The pledge, published in 1892, was first challenged on religious grounds in 1943, before the reference to God was even written in. That year, in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, the Supreme Court ruled that students could not be compelled to salute or say the pledge in classrooms after a Jehovah's Witness refused to participate at school.Unfortunately, said attorney is also invalidating sincere nonbelievers by wasting the court's time...
The pledge went for another decade without reference to the godhead until the early 1950s, when the Knights of Columbus began pushing at annual meetings to have the phrase added for general recitation. Lobbied by groups including the Knights, Congress passed a joint resolution in 1954 that inserted the phrase, with the approval of President Dwight Eisenhower.
"These words will remind Americans that despite our great physical strength we must remain humble," Eisenhower wrote in a 1954 letter to the Knights, thanking them for their contribution. "They will help us to keep constantly in our minds and hearts the spiritual and moral principles which alone give dignity to man, and upon which our way of life is founded."
The sponsors of the 1954 bill signaled their anticipation that other people might be less enthusiastic about the addition to the pledge, saying that, "A distinction must be made between the existence of a religion as an institution and a belief in the sovereignty of God."
"The phrase 'under God' recognizes only the guidance of God in our national affairs," they said.
An attorney who is representing the Massachusetts family that wants to strike the phrase said in the state's Supreme Court on Wednesday that the words, when recited in classrooms, "validates believers as good patriots and it invalidates atheists as non-believers at best and unpatriotic at worst."
Sunday, September 08, 2013
Taking The Pledge
The Pledge still stands: