PART FOUR – Summary and Concluding Remarks
To summarize, the critical
issues in the pledge controversy are existential, historical, and of a
matter of judicial and congressional authority.
First, there is the primary issue of whether or not there exists a
singular omnipotent supernatural intelligence in the first place.
Clearly not all citizens in this nation agree.
However, not even the Supreme Court has the right to rule one way
or another. Second, even if it
the existence of such a being were provable, which it is not, there would
still be the issue of whether the deity “God”, versus some other
deity, is in fact that being. Clearly
again, not all citizens agree on this issue, and equally as clearly again,
not even the Supreme Court has the right to decide the issue one way or
another. The government has no
legitimate justification to transcend the mandates of the First Amendment
and extend special difference to God or any other deity.
On this basis alone, the Justice Department appeal was clearly in
the wrong to challenge the legitimacy of the Ninth Circuit Court majority
The tangible issues boil
down to the proposition that our nation “was founded on a fundamental
belief in God” and the historical evidence for or against it.
Undoubtedly, belief in a deity called “God” was part of the
“religious heritage” imported from the old world and thus resided with
some indeterminate number of people during the founding days of the
nation. Still, the greater
weight of historical evidence does not substantiate the notion that all
the founders believed in “God” or did so exclusively.
As per specific instance, careful examination of the Declaration of
Independence supports neither the notion of a singular supreme being nor
the proposition that the Nation was founded on one.
The single most decisive historical evidence is the Constitution
itself. Nowhere within is
there any reference whatsoever to a deity called “God”.
In fact, it specifically mandates against government entanglement
with religion. On this basis
alone, the notion that our nation was founded on a fundamental belief in
God is untenable. Therefore, any court that previously decided otherwise
was clearly in the wrong. Any
court that now follows such bad precedent will also clearly be wrong.
To selectively reject, use, or misuse judicial criterion to justify
the imposition of deity, amounts to a judicially defective and dangerous
mode of action. The so-called
“historical test” has no basis of justification in the Constitution,
only in matters of factional religious sentiment.
Even in view of all of
this, if the courts still fail to see the problem with the “under God”
pledge, then they should consider the historical issues of “heritage”
from a different perspective. The
history and culture of this nation is composed of many “heritages”
each one just as essential to the nation’s identity as its “religious
heritage”. Why should
religion have special license to impose itself on our Pledge of
Allegiance? There is just as
much “historical justification” to favor the phraseology “under
Science”, or “under Capitalism”, “under the Arts”, “under
Agriculture”, “under Education”, or “under the Militia”.
Although this perspective is pluralistic, the inevitable conclusion
is the same. The imposition of
the phrase “under God” is blatant favoritism. The theistic ideology
inherent in the phrase “under God” is not even representative of the
more inclusive sphere of the nation’s religious legacy.
If we are to subjugate the
import of the Pledge under anything at all, then it should be “under the
Constitution”, which is this Nation’s unique sacred heritage, a
transcendent gift bestowed upon us by the works of the Founders.
Being of the same classification, the existence of divine
providence is equally as un-provable as the existence of supernatural
beings. If such phenomenon
were to have substance ascribable to any document, religious or not
religious, then the Constitution must certainly stand as divinely
inspired, if not more divinely inspired, than any piece of writing created
before it. Is this
latter statement just a bald-faced assertion of personal belief?
Considering the evidence of history, I don't believe it is.
The United States Constitution is a superior crystallization of the
best lawgiving of the ages, and in any case is the Supreme Law of this
is painfully objectionable about past judgments is the manifest lack of
respect for the people’s Sixth Article protections from religious test.
As an undeniable Constitutional fact, belief in “God”, or any
other deity for that matter, is not a requirement of citizenship.
The notion that no one is required to take the Pledge does not
dispel the significance of the breach of trust.
The presence of the phase “under God” makes the current
official Pledge a religious test by definition.
Since no religious test is required, the government is in error to
prescribe a pledge whose wording clearly implies that belief in “God”
is a requirement of citizenship.
with all this discrepancy set aside, are the teachers even informing the
children that they have a choice between taking the pledge, silently
sitting or standing, or leaving the room, and if so, how often?
Why in most instances are dissenters compelled to stand if they do
not choose to leave the room? What
of the rights of the teachers conscripted to initiate the Pledge on a
daily basis? Can they
refuse to officiate to the ceremony and/or leave the room if they so
chose? What of their
careers if they exercise their so called “right” of dissent by acting
on these latter “choices”? How
can any teacher in this nation’s public school system possibly do
justice to the true heritage and meaning of the Constitution under the
travesty of this government-mandated act of idolatry?
What does the government, and by default the public school system,
have to say to the teachers who are loyal to the true import of the Sixth
Article and the First Amendment regarding protection against religious
loyalty tests and fusion between government and religion?
“Suck it up and conform or go find another profession”?
Well, many if not most of them were purged by attrition or pushed
out before their time, and now none can replace them to teach the
Constitution and true meaning of national allegiance as it should be
taught and still hope to survive as professional public school teachers.
The epidemic impact of this injury has damaged the integrity and
quality of education in America right down to its nationalistic roots.
students and adults tend to misunderstand the federal judiciary's role in
dealing with disputes about the meaning and application of constitutional
rights. In the Center for Civic Education study, most students had
misconceptions about judicial review and were unaware of the perennial
conflict between judicial review and majority rule (Quigley et al. 1987,
5). These conclusions were paralleled by the Hearst Report, which also
found that about half of the adult respondents misconceived the role and
powers of the Supreme Court in our constitutional system of separated
powers and checks and balances (1987, 23-26). Michael Kammen's history of
the Constitution in American culture documents the long-standing public
ambivalence to and misunderstanding of the Supreme Court's role in
protecting individual rights against the potential tyranny of majority
for full text)
along with all other evidence discussed, the existence of injury is rather
evident. Is it not
injury to the solvency of the Constitution itself, the sacred heritage of
the Founders? Is it not injury
to the integrity of the courts and the legislative process, and
consequently to the
Considering this along with all other evidence discussed, the existence of injury is rather evident. Is it not injury to the solvency of the Constitution itself, the sacred heritage of the Founders? Is it not injury to the integrity of the courts and the legislative process, and consequently to thesystem of separated powers and checks and balances among the arms of government? Is it not injury to the rights of the children and their teachers and the many of us others? Is it not injury to the sole of this nation and to its posterity? My own personal injury, although painfully real enough, is just one instance among many that collectively amount to a ubiquitous syndrome to which the courts have predominantly turned a blind or callused eye.
bottom line is that belief in "God" or any deity for that matter
is not a requirement of citizenship in this country, whereas conformance
to the law (Constitutional Law) is a requirement of citizenship in good
standing. The Sixth
Article of the Constitution mandates that, "no religious test
shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust
under the United States", and the First Amendment mandates that,
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
religion." Those people
who break these laws and otherwise coerce others into breaking them, are
not citizens or politicians in good standing, they are enemies to just and
fair law and therefore enemies to the common good.
Swearing allegiance to deity is what people are at liberty to do in
their houses of worship or personal homes if they so choose.
Beyond that, their license to conscript anyone to their deities and
proselytization is virtually non-existent and it certainly does not
include free license to pollute the common ground of our nationalism via
its core ceremonies of oath taking!
Using government authority to force a choice between taking a
pledge that amounts to a religious test versus sucking it up in silence
with no pledge at all is the worst kind of political bigotry imaginable.
It is not fair, nor impartial, nor is it just.
What is more, IT IS AGAINST THE STANDING CONSTITUTIONAL LAW OF THIS
NATION! The U.S. 9th
Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that the phraseology, "under
God" is an "impermissible government endorsement of
religion", was both constitutionally correct and justified on all
grounds legitimately relevant to the issue.
Washington has an obligation to submit to the specification of a
constitutionally valid Pledge or submit to complete repeal of all statutes
prescribing the official use of any pledge at all.
and the courts
should never have allowed the Pledge, the core ceremony of our
nationalism, to get tangled up with matters of deity as they did in 1954
and have allowed since. They
aided and abetted the commission of a profound classificatory error. If
honorable and just acknowledgment of the unconstitutionality of the
present pledge would put other more peripheral concessions to religion in
danger of revocation, then so be it. Perhaps
the time for such a house cleaning is long past due.
Perhaps it is time to reevaluate the concessions currently in
effect with an eye to either removing them or rendering them more
legitimate with regard to government neutrality and religious pluralism.
Perhaps it is necessary to protect this nation’s true legacy of
enlightened civil law from the insidious destructiveness of theocracy, or
any other corrupting influence on congressional law making.
Speaking of same, exactly what is this “integral part of the
systematic development of constitutional doctrine” and who first coined
the phrase? More
verbal moonshine intended to create an aura of legitimacy for an evolving
tradition of subverting the Constitution in the service of theocracy.
Are we to presuppose that this so-called “integral part of
constitutional doctrine” is to take precedence over the literal import
of the Constitution itself? We
must stand up and protect this nation’s principles of liberty, equality,
and justice, for our own sakes and for our posterity, or they will be
lost. At the core of it, the
ideological import of the current pledge is unacceptably corrupt and
dangerous, having fostered enumerable injuries for five decades.
It is in severe need of either abandonment as a ceremonial act, a
return to the pre-1954 Pledge, or refurbishment to better protect its
nationalistic import against the devices of power hungry religious
factions. In consideration of
this latter matter, the present letter of petition ends with the following
pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, - and to
the CONSTITUTION for which it stands, - one Nation indivisible, with
Equality, Liberty, and Justice for all.
E Pluribus Unum!
George, United States Citizen