The Goal of the Pledge Suit

The Pledge of Allegiance plaintiff explains he is contesting 'Under God' to raise awareness of the 'plight of atheists.'

eastcoastlady

09/26/2005 11:30:01 AM

Illuminati, I'd prefer if you modified your posts to "ignorant thinking by some theists." Not all of us are out there beating our drums, saying, "We're number 1!"

illuminata55

09/26/2005 07:43:53 AM

"America was built on God, that's were America's power, law and morality comes from. You can see what the atheist attacks are doing to America, just look at the rise in violent crime or the 9/11 attacks." This nicely proves the ignorant bigotry of theists. The US was NOT found on Xtianity- or any other god. And the 9/11 attacks was performed BY RELIGIOUS PEOPLE. Why is it that they have to lie all the time? Is that what they consider "morality." Sane, thinking people are behind Mr. Newdow. He's forcing them to uphold the law of the land.

eastcoastlady

09/22/2005 08:14:38 AM

xaurreaux I don't know if you were talking to me also when you posted your "other atheists speaking out" message, but I'm not an atheist - just a person who gets way tired of sanctimony.

XaurreauX

09/21/2005 03:16:15 PM

I'm just glad to see other atheists speaking out against the puerile whining of those who don't have the slightest interest of knowing the basics of how the republic is supposed to run and whose pedestrian sentimentality passes for values.

eastcoastlady

09/21/2005 12:48:47 PM

I'm personally so sick and tired of people wailing and gnashing their collective teeth over the downfall of society since "God has been removed from the schools". What utter garbage. If people really learned and lived what religion is supposed to teach, in the home and houses of worship where it's actually appropriate to discuss and learn such things, then society would not have fallen whether or not one says, "Under God" in public schools. Oh, BTW, did I say public schools? That can't be emphasized enough.

duffen

09/20/2005 10:49:43 PM

When I became convinced that the universe is natural, that all the ghosts and gods are myths, there entered into my brain, into my soul, into every drop of my blood the sense, the feeling, the joy of freedom. The walls of my prison crumbled and fell. The dungeon was flooded with light and all the bolts and bars and manacles became dust. I was no longer a servant, a serf, or a slave. There was for me no master in all the wide world, not even in infinite space. I was free--free to think, to express my thoughts--free to live my own ideal, free to live for myself and those I loved, free to use all my faculties, all my senses, free to spread imagination's wings, free to investigate, to guess and dream and hope, free to judge and determine for myself . . . I was free! I stood erect and fearlessly, joyously faced all worlds. Enough to make an atheist shout "hallelujah!"

JimH49

09/20/2005 09:57:42 PM

Fosson: Your argument is basically a statement of Christian religious beliefs, presented as indisputable facts. As long as there are people trying to shove these "indisputable facts" down other people's throats, those of us who are not Christian must fight back, in order to keep our right to practice our religion (or in the case of atheists, our non-religion).

JimH49

09/20/2005 09:54:49 PM

Jesubud writes: Let me remind you that without God, there is no atheism. There is nothing for which you can deny the existance of. Sorry, but that makes absolutely no sense. Of course there can be atheism without (your) God. For example, I deny that Vishnu (a Hindu god) exists. By your reasoning, Vishnu must exist or I wouldn't be able to deny his existence. Atheism does not say "I know that God (which generally means the one in the Bible) really exists, but for some reason I am denying that existence." Atheism is simply "I do not believe in any gods" (or sometimes "No god or gods exist"). That statement does not require the existence of any gods, only that people have come up with the idea of a god or gods. Similarly, "I do not believe in unicorns" (or even "I deny the existence of unicorns") does not require that unicorns actually exist. It only requires that people have come up with the idea of unicorns. So, certainly there can be atheism without your God and without any other gods.

Zadig

09/19/2005 04:45:04 PM

fosson... really? That's your argument? {sigh} First, atheism is not faith in itself, nor is it self-worship. That would be autolotry. So different, it gets its own word. Second, atheism is the belief that there is no God (or lack of a belief in a God) not a statment that God absolutely does not exist. By the way, your knowledge argument works against itself. If one must be omniscient to know for sure whether or not God exists, you cannot know either. If you wish to deny this, then you will have to engage in a self-defeating inconsistency. One last thing, if God likes "under God" in the pledge so much, why did he wait until 1954 to insert it?

darnay3

09/17/2005 01:14:02 PM

Stref, I really, really wish the founding of America was as simple and clear as you believe. But you are wrong. It isn't that clear. Too bad, so sad, but there it is. There were, are and always will be atheists, agnostics and others in this country who have religious beliefs you do not share. I am more than happy to share this land with religious fundamentalists, just so long as my government helps me by protecting me from thier repeated attempts at forcing me to be like them. If you can't handle that, maybe you should be the one to drop the pretense.

eastcoastlady

09/16/2005 10:35:36 AM

Hey, stref, I like your posts of 9/10/2005 3:32:57 A.M. and 3?21:54 A.M. I'm equally impressed that you can think clearly at such an hour of the day!

strefanash

09/10/2005 03:32:57 AM

If atheists had their way America would cease to exist overnight. America was built on God, that's were America's power, law and morality comes from. Stref: so said the founding fathers of 1620 as they massacred the local native american tribes. (that is why there aren't any indian tribes in New england) you do know, of course that Hitler appealed to the American genocide of native americans to justify his own of the Jews? In fact he may have got the idea from American murderers of Indians themselves. America founded on God? NO nation ever was, except perhaps Ancient Israel

strefanash

09/10/2005 03:21:54 AM

I support the pledge suit, even though i am what many could call a fundamentalist christian, because the behaviour of the USA makes it clear that the claimn that they are "under God" is not only a lie but a blasphemous one at that. USA is "under God"? ACT LIKE IT, or drop the pretense

Warrior557

06/17/2004 06:19:16 AM

If atheists had their way America would cease to exist overnight. America was built on God, that's were America's power, law and morality comes from. You can see what the atheist attacks are doing to America, just look at the rise in violent crime or the 9/11 attacks. Removing 'under god' from the pledge may seem like a small thing, but it's part of a much large campaign. One that will end in the destruction of the American way of life if we don't fight back now.

Beliefnet_Blackbear

06/16/2004 05:52:55 AM

Several posts have been deleted from this mini-board. The accusation or insinuation that athiests lack any kind of ethical or moral sense or making the same accusation or insinuation about theists is a violation of Beliefnet's Rules of Conduct. This is a discussion on the outcome of the Pledge case, NOT open season on athiests or theists. Beliefnet_Blackbear

fosson

03/27/2004 01:08:19 AM

Atheism is a religion of faith in itself. To be an Atheist one would have to be omniscient, knowing all things, having a perfect knowledge of the universe, to say they absolutely know God does not exist. He then would have to have a perfect knowledge of all things past present and future. Theirs is not a statement made on facts, since one would actually have to be God to claim this. A person would have to be God in order to say there is no God, therefore God would exist. It would be them. Yikes... Man's quest is still...to be his own God, to rule his own life....and now in this case...to change laws to suit him. There is only one entrance back and it is to humble oneself, admit we are sinful and then we will be allowed to partake of the tree of life (Christ's cross). Until this occurs we will continue to bear fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil..Atheist's have their human rights...as we all do...but God still runs the place...and He gets the FINAL say. He like's "Under God"

randomcoolzip

03/26/2004 11:19:09 AM

I think that the words "under God" in the Pledge dilute the original and very important meaning of the Pledge, which is that we are "one nation, indivisible." I also think there is more theological content in the phrase than the supporters of the Pledge as it stands want to admit. "Under God" implies that God is "up there" - the traditional Judeo-Christian concept that God is a Person who resides above the sky and looks down and watches everything we do. For the government to endorse that concept officially leaves out in the cold not only atheists but also the many religious Americans, myself included, whose conception of the Divine is different. If "under God" in the Pledge is merely a meaningless expression of "ceremonial Deism", then why are so many religious groups fighting so hard to keep it?

jesubud

03/24/2004 07:54:01 PM

Mr Newdaw, It sounds like you don't believe there is liberty for all people in the United States? Do you believe there is justice for all? Why don't we take those lines out of the pledge as well. God is a generic term for the supreme eternal source of existance. You can choose not to believe in a personal perception of God, just so much as you can choose to believe that there is not justice for all. If the phrase was "under Christ", or "under Allah", I woiuld agree with you. It is not though. We are a nation of rich religious diversity and that includes Atheism. It is the strength of this country. Let me remind you that without God, there is no atheism. There is nothing for which you can deny the existance of.

acolytejohn

03/24/2004 03:40:17 PM

Another example of Christanity being presicuted.I WILL NOT ABANDON MY GOD OR HIS SON FOR WHAT HE DID FOR ME.

lucilius

10/17/2003 02:50:55 PM

(Cont., III): Second, screaming that any attempt to actually equalize the public field amounts to terrible persecution of a pitiful minority. Yet look at reality for a minute: practically every level of the government publicly proclaim their affection for Christianity; most public meetings still open with Christian prayers; churches aren't even taxed; televangelists regularly urge their followers to bash anyone who doesn't agree with them; Bibles and Christian-themed books and music are universally available, even given away; the majority of U.S. citizens are at least nominally Christian ... I could go on and on. Your whimpers of persecution hold no water whatsoever. Yet you paint yourself as the victim of a vast, dark plot that threatens to overwhelm Christianity. Puhleeeze.

lucilius

10/17/2003 02:50:38 PM

(Cont., II): You're example number 12,115,336 or so of two things endemic in American Christianity. First, projection: what you've been doing to everyone else for decades, you constantly fear someone is going to do to you. "What? We can't make everybody swear allegiance to Jesus? Why, it's a witch hunt!"

lucilius

10/17/2003 02:49:53 PM

(Cont.): "Why are religious people so persecuted by these atheists?" Waaaaah, waaaah, waaaaah. It's obvious you've never experienced actual persecution. Try being an atheist for a while – know how many death threats Newdow has received? Hundreds. Try being, say, gay. Or try wearing traditional Muslim clothing post-Sept. 11. Try any of those and see how your fellow Christians treat you.

lucilius

10/17/2003 02:49:15 PM

Mboggs, if you think the Pledge controversy indicates "state-sponsored" atheism, then you obviously slept through those days in history class describing the Soviet system. "No other faith has the ability to go into the courts and have all mention of different viewpoints wiped from their sight!" This statement indicates your further ignorance of anti-discrimination laws. Followers of any religion can seek redress from the courts (leaving out the argument about atheism being a "religion"). Nor is the demand to "wipe" any religious reference from the sight of atheists (or other nontheists) – it's to remove a reference that receives official sanction from the government. Nobody's telling you to take down the cross on your church; no one is grabbing for your Bible. But the U.S. government is not a wholly-owned subsidiary of YourChurch, Inc.

haladir

10/17/2003 12:54:00 PM

[part 2 of 2] In 1954, at the height of the Second Red Scare and under the advise of Senator McCarthy, the phrase "under God" was added Pledge of Allegiance. This was purely motivated by politics: communism was recognized as an officially atheist political philosophy. Therefore an American Communist would not be able to pledge allegiance to the flag, and was a traitor at worst, or Un-American at best. Looking at the history of the Pledge, the "under God" phrase was added to the Pledge under the most cynical and mean-spirited of rationales. It uses the cloak of religion to promote a *purely political* aim. As for my opinion as an American Christian: Remove the "under God" phrase. It seems to me to be incongruous with both the concept of Christian charity and with the Establishment Clause of the First Ammendment to the Constitution of the US. Information Source: Baer, John. "The Pledge of Allegiance, A Centennial History, 1892 - 1992", Annapolis, Md. Free State Press, Inc., 1992

haladir

10/17/2003 12:53:28 PM

The original Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister and member of the American Socialist Party. It went: "I pledge allegiance to my flag and the Republic for which it stands, one Nation indivisible, with Liberty, Equality, and Justice for All." When widely re-printed the following year by a magazine called "The Youth's Companion" (which was sort of the "Reader's Digest" of its day), the publishers took out the work "Equality", not wanting to stir up controversy with the Womens Suffrage movement. In 1924, the National Flag Conference adopted the revised Pledge of Allegiance, replacing the phrase "my flag" with "the flag of the United States of America". Bellamy, who attended the conference, voted against this change. In 1942, Congress adopted the revised Pledge as the official Pledge of Allegiance in the US. [Continued]

mboggs

10/17/2003 12:45:30 PM

The 'plight of the atheists', please! The atheists enjoy the benefits of a state-sponsored religion, the exact thing the 'separation of church & state' is actually designed to prevent. No other faith has the ability to go into the courts and have all mention of different viewpoints wiped from their sight! Why are religious people so persecuted by these atheists? How does it hurt them to hear someone utter 'amen'? Lawsuits are based on actual damages incurred by a party. How has Newdow been harmed? No one is forcing him or his daughter to pray. He is enforcing his views on the rest of society with no tolerance for religious people. This is indeed the latest, and most potent, weapon of evil - clearing all mention of God from the public. An example that has now gone to the Supreme Court is a student who received a full scholarship - until he declared his major as 'theology' Where is the ACLU on this violation of rights? Be careful, everyone! The tools of evil are thriving.

aajoey

10/17/2003 11:37:28 AM

"...under God..." implies that we're all slaves to the Christian God. Is that true? I don't think so, regardless of how many Americans want so badly to be slaves to their gods. I'm not, and my family is not. Slavery is wrong. Let a church be "under God" and let liberated Americans make that choice themselves. The government has no place pushing us under the slavery of any of the god-ideas out there. And while we're at it, why not teach the students in public schools exactly what the pledge means. Notice they never do that? Is it some mystery why? No. It's clear that they don't want anyone questioning religion in government. Well I'm telling my kids to do what they want, but never be satisfied with not knowing. Demand answers. Demand to know exactly why a teacher would ask you to become a slave. Yes, that's what it means to us. Slavery is wrong, no matter which religion is pushing it.

septegram

10/17/2003 10:44:03 AM

lighthouse_angel9: to change the pledge, which has been around for a LONG time, we'd have to change everything--the money, government buildings, ect! The phrase "under God" was added in the 1950s: it's not original to the Pledge. The National Motto used to be "e pluribus unum," too, a far more appropriate and inclusive one than the one used since the 1950s. This makes me angry. Think how those of us who believe in the Constitution feel every time we see the inappropriate conflation of Church and State. (cont'd below)

septegram

10/17/2003 10:43:35 AM

(cont'd from above) I do not believe that the first amendment gives us the freedom from religion. How do you have freedom of religion without freedom from religion? that statement in the constitution/bill of rights means that the government cannot establish a religion that everyone has to follow. by saying "under GOD" in the pledge, our government is NOT doing that or else someone else would've complained a LONG time ago. People have been complaining since it was inserted. It is clearly a State endorsement of religion in general and Christianity in particular. Read a little history of the subject.

septegram

10/17/2003 10:36:36 AM

Quoth Rigel5740: People are offended by phrases like "under G-d" and "In God We Trust" because they immediately associate the term with one of these narrow conceptions. Some are offended not because of that but because of the principles that such a statement violates. When I say that you cannot have morality without G-d, ... I simply mean that the principles of morality are what they are because reality is what it is So you hold to the "natural law" theory of ethics? That doesn't require a deity. and reality is from G-d. That's your personal belief. Do you expect the US government to endorse it?

septegram

10/17/2003 10:34:01 AM

Quoth Rigel5740: Trinitygoddess, I was not referring to "a specific deity," I was referring to G-d. Which God? There are thousands. That's not the issue, though. It's not whether the gov't is endorsing a particular deity (egregious though that is) but the gov't involving itself in religion at all. Most people who claim belief in atheism do not live as atheists. How do atheists live? The ones I know have jobs and families, go to the movies now and then, and live like the rest of us. The only thing that joins atheists as a group is their lack of belief in any kind of deity.

septegram

10/17/2003 10:30:53 AM

Quoth Bellasmom: I don't feel the need to push my beliefs onto them, and I appreciate it when they offer me the same respect. The problem here is that those who would introduce religion into government don't accord you the same freedom and respect.

septegram

10/17/2003 10:28:40 AM

Quoth smflores: God is the very foundation that our country and universe was built on. That's your belief, but should it be enshrined in law? I feel profoundly sorry for the so called "plight of atheists." To not believe in God? Just look around you, HE is everywhere and everything. That's hardly obvious. In fact, the majority of the human race throughout history has not believed in your God. I can't explain in words, how deeply this offends me. Why? Is your faith so flimsy that it needs government support? If the "atheists," Why the quotation marks? There really are atheists, y'know. What next? Perhaps a State that doesn't endorse religion(s). What a wonderful idea!

septegram

10/17/2003 10:25:32 AM

Quoth Rigel5740: This is not about religion, it is about G-d. The two are not the same. True: there are non-theistic religions. But believing in a God is an inherently religious act. And this is about religion and politics and the unacceptable intertwining thereof.

lucilius

10/16/2003 05:12:51 PM

Lighthouse angel9, read your history before you fulminate. The Pledge of Allegiance was indeed written more than a century ago (by an outspoken Socialist, actually), but the words "under God" were a much later insertion. They were added in 1954 as part of the McCarthyite hysteria over Communism.

lucilius

10/16/2003 05:11:04 PM

(Cont.): The difference between symbols of a god and symbols of America is that the presidents and U.S. flag are things that, negative and positive, we all share as Americans. They're part of saying, "This is who we are." That is not true of any religious statement, any more than it would be appropriate to occasionally replace the American eagle with the British lion.

lucilius

10/16/2003 05:10:50 PM

Can you define what you mean by "living like an atheist," Rigel5740? You appear to mean that someone who abides by no ethical code, or a defective one. If that is your impression of atheism, perhaps you should read up on the Ethical Culture Society or the Humanist Manifestos. And once again, you make an unwarranted equation. This time it's that existence=god. Saying, "The world exists" is not the same as saying, "There is a god, whose moral dictates I must follow;" nor does denial of a god imply that no one need follow any rules. Furthermore, when you start talking about particular moral systems that include a deity, the immediate tendency is to begin defining what that god does and doesn't like. I don't know of any such that doesn't try to figure out specifically what its god would want; if you include a god as the supreme arbiter of your moral system, you will inevitably begin "talk(ing) about G-d in so many words" when you talk about ethics.

lighthouse_angel9

10/16/2003 05:05:59 PM

Give me a break!!! to change the pledge, which has been around for a LONG time, we'd have to change everything--the money, government buildings, ect! This makes me angry. I do not believe that the first amendment gives us the freedom from religion. that statement in the constitution/bill of rights means that the government cannot establish a religion that everyone has to follow. by saying "under GOD" in the pledge, our government is NOT doing that or else someone else would've complained a LONG time ago. Atheists have been around for awhile, it's not some new concept. This guy only wants to get back at his ex for having custody of his daughter. Who, btw, he's making life terrible for. Now she's the girl whose dad wants to change the pledge. The world has turned really sad. grow up ppl, no one ever said YOU have to say that part. Don't try to take it away from those of us who do

sracster

10/16/2003 03:30:47 PM

As a person who does believe in God and loosely identifies as a Christian, or at least one who attempts to the best of his abilities to understand and put into practice his moral and ethical teachings, I have to say I agree with the athiests on this one. It is no one's place to tell anyone else what to believe and government should stay a far from it as possible. I thank GOD that I live in a place that cares so much about my freedom to express him/her in any way I see fit or not at all.

Rigel5740

10/16/2003 03:10:54 PM

Our society is inundated with narrow conceptions of G-d. People are offended by phrases like "under G-d" and "In God We Trust" because they immediately associate the term with one of these narrow conceptions. When I say that you cannot have morality without G-d, I am not claiming that G-d commands moral principles from on high, though that metaphor does work for some people. I simply mean that the principles of morality are what they are because reality is what it is, and reality is from G-d. You don't have to talk about G-d in so many words to talk about ethics, and people who do so as often as not end up pushing what I think are incorrect moral positions. I realize that people often think of negative things when they hear the term "G-d." If they knew more about history, they'd realize there are negative things associated with just about every President, the U.S. Flag, and the Christian Cross to name just a few. I'd be hard pressed to come up with a term or symbol that doesn't offend someone.

Rigel5740

10/16/2003 02:55:17 PM

Trinitygoddess, I was not referring to "a specific deity," I was referring to G-d. People have different, often conflicting conceptions about G-d, and there are many people who claim to serve G-d, but whose actions show a lack of ethics. My point was to make a distinction between atheism as a belief, and atheism as a way of life. Most people who claim belief in atheism do not live as atheists. Lucilius, It is true that there are numerous ethical systems that do not presuppose the existence of a god. However, they do presuppose existence itself. You can't make moral judgements about the world if there is no world or if there is no you to make moral judgements. Thedingo, I wrote in haste and phrased that sentence poorly. The point I was trying to make is that gender and ethnic background are things we are born with whereas a person's views about the nature of reality are learned and subject to change as learning continues.

Bellasmom

10/16/2003 02:50:54 PM

I don't like mayonnaise, but I don't protest against places that have it on the menu. I simply don't eat it. I don't even make a fuss when others eat it. My dislike of mayonnaise doesn't take away from anyone else's dining experience. I considered myself to be an athiest at one time. I no longer do. I respect the right of every person to believe or not believe as they choose. I don't feel the need to push my beliefs onto them, and I appreciate it when they offer me the same respect. I can converse about many religions and be interested in the belief of others without compromising my own beliefs. I'm comfortable with my current beliefs and I feel no need to bring lawsuits to force others not to eat mayo, or to stop mayo from being in the world I live in. I just don't eat it.

julrich

10/16/2003 01:06:08 PM

comparing discrimination against athiests to the historic prejudices of race, gender, and ethnic identity seems quite a stretch. Then again, it would be pointless to burn a cross on their lawn. shalom jim

Jesuin

10/16/2003 11:38:46 AM

The addition of "Under God" and "In God We Trust" to the pledge and our currency (respectively) merely reflects the views of the U.S. legislative officials who several decades ago voted to have those terms added. They believe in something or someone called God. But then so did the framers of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Just read the first two paragraphs of the DOI, where the words "God" and "Creator" are used. Then look at the end of the Constitution, where the signatures are. It says, "Done in covention ...in the year of our Lord ..." etc. A belief in God and/or Lord is an integrated part of our legal and social culture, whether we like it or not. The blessing we have, though, is that our founders never sought to teach legislatively who or what they believed God or Lord to be. That liberty was granted to individual conscience.

lucilius

10/16/2003 10:43:26 AM

Smflores: "To not believe in God? Just look around you, HE is everywhere and everything." Yeah, well, that's what some Icelanders say about elves. Your belief in divine imminence does not transmit to the rest of us.

smflores

10/16/2003 10:20:55 AM

God is the very foundation that our country and universe was built on. I feel profoundly sorry for the so called "plight of atheists." To not believe in God? Just look around you, HE is everywhere and everything. I went to a Catholic school and was proud to say my prayers each morning, along with the Pledge of Allegiance. I am yet, proud to say it. I can't explain in words, how deeply this offends me. If the "atheists," can't carry a coin in their pockets that has "In God we trust;" then they should just use plastic. God help them. What next?

thedingo

10/16/2003 10:03:51 AM

"Newdow's attempt to equivocate a person's gender or ethnic background with their views about the nature of reality is fallacious. " Gallacious? Thats a good portion of what Anthropology is about...I'd hardly consider an entrie branch of the social sciences fallacious.

Rigel5740

10/15/2003 07:26:49 PM

This is not about religion, it is about G-d. The two are not the same. It is true that many religions accept G-d. Many religions also accept the theory of evolution and that the Earth is round. That doesn't mean we expunge biology and astronomy from the public sphere. It's too bad that some people are offended by the idea that there are real things in the world, that things have meaning, and that there is right and wrong. They can get over it. Flat Earth Society people are offended by claims that the Earth is round. They can get over it too.

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