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9th Circuit Court of Appeals: God is patriotic, not religious
I haven't seen any feedback from this yet. I posted a News article a few days ago.

Since I think it deserves a closer look, let's see what happened. (Emphasis is mine in bold and underlined.)

The San Francisco Appeals court has ruled that "Under God" is not a prayer when used in the Pledge of Allegiance. In 2002, the court declared that the phrase was unconstitutional. The new 2-1 ruling from the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals states it is a "recognition of our founders' political philosophy that a power greater than the government gives the people their inalienable rights [...] Thus, the pledge is an endorsement of our form of government, not of religion or any particular sect."

In a separate 3-0 ruling, the "In God We Trust" was also found to be non-religious; the motto is patriotic and ceremonial.

What form of government not based on religion invokes a god in its Loyalty Oath?


The Godless Constitution:
The word "God" does not appear within the text of the Constitution of the United States. After spending three-and-a-half months debating and negotiating about what should go into the document that would govern the land, the framers drafted a constitution that is secular. The U.S. Constitution is often confused with the Declaration of Independence, and it's important to understand the difference.

The Declaration of Independence is seen as that document that established the new nation of the United States. It was written by Thomas Jefferson in 1776. It was signed by the Continental Congress and sent to King George III of England. It is a very eloquent document that is celebrated every July 4, but it is not the law of the land. It is a statement of sentiments directed to King George III in reaction to unfair taxation. The U.S. Constitution was ratified on March 4, 1789 -- thirteen years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

The Declaration of Independence refers to "the Creator:"

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The Declaration of Independence is not a legal document; it is not the U.S. Constitution. Foes of the principle of separation of church and state often refer to the word "Creator" in the Declaration of Independence as proof that the framers of the U.S. Constitution intended for the United States to be ruled by a soveriegn being. Nothing could be further from the truth. The United States Constitution was written and ratified by elected officials representing a coalition of Enlightenment rationalists and evangelical Christians who were deeply concerned about entanglements between religion and government.

But apparently Judge Carlos Bea isn't a fan of history.

(from [url=][/url])
Judge Carlos Bea wrote:
"The pledge reflects many beliefs held by the founding fathers of this country -- the same men who authored the Establishment Clause -- including the belief that it is the people who should and do hold the power, not the government," Bea wrote. "They believed that the people derive their most important rights, not from the government, but from God."

Which is extremely odd. Why is he invoking the founding fathers? The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 and the term "under god" wasn't added officially until 1954.

Considering they left out any reference to a god in the U. S. Constitution, it wouldn't be a stretch to assume they wouldn't agree with this usage either.

The same can be said for the "in god we trust" on our currency for the very same reasons.

(from [url=][/url])
In his solo dissent, Judge Reinhardt said he doubts the constitutional protections at stake will evoke much concern in the political world.

Judge Stephen Reinhardt:
"Instead, to the joy or relief, as the case may be, of the two members of the majority, this court's willingness to abandon its constitutional responsibilities will be praised as patriotic," Reinhardt wrote, "and may even burnish the court's reputation among those who believe that it adheres too strictly to the dictates of the Constitution or that it values excessively the mandate of the Bill of Rights."

Edited by Skeeve on 03/14/2010 11:49
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
"The world is my country, and do good is my religion." - Thomas Paine
Bob of QF
It is a conundrum: the stupid "under god" and "in god we trust".


I do so very much love the fact that the Supreme Court has declared the above "not religious".

Thus? "god" in that context does not refer to anything important, and it trivializes the godbots' beliefs.

According to the Supreme Court, of course.

On the third hand?

I don't particularly like it-- but there are battles to be won, and I don't think this one is worth our energy at this time; I see more pressing issues to go to bat with, such as keep religion out of science class, fighting for equal rights for gays, keeping abortion legal, fighting to get equal basic health care for everyone (not just the 'haves' ), etc.

If we continue to press for good, quality science-based education?

Eventually, we will look back at the slogans and think, "how quaint".

And "in god we trust" will have no more significance than saying "god bless you" every time somebody sneezes.

Or better-- no more significance than someone deeply in the throes of orgasm, uttering "ohgodohgodohgodohgod".... not really significant in the grand scheme of things.

Just a meaningless saying.

Like it is now, for anyone with an actual working brain...

Edited by Bob of QF on 03/15/2010 22:10
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
When I saw the original post I was tempted to say something similar to what Bob of QF said. The complaints about "under god" and "in god we trust" are legitimate. The real question is, are these complaints worth the struggle at this point. There are far more important problems in the american body politic to worry about than these right now. Let those who find these incursions of god very difficult carry on the fight. Let the rest of us deal with the more important issues of the moment.

The above said with the belief that a lot of energy would be required at this time to remove those phrases from the pledge and the money.

What we can do for our children is point out that "under god" first appeared in the pledge in 1954 or so with "in god we trust" appearing on money in 1864 and becoming the national motto in 1956. Neither were significant to the founding fathers.

In fact less significant than the continuation of slavery which was codified by the founding fathers.
Edited by JohnH on 03/16/2010 00:06
All good replies. I agree. Religions' biggest enemy is honest, truthful education. The only way religion will succeed is if we allow it to infiltrate our education system and teach it's fantasies to the youth of the world.
I'll drink to that. Or anything else for that matter.
Bob of QF
derF wrote:
All good replies. I agree. Religions' biggest enemy is honest, truthful education. The only way religion will succeed is if we allow it to infiltrate our education system and teach it's fantasies to the youth of the world.

Which is why that battle is foremost to me.

Eventually, as people become better educated, the gay rights issue will be resolved. Same for women's right to control her own uterus-- much as I'd like to see both of these loosened from where they are now.

We must keep religion out of science class-- this cannot be a negotiable item.

Fortunately, college requires educated professors (mostly), and thus, most college education leads people away from godbottery.

At the very least, it leads them into a moderate or liberal (theologically) position--- you have to be both uneducated and ignorant to remain a fundie/literalist.
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
Doubting Thomas
I don't see how they can, with a straight face, claim that the word "God" is in no way religious and instead is simply historical (it's not, was added to the pledge and to our money in the 1950's) and ceremonial. Does that mean I can go around saying "Fuck God" and nobody will get offended because it's not a religious idea? If the word "God" in the pledge and on our money not religious, why do religious people insist they remain?
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
Of course it's disingenuous as hell. That's what we get with George W's conservative-dominated Supreme Court, although I doubt that a liberal one would overturn it. The peasants might arise with their torches and head for DC.
"If I owned both Hell and Texas, I'd live in Hell and rent out Texas." - General Sheridan
Doubting Thomas
Naw, they'll just sit back & whine about "activist judges" all over the internet like they always do when there's a ruling they don't like. But they're always silent in cases like this where it's fairly obvious that the ruling is politically motivated.
You're just jealous because the voices are talking to me and not you.
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