March 12, 2010
March 12, 2010
The most unpredictable court in America, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals has made an interesting ruling on whether the words “Under God” in the Pledge of allegiance is a religious prayer or a citizen declaration. Their decision surprised many as reported in the San Fransisco Chronicle.
The federal court that touched off a furor in 2002 by declaring the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance to be an unconstitutional endorsement of religion took another look at the issue Thursday and said the phrase invokes patriotism, not religious faith. The daily schoolroom ritual is not a prayer, but instead “a recognition of our founders’ political philosophy that a power greater than the government gives the people their inalienable rights,” said the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco in a 2-1 ruling. “Thus, the pledge is an endorsement of our form of government, not of religion or any particular sect.”
The dissenting judge, Stephen Reinhardt, said statements by members of Congress who added “under God” to the pledge in 1954 show conclusively that it was intended to “indoctrinate our nation’s children with a state-held religious belief.”
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