Church and State

1.. Regarding your blog on the Pledge of Allegiance, I am not sure I understand the real issue in having "under God" in the Pledge. Since those two words can pertain to any God, what does it hurt? I don't think it is religion specific. For those that choose to have it removed or not hear it, can't they do as the Jehovah Witnesses and leave the room or sit down? I have never thought of the pledge as being right or left. Maybe having those words in the Pledge, as well as the wording on the currency or the words in the courtroom are mere comfort for some. Is that really wrong? It doesn't appear to be pushing an agenda.

Q 1:: Regarding your blog on the Pledge of Allegiance, I am not sure I understand the real issue in having "under God" in the Pledge. Since those two words can pertain to any God, what does it hurt? I don't think it is religion specific. For those that choose to have it removed or not hear it, can't they do as the Jehovah Witnesses and leave the room or sit down? I have never thought of the pledge as being right or left. Maybe having those words in the Pledge, as well as the wording on the currency or the words in the courtroom are mere comfort for some. Is that really wrong? It doesn't appear to be pushing an agenda.

A 1: As I attempted to identify in my blog, the history around the addition of the words "under God" in the pledge as well as designating "In god we trust" as the official motto of the United States were themselves pushing an agenda. In both cases, the agenda was in part anti-communist. That was even more explicitly the case regarding the designation of the official motto. As I stated in the blog you mention, the United States was never in danger of being taken over by communists.

In the case of the pledge I also noted that choosing whether or not to recite it demands an active participation. In the case of students, to suggest that they leave the room or sit down and remain speechless, is asking too much of youth. Kids tend to be among the cruelest members of our society, in part because they are trying to figure out who they are themselves. There is tremendous pressure placed on each other to conform. Leaving the room would place them in an unacceptable risk of ridicule on the part of their classmates. It also places them in the position of not pledging to a flag and country that they may very well support, because the pledge also demands they acknowledge and profess faith in a God whom they may not believe in.

The Constitution does not so much set these two values in opposition to each other as it prevents them from intruding on each other.