Friday, March 12, 2010

Under God

It is at times like this that I feel in such a minority.

The Ninth Circuit ruled yesterday that the "under God" clause of the pledge of allegiance should stay. At Huckleberries, my favorite local blogging spot, there was a lengthy discussion about the decision. Most comments were well thought out. Most favored the ruling. Here's what they had to say.

So I commented too. Here is what I said:

In law school, there was one other student who disagreed with me on virtually every point that I made in class, except when I talked about keeping religion out of government. On that point, she always agreed. Her religion? Jewish. It is easy to be cavalier about people's rights and sensitivities until you yourself are the subject of the trampling. I haven't read the opinion. BUT my impression of the issue is that the “under God” cannot be salvaged under the “tradition” exception the Supremes have carved out, since it was only implemented in recent years (during McCarthyism - am I right?). So, instead, there is a new exception? I rarely have occasion to say the pledge of allegiance these days (isn't a “pledge” like a “prayer”?), but when I do, I leave out “under God” - I just don't say it - not because I don't believe in God - I do - but because I live in a country where there is freedom of religion - which includes the freedom to NOT have a religion. When I registered voters in NC in 2008 with a Vietnam Vet, there was one woman who said she wasn't registered because she doesn't want to vote. He told her he fought for her right to vote. I reminded him that he also fought for her right to NOT vote. This, to me, is just like that. It is a philosophy. It is a way of life. It is, after all, the American way. Or so I believe.

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