                The plaintiffs nevertheless press the claim that the children are adversely affected by the recitation of the pledge because of their religious views. They claim to be "stigmatize[d]" and "marginalized," and to "feel excluded," when the pledge is recited by others, regardless of whether they participate. Specifically, they contend that having the pledge with the words "under God" recited in their schools effectively conveys a message that persons, like them, who do not believe that the Nation is "under God" are "outsiders," "second-class citizens," and "unpatriotic."

                The plaintiffs do not appear to be claiming that their children have been punished, bullied, criticized, ostracized, or otherwise mistreated by anyone as a result of their decision to decline to recite some (or all) of the pledge. There is no evidence in the summary judgment record that the plaintiffs' children have in fact been treated by school administrators, teachers, staff, fellow students, or anyone else any differently from other children because of their religious beliefs, or because of how they participate in the pledge. Nor is there any evidence that they have in fact been perceived any differently for those reasons. The plaintiffs do identify what they claim is a poor public perception of atheists in general, and they maintain that their children's failure to recite the pledge in its entirety may "possibly" lead to "unwanted attention, criticism, and potential bullying." However, there is nothing in the record indicating that this has in fact happened to the plaintiffs' children or to any other Massachusetts schoolchildren because of their decision to exercise their right not to recite the words "under God" in the pledge.

                [FN22] In short, there is nothing empirical or even anecdotal in the summary judgment record to support a claim that the children actually have been treated or perceived by others as "outsiders," "second-class citizens," or "unpatriotic."
                The plaintiffs' claim of stigma is more esoteric. They contend that the mere recitation of the pledge in the schools is itself a public repudiation of their religious values, and, in essence, a public announcement that they do not belong. It is this alleged repudiation that they say causes them to feel marginalized, sending a message to them and to others that, because they do not share all of the values that are being recited, they are "unpatriotic" "outsiders." We hold that this very limited type of consequence alleged by the plaintiffs--feeling stigmatized and excluded--is not cognizable under art. 106.
        •  you totally missed my point (0+ / 0-)

          They are told to pledge BEFORE they are taught anything at all about it. And sitting down sets them apart, which no kid wants to be part of at a young age.

          Did you miss the point intentionally? because I don't think I could have expressed it any clearer.

      •  People born after about 1948 imagine (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AnnieR, matador, katiec

        that the Pledge is in its original form as handed down from on high.  NOBODY seems to notice that it is logically inconsistent.
        Nothing will change for several more generations.

        "Our problem is not that the glass is half empty or half full, but that the 1% claims that it is their glass." ---Stolen from a post on Daily Kos

        by jestbill on Fri May 09, 2014 at 02:08:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly, here's the original line, before (0+ / 0-)

          Christian, Red Fear Mongers, got hold of it:

          I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

          Replacing "indivisible"  with "under god"

    •  Yeah right (9+ / 0-)
      No Massachusetts school student is required by law to recite the pledge or to participate in the ceremony of which the pledge is a part. Recitation of the pledge is entirely optional. Students are free, for any reason or for no reason at all, to recite it in its entirety, not recite it at all, or recite or decline to recite any part of it they choose, without fear of punishment.
      Like as though that's remotely how things work in the real world.

      Similar to how when my boss asks me to contribute the the United Way on a completely volunteer basis, I am completely free not to do so . ..

      •  Beat me to it . . . n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roadbed Guy
        •  Of course they didn't (0+ / 0-)

          considering that besides "common sense" and "real world experience" (aspects far removed from the courts) there is no way to prove any of this.

          •  Sure there is (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Remembering Jello, terrypinder

            Disciplinary reports. Testimony from the kids.  Instead, this is what the record reflects:

            At the time the parties filed their cross motions for summary judgment, the Does' three children were fourteen, twelve, and ten years old. They acknowledged in their affidavits [FN11] that "[they] understand that [they] have the right to refuse to participate in the flag-salute ceremony, but [they] want to participate in it." They also acknowledged that "[i]n fact, usually when [their] class[es] say[ ] the Pledge [they] do participate in the ceremony (although [they] usually do not say the 'under God' words)." The children, as atheists and Humanists, "do not believe that the United States of America or any other country is 'under God.' " They stated that they believe that the pledge, as recited in their schools, "suggests that all good Americans believe in God" and that others, like them, "who don't believe in God, aren't as good as others who do believe." Jane Doe and John Doe, in their affidavits, likewise expressed concern that the recitation of the pledge "marginalizes [their] children and [their] family and reinforces [a] general public prejudice against atheists and Humanists, as it necessarily classifies [them] as outsiders, defines [them] as second-class citizens, and even suggests that [they are] unpatriotic." They claimed that "[i]t is inappropriate for [their] children to have to draw attention to themselves by not participating, possibly leading to unwanted attention, criticism and potential bullying," and that at their children's ages, " 'fitting in' is an important psychological need." As the motion judge noted in her memorandum of decision, however, there is no evidence in the summary judgment record that the Doe children have ever been subjected to any type of punishment, bullying or other mistreatment, criticism, condemnation, or ostracism as a result of not participating in the pledge or not reciting the words "under God."
      •  And furthermore (6+ / 0-)

        any judge who says that the inclusion of "under God" didn't change the "patriotic" nature of the pledge into one of a more religious nature is an idiot and one who has no business citing history as justification.

        •  Unfortunately being an idiot is almost (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Indexer, jodylanec, anon004

          a requirement , rather than a disqualify factor, for participating in our country's legal system these days.

          •  Has to be since the inclusion of that phrase (6+ / 0-)

            was explicitly to make it more religious.

            •  Yes, one really has to wonder if a judge (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Indexer, Prinny Squad, anon004

              who argues otherwise is simply completely corrupt, or just so haughty as to think he or she can make completely nonsensical argument w/o we peons noticing . ..

              •  I think the judge is just following (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Remembering Jello, jodylanec

                in the footsteps of the Founding Fathers, many of whom couldn't give two shits about the existence of god, but had no problem with having religion used as a cudgel with which to keep the unwashed masses (whom they hated and feared anyway) in line.

                Remember that the notion of religious freedom was NOT part of the original Constitution; that the First Amendment has only to do with the non-establishment of a church for the new federal republic, and in fact granted religious freedom to nobody -- states continued to establish their own state religions and otherwise restrict religious freedom until the Fourteenth Amendment could be read as forbidding this too.

                And there's no constitutional guarantee of freedom from religion.  There should be -- but there just isn't.

                Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                by corvo on Fri May 09, 2014 at 01:04:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  i wish team atheist (which i'm on) (4+ / 0-)

      would find something better to do than fight the small stuff.

      heck through most of high school, my homeroom didn't even say the pledge. we usually forgot. and when we remembered, it wasn't mandatory.

      Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

      by terrypinder on Fri May 09, 2014 at 11:58:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is the small stuff that builds up (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Words In Action, jodylanec

        into the big gashes in the wall of separation between church and state.

      •  ^^ I get it! ^^ (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        anon004

        While I am disgruntled over the pledge decision, I think it is worthwhile to take on each of these issues as they happen. If for no other reason that "We the Atheists" do not become complacent and accepting of an encroaching Theocracy.

        For myself, I am far more concerned by the other two events that happened this week.

        "There is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women." ~Madeleine K. Albright

        by jodylanec on Fri May 09, 2014 at 01:32:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Original line: (0+ / 0-)

      I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

      "Under God"  didn't come about until something like 1951/52.

      Personally, I think Public Schools should recite the original, as it was changed to reflect 50's Red Baiting and Theocratic politics to begin with.

      Public Schools are for learnin'  --  including learning about our diverse historical heritage.

    •  So, now, Constutional rights (0+ / 0-)

      are conditional upon whether you've suffered injury?  And what constitutes injury?  And how much must be suffered before you can claim your rights?  Rights are inherent; they don't only exist if you can prove they've been violated.  What an idiotic decision.

  •  Why the "Pledge of Allegiance" is said at all (12+ / 0-)

    is a kind of strange thing. It didn't have "under God" in it originally, and furthermore, it was written by a Socialist-Populist Baptist minister for a scouting magazine in the late 1890's as a suggestion of how Boy Scouts ought to think about their loyalty to their country. A suggestion.

    I used to be a public school teacher in Texas and I never saluted the flag using the "Pledge of Allegiance", and I told my students they were free to refuse as well. When I got some flack for that, I said to my principal "a full third of my class are Mexican citizens. Would YOU want to be compelled to pledge "allegiance" to a foreign country even if you were there legally?"

    If we're talking about the Supreme Judicial Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that brought us the Goodridge" decision, I suspect there's more to it than you suggest.

    SPES MEA IN DEO EST.

    by commonmass on Fri May 09, 2014 at 10:28:59 AM PDT

    •  Here is Francis Bellamy's original pledge: (7+ / 0-)

      I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

      But there's even more to it, per Wikipedia:

      The Pledge was supposed to be quick and to the point. Bellamy designed it to be recited in 15 seconds. As a socialist, he had initially also considered using the words equality and fraternity but decided against it – knowing that the state superintendents of education on his committee were against equality for women and African Americans.
      So Bellamy's original vision was a pledge to the ideals of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. (Now where have I heard those words before?)

      "Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius." -- Arnaud Amaury

      by terremoto on Fri May 09, 2014 at 11:09:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We proved to be divisible during the civil war, (0+ / 0-)

        the Vietnam war and now the wealth vs poverty war; so the entire pledge is suspect and in error and we should summarily do away with the archaic words and render the question, which the SCOTUS flubbed, to be moot.

  •  Hyperbole. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Adam B, FG
    Clearly the next step is a Theocracy...
    Sorry, I think there are a few more steps to go.

    So endith the trick.

    by itsjim on Fri May 09, 2014 at 10:29:48 AM PDT

  •  I Have Debated Over The Past 10 Years If I (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jodylanec

    believe in a god, and the answer is complicated.  I really want to believe in a god, but the signs are not there.  I believe in the separation of church and state, and I believe that religion should stay out of government offices.  A moment of silence to me is acceptable.   Also, I don't know why children and adults should be made to pledge allegiance to a god they don't believe exist.  A pledge to your country without god in it should be just as acceptable.   If there is freedom of religion than there should also be freedom from religion too.   Religion is even forcing themselves on people in retail stores.  The other day I had to listen to someone pray to god in a Beal's  store.  It is time that non religious people ban together and fight for their rights even if they lose.  

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Fri May 09, 2014 at 10:35:24 AM PDT

    •  They're actually pledging allegiance to a flag, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne

      not a god.

      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.
      We can argue about whether kids should be pledging allegiance to a particular form of government, but nobody's asking them to pledge allegiance to any god.
      •  Wow, talk about splitting hairs (0+ / 0-)

        You're pledging to a republic under God, but not pledging directly to God, so that makes it okay?  When I look at the republic that was established by the Constitution, I see nothing referring to it being established under God.  So, the reference to God is not only offensive to me as an atheist, it's also a lie.  Why we should be teaching kids based upon lies is beyond me.

    •  Epicurus also recently wondered about this.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, jodylanec
      "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
      Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
      Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
      Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”
                           -- Epicurus (341-271 BC)
      Damn smartass, spoiling an entire, perfectly good, world-wide brainwashing for everybody... sounds like some typical smarter-than-you DF hippie.
    •  Semantics--the pledge is not to God but rather (0+ / 0-)

      to the flag and the country which is labeled as "under God" which is as inaccurate a statement as the rest, since there is precious little liberty or justice, especially "for all."

  •  Judge Mooron ! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, jodylanec, anon004

    . . .has the nerve to quote James Madison, the father of the Constitution, in his rage for a biblical source for the Constitution ! Judge Mooron serves up Madison when Madison was the one who, in the white house, and while President, took scissors and glue and cut out all of the "miracles" of the bible, editing it to his own "Jefferson Bible" ! Judge Mooron, serves up Madison, when it was Madison that said, "Religion and government will BOTH exist in greater purity the less they are mixed together".

    Judge Mooron had better hope like hell that Jesus is not the guy he supposedly claimed to be in the bible and Judge Mooron had better hope there is no judgement day. Because if there is, there is this pesky commandment that says "do not bear false witness". Judge Mooron will surely find his judgement not at all what he has in mind.

  •  Who cares? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terrypinder, Justanothernyer

    It's not rocket science to explain to any child old enough for public school that some people believe there's a God and some don't, a yours parent happen not to.  This oppresses me a lot less than having to associate with people don't share my views about earthly matters, including on this very website.

    Personally (and isn't all of this personally?), it warms my atheist heart to see these vapid expressions of nominal official belief in God, because it associates that belief with idle verbiage in general and I think that's a healthy lesson for children to get.

    It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

    by Rich in PA on Fri May 09, 2014 at 10:44:37 AM PDT

    •  eek, I mean "your parents" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      terrypinder, anon004

      God is responsible for my bad typing, and for all missed field goals.

      It's not the side effects of the cocaine/I'm thinking that it must be love

      by Rich in PA on Fri May 09, 2014 at 10:45:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Interesting perspective (0+ / 0-)

      I do think the "religious experience" of many people is the thoughtless repetition of a bunch of God-associated words (I was raised Catholic, so I know what I'm talking about), and it does become wallpaper in your daily (or weekly) life.  Throw in some really stupid behavior and speech from members of the clergy and you have an idea why the largest growing group of people in this country is the non-religious.

  •  OK (9+ / 0-)

    I'm an atheist, but I don't see how this falls under losing equal rights. I think having "under God" in the pledge is stupid so I just don't say it. But I'm hesitant to even recite the pledge to begin with.

    If I am in a situation where the pledge is being recited I usually stand but remain silent. I have the right to do that.

    You know, I believe 110% in the separation of church and state and when that is encroached upon I get angry. But this decision doesn't raise my hackles all that much. I have the right to not say those two words and other people have the right to say it. This seems rather uncontroversial to me.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Fri May 09, 2014 at 10:44:46 AM PDT

    •  It's a little different when you are a school age (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, jodylanec, anon004

      kid and stand out when you don't stand up or speak out to mouth words that have no meaning to you or your classmates.  Peer pressure to participate is very strong and youngsters like these should not be put into those situations.  We really do not do ourselves any favors when we do show favoritism to any religion or acknowledge the existence of one in a government-sponsored setting.  The latest mind-bending pretzel-logic decision from SCOTUS notwithstanding.  
      There were excellent reasons that the first part of the first right granted to US citizens had to do with separation of religion and state. (What's with the church shit?  it's all of those abominations; churches, synagogues, mosques, kivas, whatever.)  I DON'T WANT THEM TO BE PART OF ANYTHING THAT HAS TO DO WITH GOVERNMENT.  Neither did Madison, Jefferson or any of those "revered" founders that asshats like Scalia and his brethren pray to. They can't even get that right!

      You all laugh because I'm different; I laugh because you're all the same

      by sajiocity on Fri May 09, 2014 at 11:13:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's been established that saying (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib

        "Under God" does not put one religion over another. It can mean any God (although that does default to mostly Abrahamic God's, as many other religions wouldn't be monotheistic).

        Nevertheless, our constitutional rights aren't there to protect us from judgment from others or to protect against possible ostracism. Could children be ostracized for not saying the pledge or those words? Absolutely. But I don't want to live in a world where rights are determined based on hurt feelings.

        And, I suspect, you don't, either.

        I got reamed on fb the other day for making a snide comment about Jesus. It hurt someone's feefees. BFD. Deal with that and I deal with your Christian BS and if you can't handle it, ignore it.

        P.S. I am not a crackpot.

        by BoiseBlue on Fri May 09, 2014 at 11:41:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't forget the bruises and black eyes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sajiocity

          and such because the other kids decided to beat him up after school for refusing to say the pledge.  But of course that doesn't matter, after all "punishment" only applies to official punishment and like you said, our constitutional rights aren't there to protect us from judgment from others or to protect against possible ostracism.

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Fri May 09, 2014 at 11:46:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  true, but (4+ / 0-)
          It's been established that saying (0+ / 0-)

          "Under God" does not put one religion over another.

          it does put religion over nonreligion.

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Fri May 09, 2014 at 01:07:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Innerestin' question. (0+ / 0-)

            If atheism is not a religion, as I am often told- is atheism eligible for religious protections?

            •  Strange how those who inisist (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              sajiocity, anon004

              that atheism is a religion are the first to insist that atheism does not merit religious protections. :-)

              Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

              by corvo on Fri May 09, 2014 at 01:31:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  I don't care if YOU hurt my feelings if you (0+ / 0-)

          want to make fun of my religion or non religion - that's not a government-sanctioned event. Unless they make it one by speaking of gods when you're the only 9-year old in the room who knows this is bullshit and keeps quiet. You don't think that goes unnoticed? Then, these bullies (who will always be with us, yes, yes) now have the power of authority behind them to single you out because of your beliefs or not. "They said "under god" who are you to question?  Jesus is just all right with me. Why can't you just accept that and not feel bad?" Not OK.  
          It's way more than hurt feelings. It's the state setting a standard. Even though I was still a developing atheist when those offensive two words were inserted (thanks, Ike) I knew it was wrong and have suffered ever since, one way or the other.
          And now, those twisted turds at the Supreme Court have just ripped the heart out of the most crucial element of the first amendment.  How  crucial?  Every damn war fought in Europe before the 18th Century was state-religion-based. And do I need to mention the Inquisition?
          Am I over the top about this?  Yep, because the slope just got a hell of a lot more slippy.

          You all laugh because I'm different; I laugh because you're all the same

          by sajiocity on Fri May 09, 2014 at 06:21:54 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It's not uncontroversial. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MyOwnReality, anon004

      The government in the guise of a public school is telling children that "God" exists. This is a statement that has no evidence behind it and is an unsettled theological question. It has no business being recited in a public school especially when it has a captive audience of children.

    •  I loathe the pledge. Definitely makes for some (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BoiseBlue

      uncomfortable moments.

      To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

      by UntimelyRippd on Fri May 09, 2014 at 12:43:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sure it's easy, if you're not a child surrounded (0+ / 0-)

      by children you hope will be your friends and not your judge and jury.

  •  Ya know, while it is very (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, jodylanec, anon004

    comforting that every generation is less and less religious, the Jesus-humpin' fogeys and hillbillies in power in our government are the ones still making these rules.

    The Christophile tentacles are embedded everywhere in our court system. I wonder if the decline of their religion is why they are stepping up their game even more - especially against women.

    In any case, this is really bad news.

  •  Can we get real for just a second? (7+ / 0-)

    the blocking of "under god" suits is nothing new. WE ALWAYS LOSE THEM.

    Why expect a better result?

    AdamB posted the decision. It reads like nothing I haven't read before every. single. time. we. secularists. take. this. to. court.

    Now, I agree with you. The pledge is stupid to begin with. It's a loyalty oath. And "under god" is incredibly inappropriate. If anything, at best, it should be restored to the original, if not eliminated entirely. I stopped saying it in the 7th grade and no one was the wiser. But it's hyperbolic to say "we're a theocracy now" when every time this has gone to court it's lost. it will lose the next time. And the time after that. If we weren't a theocracy after we lost all those other times, we aren't now.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

    by terrypinder on Fri May 09, 2014 at 11:57:19 AM PDT

  •  First of all... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo

    ...it's nonsense. It's a meaningless, albeit coercive gesture that is completely non-binding.

    Secondly, it seems to contradict the idea that the government derives its power from the will of the people. To unconditionally pledge allegiance to the Republic, without any caveats, seems to relegate the citizenry to a subservient role, and implies blind obedience regardless of what form the Republic might take. Smacks of a loyalty oath.

    I've never felt comfortable saying it, even as a kid.

    I think a better pledge would be:

    I will my grace the Republic with my citizenship as long as it is in my interest to do so. Should that change, I reserve the right to take my business elsewhere.

    So endith the trick.

    by itsjim on Fri May 09, 2014 at 11:58:57 AM PDT

  •  I think I've mentioned this before (6+ / 0-)

    but will mention it again since it's appropriate here.

    I believe I was in the third grade (1958ish) when I came home from school one day and recited the pledge to my mother. When I got to the "under God" part, she stopped me and told me never to say that and that it was an inappropriate blend of church and state. She was quite vehement about it and I've never forgotten that.

    My mother was a die-hard Republican. Of course, she was an Eisenhower Republican, so I imagine she wouldn't even recognize today's Republicans.

  •  Hear Hear! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, Mikey, Ahianne

    The pledge is stupid no argument there but this judgment was a foregone conclusion that anyone could have presaged.

    Like most here who grew up in the 60's and the 70's we recited the pledge as a daily exercise, I've been told its "indoctrination" as if somehow repeating under god 1/day means you will become religious.

    It certainly didn't happen to me, it didn't happen to a lot of people I know, and to my friends who are religious I guarantee that it had nothing to do with the two stupid words in the pledge and had a lot more to do with the fact that their religious parents dragged them off to church every sunday for the better part of two decades.

    My nephew tells a hilarious story about how he slowly got his entire morning class to say "under dog" for over a week, they loved it cause it made them laugh and he said the teacher always thought it was funny. Kids if you talk to them see through the stupid pledge, its a chore that they don't really look forward to in class.

    Its very low on my priority list, someday I would like to see it removed but I know that the likelihood is so close to zero that I cant get overheated about it.

    Religion is like a blind man, in a pitch black room, searching for a black cat that isn't there.....and finding it.

    by fauxrs on Fri May 09, 2014 at 12:15:02 PM PDT

  •  I have a friend that just (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, anon004

    says with emphasis when the pledge is being recited... "one nation, under Canada" with liberty ...etc.

    Read the transcripts of Congress when the "under God" portion was added to the Pledge.  It has nothing to do with patriotism and everything to do with Christian proselytizing.

    The only remedy for all of this is to grow the numbers of atheists in the country. Between this ruling and the prayer ruling, the courts are making that job a lot easier.

  •  I will take this decision as an opportunity to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne, anon004

    reiterate my own preference, which is that each day at school should begin with a recitation of the First Amendment.

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Fri May 09, 2014 at 12:46:27 PM PDT

  •  Well, in the great scheme of things, (0+ / 0-)

    I'm opposed to making kids Play Jaleejuns, so what's an extra two words' worth of nonsense?

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Fri May 09, 2014 at 01:08:42 PM PDT

  •  It's always struck me as sadly apt... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne, anon004

    ...that the placement of "under God" quite literally divides "one nation" from "indivisible."

  •  This is a geeky-comment (0+ / 0-)

    You wrote "Oligarchy?  

    Clearly the next step is a Theocracy..."

    Would you mind adding "Theocracy" is a tag to this diary?  That would help others like me who are interested in this topic to find it more easily.

    And thank you for publishing it.

    “Now folks, by going on that web show, Barack Obama undermined the authority of the presidency. And that is Fox News' job.” - Stephen Colbert

    by Older and Wiser Now on Fri May 09, 2014 at 02:43:23 PM PDT

  •  Alito's Catholic (0+ / 0-)

    I wonder how "niggling he would find it if a priest wanted to open a town meeting in the fundie parts of the country with a "Hail, Mary," but was refused because the town didn't want to encourage idolatry.

    And that Alabama judge is either a liar or an idiot.  Muslims don't worship Muhammad, they worship Allah, who is God, and Buddhists don't worship Buddha, they try to live by his philosophy.   And, of course, his audience is to dumb to know the difference.

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