Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Pledge of Allegiance, Round Two

By now, the news has even hit the folks hiding under rocks on Mars: a federal judge has ruled that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools goes awry of the First Amendment.

Michael Newdow, the plaintiffs' attorney (and the man who unsuccessfully pushed the same matter to the Supreme Court last year) hits it on the head:

"Imagine every morning if the teachers had the children stand up, place their hands over their hearts, and say, 'We are one nation that denies God exists,"' Newdow said in an interview with AP Radio after the ruling.

"I think that everybody would not be sitting here saying, 'Oh, what harm is that.' They'd be furious. And that's exactly what goes on against atheists. And it shouldn't."

There's an eerie aspect of the daily recitation that I always found unsettling. The only time I really enjoyed reciting the pledge was in Maine Junior Classical League meetings, when we'd recite it in Latin. Other than that, the scene in the Pearl Jam video, "Jeremy," which cuts from students reciting the pledge to students effecting a fascist "Heil Hitler"-style salute pretty much sums up my view.

In the long run, I think the best thing to do is to make public schools themselves unconstitutional. Then people who want their kids to observe deities can send their kids to schools where deities are observed, and the rest of us (definitely the minority) can send our kids to nonobservant schools.



Categories: , ,