Sunday, August 22, 2004

One Nation Under God

During the summer of 2002, several cases rose regarding the statement "one nation under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, cases that still this summer have not been resolved. During the first few months of this year, the Supreme Court heard a case involving a school district versus a father who felt his child should not have to recite the pledge due to religious disagreement.

A little background:
On June 26, 2002, Judge Alfred T. Goodwin of the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, ruled the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional when recited by students because of the phrase "one nation under God." The phrase "one nation under God" was added to the pledge written by Francis Bellamy in 1892 by Congress in 1954. The reason for which the idea of constitutionality arises is the first amendment. It states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

I have no disagreement when it comes to the phrase, but today, as I was reading the words of the Star Spangled Banner, I was surprised by a phrase in the fourth verse of our national anthem that I had never given second thought to:

"Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation! Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto: In God is our trust!” (Francis Scott Key--1814)

Now I don't suppose either Francis Bellamy or Francis Scott Key meant any harm or intended to cause an uproar. Both men were deeply religious, regarded Providence as the only reason for which this nation came to be, and weren't afraid to share their beliefs with history.

I just wonder how long will it be until the Supreme Court hears the case of whether or not our national anthem is unconstitutional.

1 comment:

Tara A. Rowe said...

CNN reported today that the Supreme Court rejected the challenge to the Pledge of Allegiance. Here's the link as I have yet to figure out how to put links directly in the text of my posts!!

http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/08/23/pledge.allegiance/index.html