New Jersey lawsuit seeks to ban Pledge of Allegiance

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  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    April 23, 2014 8:45 a.m.

    For over half a century, the Pledge was fine until the phrase ‘under God’ was ill-advisedly inserted, thereby turning a unifying recitation into a divisive issue. Some people just don’t seem to know when to leave well enough alone.

  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    April 23, 2014 8:32 a.m.

    There are those who would like to see a collectivist government become the god of America and replace the US constitution.

    Then, there are those who seek NOT for power, but to pull it down. They seek NOT for honor of the world, but for the glory of God, and the freedom and welfare of the country.*

    *paraphrased from Book of Mormon.. Alma 60:36 where captain Moroni comes out against the 'king men' who are attempting to usurp the law that guarantees individuals liberty.

  • Badgerbadger Murray, UT
    April 23, 2014 7:50 a.m.

    Everyone has a God. For some it is money. For others it is the things money can buy. For Humanists, it is humans. For others, like Environmentalists and Atheists it is nature. For those who are religious, it is the Deity they worship, who may be called Allah, or Jesus, or any number of other names.

    God is generic and applies to everyone, even though Atheists don't like to think of it that way.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    April 23, 2014 7:01 a.m.

    And to the republic means; a group of people working in the same field. I have a problem with all the work out sourced.

  • my_two_cents_worth university place, WA
    April 22, 2014 10:21 p.m.

    @The Otherside
    los angeles, CA

    You said, "Your reference to the 1st Amendment is not relevant..,"

    It is very much relevant. Read the decision of the Court in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943).

    The problem with allowing kids to "opt out" is it implies to both those opting out and those reciting the pledge that those opting out are less patriotic, less American than their classmates and that the school (the state) "favors" those who have a belief in god. Scrap the pledge. Let those kids who want to rally round the flag pole before school starts, say their pledge and their prayers, then head off to class.

  • CBAX Provo, UT
    April 22, 2014 8:19 p.m.

    Lol debs,

    One nation under God, does not mean we think we're the only one, but Unified as one under God.

  • Jill24NJ SUSSEX, NJ
    April 22, 2014 6:47 p.m.

    Just one more reason I want to move out of the People's Republic of NJ . . . .

  • liberty or ...? Ogden, UT
    April 22, 2014 4:28 p.m.

    @Tolstoy.. I appreciate your clarifier but you can't have your cake and eat it too here. Your essentialy claiming the same stand point that Gay Marriage advocates are denying the states. Although Marriage is not mentioned in the constitution SSM advocates still imply it is covered by twisting the 14th amendmant or claiming it is a inalienable right. (Something by the way the Federal Supreme court has said is not true see Reynolds case and Edmund Tucker acts)If we are going with your logic then even though religious expression and display is protected by the 1st amendmant the state could sensor such expressions at will depending on their state laws. Using the SSM argument State laws cannot trump the constitution even though one is mentioned and the other is not. For example even though 14 state supreme courts have said marriage is an inalienable right, The Federal supreme court rulings have declared that isn't so. So saying the state can limit or declare such expressions be removed from public view is unconstitutional.

  • Z South Jordan, UT
    April 22, 2014 4:13 p.m.

    @Tolstoy, you misread my comment. New Jersey is not compelling the students to recite the pledge; It is simply the law that the pledge must be recited in the classroom. The students are free to opt out, just as they have always been. Or they are free to omit the words 'under God' if they are not comfortable with them.

    Uncomfortable because someone else used the word 'God' near you? We all get uncomfortable with some topic or other in school. It is part of growing up. This one is already settled by the courts and does not need to be litigated again.

  • PJ74 Taylor, MI
    April 22, 2014 1:16 p.m.

    as stated by a few others "under God" was not original wording to the pledge, but was added at a later date. I as a christian have no problem with this but can understand how an athiest could be offend IF one was forced to say it. As it stands now, no one is forced to recite "under God" or the entire pledge for that matter. America is a melting pot of all nationalities and religions, that's what makes us great. We need to accept other peoples beliefs and opinions and not get offended if they don't match our own. If the words "under God" were to be omitted, people would object. If the words stayed, people would object. If people feel this strongley about it, petition congress to revise te pledge one stating "under God" one without. That way both are official and the reciter has choice of which one to use. Just my opinion

  • JayWeston midvale, UT
    April 22, 2014 12:59 p.m.

    @Tolstoy Even though the state mandates that each school says the pledge of allegiance any student can opt out of saying it.

    'The AHA argues the pledge violates the New Jersey Constitution’s protection against discrimination due to “religious principles, race, color, ancestry or national origin.”'

    Not only should they take away 'under God,' but they should take out 'of the United States of America' because that violates the persons 'national origin.' What if the nation they come from is not a Republic? I guess we have to take that out too.

    Also, a petition with 10,600 signatures for New Jersey to secede from the union; so we should also take out 'one Nation indivisible.'

    Really the new pledge should be 'I pledge allegiance to the flag; with liberty and justice for all.' so that no one will be offended.

    The big issue is that they are suing the wrong people. If you have a problem with the wording of the pledge of allegiance, then take it up with Congress. If you have a problem with having people say it in school, then take it up with the state (which mandates that every school says it).

  • Objectified Tooele, UT
    April 22, 2014 12:57 p.m.

    It's sad that atheists and humanists use any and every opportunity they can to push secularism onto our country. It was a great and wonderful time when people were actually proud of America and not afraid to actually pledge their allegiance to our great country... and the ideals and way of life that it stands (or at least stood) for.

    Since the majority of America are still a God believing and a God fearing people, it's sad that the tail is once again trying to wag the dog instead of the other way around. A few people take stated principles in the Constitution out of context and misapply them for their own personal benefit.

    The more godless we become, the worse off our society becomes. Religious history verifies that time and time again. Sadly, we've become a people who is refusing to learn from history or to stand for principles worth fighting for. We're turning into the lowest common denominator of our society. That's what happened to Germany when it tried removing God from all segments of it's society about 75 years ago. And we all know how that turned out.

  • The Otherside los angeles, CA
    April 22, 2014 12:42 p.m.

    @Peter Blaise a)Your reference to the 1st Amendment is not relevant, as it the pledge of allegiance doesn't SPECIFY any religion. b) You're free to NOT take part in it. Originality has nothing to do with it, If only "original" ideas were followed we would be completely stagnant. Your comment implies that I don't have a choice, since you seem to advocate making it illegal to do so. You DON'T have the RIGHT to NOT BE OFFENDED, "move on"

  • prinze777 Fresno, CA
    April 22, 2014 12:12 p.m.

    New Jersey shouldn't be allowed to compel kids to recite it. However, if you actually paid attention in a U.S. history class, you would know that the simple mentioning of the word "God" in a document does not violate the separation of Church and State. Proof of this can be found in the Declaration of Independence where it says the word God at least once. In fact, if the mere mention of "God" violated the separation of Church and State in either the Federal or State Constitutions, then the New Jersey State Constitution itself would be a violation of the separation of church and state. The New Jersey State Constitution says the words "Almighty God" two times (preface and Article I.3) and refers to an "act of God" once (Article VIII Sect. II.3.e).

  • Philt Sacramento, CA
    April 22, 2014 12:03 p.m.

    When I was in High School (1966-1969), I too objected to reciting the "Pledge". What I did was stand along with the other members of the class, and remained silent. I didn't impose my beliefs on the other members of the class who--to a student-- stood, placed their hands on their hearts, and recited. If those who object find the pledge to be objectionable, they can either emulate me or leave the room, and return after it's done. Nowadays, these objectors can even remain seated-something not open to me back then.

    My college French teacher told me an amusing story. While she was teaching High School, she had her students write down the words of the "Pledge". Very few of them (and these students were mostly seniors) could actually do this correctly, even though they had been doing daily repetitions of the "Pledge" for a the past dozen years. The results, she said, were comical.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    April 22, 2014 12:00 p.m.

    "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of American and to the republic for which it stands, one national indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." That was the way the Pledge was worded when I first started school. I can remember "under God" being added to it and the huge effort it took for me to remember the new wording for the Pledge. The solution to this issue is simple -- put the Pledge back the way it was in the early 1950s. Problem solved.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    April 22, 2014 11:50 a.m.

    @ liberty: You have misread the story - the Pledge is not being challenged under the First Amendment (or any other part of the Federal Constitution) - it is being challenged under the state constitution.

    @ Z: While Federal cases have upheld the rights of schools to recite the Pledge, they have also determined that schools cannot make recitation mandatory.

  • DeseretDebbie Corona, CA
    April 22, 2014 11:49 a.m.

    Pledge not written with "Under God." It was added to appease the Catholic Knights of Columbus in the 1950's to oppose Communism. As a Christian I find it offensive to imply that the USA is the only nation Under God. I find it offensive that our government acknowledges any religious belief or promotion as that opens the door to not free will faith but whatever religion is in power at the time.

  • Z South Jordan, UT
    April 22, 2014 11:38 a.m.

    It has already been decided in multiple court cases that the Pledge can be recited in the classroom. It has also been decided that kids can opt out of reciting it. Throw this pointless lawsuit out.

  • Peter Blaise Falls Church, VA
    April 22, 2014 11:33 a.m.

    I think of Paul Simon singing "... as I pledge allegiance to the wall ..."


    Do kids -- or anyone -- need to pledge allegiance to a ... flag?

    The "under god" thing is (a) not original and (b) inappropriate for anything having to do with we the people's self governance -- think of the First Amendment prohibition of government instituted religion, oh my!

    And, more than that, the pledge is bogus anyway, never being tethered to our founding documents anyway.

    Move on, people.

  • liberty or ...? Ogden, UT
    April 22, 2014 11:24 a.m.

    This is the ultimate mockery of twisting the 1st amendment to apply to something it has no relevance to. The idea behind the establishment of religion clause in no way is meant to infer that government cannot acknowledge the existance of any deity it merely is protection against a particular religion or group from gaining state power and authority to enforce public law as was preleavant in all other countries of the time and history including non Judeo Christian faiths.The phrase under God does not compel you to believe in a specific interpretation of such or shove a belief down your throat the term is ambiguous without definition and is open to the interpretation of the pledger, whether it is acknowledging a deity or man. It is directly in line with our founding documents that ascribe authority of liberties to a higher authority than man. However, Godless communism is at least a fair admonition of where I believe those supporting this initiative intend to go. For if the state is God then the state(man)giveth and he taketh away. I'll stick with Natures law and Natures God. thanks