...ONE NATION UNDER (INSERT BELIEF HERE)
One of my few clear memories as a child in school unfortunately is not of history, math or reading class. I can though, clearly remember standing in Mrs. Collins' classroom just after morning announcements, reciting The Pledge of Allegiance. Never really dissecting the words to it, I only knew that it was a matter of pride in our country that we recited the pledge. Today still, children across the country every morning recite the pledge, I hope with the same pride. Three years ago in California, a father voiced that it was unlawful for his daughter to recite the pledge with the words, "under God." It seemed like a menial disagreement between a father and a school, but soon turned into one of the most controversial court battles in recent years. This American that took offense to the pledge took this controversy all the way to the highest court, and lost. I have said this before and this situation makes even more evident, America has a great religious diversity, but does not always have a tolerance for religion (or lack there of).
The religious right was outraged, newspapers and web sites posted headlines such as, "U.S. Court Votes to Bar Pledge of Allegiance," and "Lawmakers Blast Pledge Ruling." This was a result of an atheist by the name of Michael A. Newdow taking his daughter's school to court because she had to recite the pledge of allegiance every morning. Though children had been reciting this pledge in habit since the early 1920s, Newdow was upset that God was being forced on his daughter. That was not necessarily controversial, but the decision by the 9th Circuit Courts on the matter, which determined the pledge unconstitutional, did cause a stir. The court caused uproar on Capitol Hill and throughout conservative America. The fact that the courts believed that the reciting of the pledge went against the 1st Amendment of the Constitution brought on many talking points including what will happen to the words "In God we trust" on currency, leading prayer in congress, and the use of "God bless America" by politicians.
The pledge has been changed many times since its creation by Francis Bellamy in 1892. It was altered shortly after its creation because the words "my flag" gave the impression that immigrants might be pledging to their home country, so the words "to the flag of the United States of America" were inserted. The words "under God" were inserted during the 1950s and also around the same time "In God we trust" was put on all paper currency.
Many Americans spoke out against the decision by the 9th District Court of Appeals. Pat Robertson, Orrin Hatch, Joseph Lieberman, former President George H. W. Bush, President George W. Bush, and the list goes on and on of popular lawmakers and citizens that were outraged by this. There are countless web sites and petitions that were released to counter attack against this decision by the courts. There is even a...