Under God

  • #26
Skyhunter
What does this have to do with Catholicism?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Is that not clear?

How can anyone argue that the first amendment does not establish the US government as secular?
 
  • #27
pattylou said:
My kids are being taught and expected to sing "God Bless America" at their public school.

This is even more egregious to me than the "Under God" phrase.
Why exactly do you have a problem with them being taught and asked to sing the song? I have a friend who is incredibly non-christian but he has on multiple occasions joined christian choirs to be able to sing and he didn't care what the content of the songs were. Can you not just ask that your children be excused from this particular event? And is it really that important to you or the children?
I'm personaly not religious, patriotic, or ethnocentric yet I love Irish music which contains quite abit of all of the above. I personally can't see why the issue is so troubling.
 
  • #28
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0
Why exactly do you have a problem with them being taught and asked to sing the song?
I find it offensive because of the entire school environment.

Wealthy white fundamentalist christians driving SUV's and slapping "support the troops" ribbons (made in China) on the back; having prayer breakfasts before school and having class assignments writing letters to the president telling him five nice things about himself; conversations with parents saying they are angry that science will teach their children they evolved from monkeys (wrong), the spelling list this week comprised of exclusively war-like words (comrades, opponents, combat, endure, etc)....

This sort of environment poises several buttons in my brain, those buttons that have always held a slightly different view from this gestalt, ready to go off but still in check .....

And then hearing my sweet, caring, loving five year old singing a song that clearly asks God to favor the United States of America.

The idea of asking God for favor over someone else is bad enough, but in the context of everything else going on, and having this come from the public school, pushes my buttons.

SA, If I were without kids, and if I were still single, these 'buttons' wouldn't be installed. If anything I'd think "Quirky parents, they should get a life." Maybe I should try to adopt that attitude, or .... maybe it is OK for me to be upset that an institution which is supposed to maintain the separation of church and state is imposing blind nationalism values on my kids.

I don't really think they (my kids) will absorb it, I just find it incredibly insensitive of the school. It's wrong. It's just wrong.

I play some religious cd's, some of it's beautiful. I'm glad your friend sings in a group he enjoys. The distinction is what we choose for ourselves and our families, and what we wouldn't - and I would never choose to teach my kids that God's favor (at someone else's expense) can be garnered through prayer.
 
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  • #29
1,085
6
Personally I think the whole pledge is bogus and a waste of time. Recite the pledge on your own time, school is for learning!
 
  • #30
pattylou said:
I find it offensive because of the entire school environment.

Wealthy white fundamentalist christians driving SUV's and slapping "support the troops" ribbons (made in China) on the back; having prayer breakfasts before school and having class assignments writing letters to the president telling him five nice things about himself; conversations with parents saying they are angry that science will teach their children they evolved from monkeys (wrong), the spelling list this week comprised of exclusively war-like words (comrades, opponents, combat, endure, etc)....

This sort of environment poises several buttons in my brain, those buttons that have always held a slightly different view from this gestalt, ready to go off but still in check .....

And then hearing my sweet, caring, loving five year old singing a song that clearly asks God to favor the United States of America.

The idea of asking God for favor over someone else is bad enough, but in the context of everything else going on, and having this come from the public school, pushes my buttons.

SA, If I were without kids, and if I were still single, these 'buttons' wouldn't be installed. If anything I'd think "Quirky parents, they should get a life." Maybe I should try to adopt that attitude, or .... maybe it is OK for me to be upset that an institution which is supposed to maintain the separation of church and state is imposing blind nationalism values on my kids.

I don't really think they (my kids) will absorb it, I just find it incredibly insensitive of the school. It's wrong. It's just wrong.

I play some religious cd's, some of it's beautiful. I'm glad your friend sings in a group he enjoys. The distinction is what we choose for ourselves and our families, and what we wouldn't - and I would never choose to teach my kids that God's favor (at someone else's expense) can be garnered through prayer.
I completely understand. I'm not unsympathetic because I'm single without children. My previously mentioned friend is a father (and divorced) and I discuss parenting and the like with him on occasion and assist him in activities with his son.
I was missing the context. It would seem to me that the serious problem doesn't come from them singing this particular song but that it is more or less the straw that broke the camels back. It would seem that you have plenty of legitimate concerns and most of them seem very much more important than this song. I hope that you concentrate on those things more so than this song, and I'm sure that you probably will.

Good luck with your children's schooling situation Patty. I sincerely hope it will get better.
 
  • #31
Lisa!
Gold Member
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Forcing people to say things that they don't believe it, is funny. Humans are free and have the right to have their own belief and religions. For example if you foce all people to say "I believe in God", it causes even spritual people feel bad about God. If you want to make people not to believe in/do something, force them to do!
 
  • #32
McGyver
This ruling only adds support to the Republican party's complaint of judicial activism, and furthers the conservatives' argument against such rulings. This ruling lacks common sense, as well as prior precident. It is cutting hairs, and when Roberts and O'conners replacement is confirmed, there will be a backlash. Stupid. Stupid.
 
  • #33
Math Is Hard
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I think Robin Williams had the best idea: change it to "one nation, under Canada" or "one nation, over Mexico". I guess Alaska and Hawaii present a problem with that, but I still thought it was funny!
 
  • #34
kyleb
McGyver said:
This ruling only adds support to the Republican party's complaint of judicial activism, and furthers the conservatives' argument against such rulings. This ruling lacks common sense, as well as prior precident. It is cutting hairs, and when Roberts and O'conners replacement is confirmed, there will be a backlash. Stupid. Stupid.
Free exercise of religion not good enough for you?
 
  • #35
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The Church of England was Catholic at the time, not Roman Catholic, but Catholic all the same.
ehh? The Church of England is protestant, has been since its inception in 1530's (Your country was born post 1530 :-) ) When King Henry split from the Pope and setup his own Chruch... Before that All the UK was ROMAN catholic, ie they believed that the Pope is the head of the Church...
 
  • #36
honestrosewater
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One of the senators (don't know who) mentioned this ruling during the Roberts hearings today (after they were done with Roberts). I can't find the transcript anywhere. IIRC, he said something to the effect that the US is built upon the idea of a creator or that the belief that humans were created is part of being an American and this creation is the source of our inalienable rights. I think he also claimed that some 90% of Americans believe in a higher power, which I guess was meant to support his other views.

I felt sick and turned it off soon afterward.
 
  • #37
Art
Anttech said:
ehh? The Church of England is protestant, has been since its inception in 1530's (Your country was born post 1530 :-) ) When King Henry split from the Pope and setup his own Chruch... Before that All the UK was ROMAN catholic, ie they believed that the Pope is the head of the Church...
technically all christians are catholics and so protestants are catholics, just not Roman catholics.
 
  • #38
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technically all christians are catholics and so protestants are catholics, just not Roman catholics...
Ermm.. why? In the current general use of the word we mean Roman Catholic. not "one holy catholic and apostolic Church"

Technically Orthodox churches are catholic... (built on the original church that the apposiles built) However Methodism and Presbyterianism, are not, and thus are not 'catholic' but they are still christian, also LDS is not catholic (its more of a cult imo)

To say "Catholic" we typically mean now-a-days that we recognise the metropolis of Rome (papa, pope) is the Head of the church... Orthodox and prodestants do not see it like this, in Orthodox, the Metropolis of Jeruslem, Constantinople are as equally close to God as the Pope...
 
  • #39
Art
Anttech said:
Ermm.. why? In the current general use of the word we mean Roman Catholic. not "one holy catholic and apostolic Church"

Technically Orthodox churches are catholic... (built on the original church that the apposiles built) However Methodism and Presbyterianism, are not, and thus are not 'catholic' but they are still christian, also LDS is not catholic (its more of a cult imo)

To say "Catholic" we typically mean now-a-days that we recognise the metropolis of Rome (papa, pope) is the Head of the church... Orthodox and prodestants do not see it like this, in Orthodox, the Metropolis of Jeruslem, Constantinople are as equally close to God as the Pope...
I'm not disagreeing with you in terms of general usage. I was pointing out that being catholic and church of England is a compatible mixture. Catholic means universal and so technically all christians are part of one 'universal' chuch.

As you point out in latter days some christian offshoots such as presbyterians object to the label principally because they do not like the implied connection to Rome.
 
  • #40
221
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ok.. Well I aggree that you 'can' use the term catholic when talking about the church of England.
But I really dont think that you can with Methodism ,Presbyterianism, or Mormonism.. As these Chruchs were NOT formed or a continuation of the orignal Apposile christian church
 
  • #41
Part of the argument among you guys seems to be that saying "under God" is a mere trifle and no-one should care about it. This is a rather egotistical attitude. To say that another person should have the same reaction to you to what amounts to a compulsory religious ceremony is incredibly ignorant.

If one set of people think that the presence or otherwise of those two words is irrelevant, and another set of people take offense at it, the logical solution is to remove them, thus both parties are happy. The decision is wise.

Except, that is, when you introduce the third set of people who specifically want those words there, such as Arnie and the rest of the Republican right-wing Christian [don't do it, El Hombre]... persons [proud of you, kid]. Only from this quarter (or third, or is it half?) is there any actual argument with the decision. The question, then, is: is their argument valid? The answer, of course, is: no. There is no valid justification for forcing children to make a pledge that presupposes the existence of one or any God. Not only is it against both the founding principals of American socoiety and the idea of a separation of church and state, it's simply unethical since it will inevitably force some people to act against their own faith, thus leading to a breach of human rights. Those that oppose the decision do so because they do not value the rights and freedoms of the individual.
 
  • #42
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El Hombre Invisible said:
Except, that is, when you introduce the third set of people who specifically want those words there, such as Arnie and the rest of the Republican right-wing Christian [don't do it, El Hombre]... persons [proud of you, kid]. Only from this quarter (or third, or is it half?) is there any actual argument with the decision. The question, then, is: is their argument valid? The answer, of course, is: no. There is no valid justification for forcing children to make a pledge that presupposes the existence of one or any God. Not only is it against both the founding principals of American socoiety and the idea of a separation of church and state, it's simply unethical since it will inevitably force some people to act against their own faith, thus leading to a breach of human rights. Those that oppose the decision do so because they do not value the rights and freedoms of the individual.
I agree with this.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
By forcing a truely religious person to say this pledge without the phrase "under God" is prohibiting their right to the free expression of their faith. For a non-religious person to simply omit the phrase means nothing.

For the most part, the whole pledge thing is past its age. The idea of people doing anything out of duty (as the pledge implies) is long past.
 
  • #43
Artman said:
By forcing a truely religious person to say this pledge without the phrase "under God" is prohibiting their right to the free expression of their faith.
No, it isn't. NOT telling someone to say something in accordance with their religion does not prohibit them from expressing their religious beliefs. If they may not insert, unauthorised, the words into the declaration themselves (I don't know - you tell me), then this is only by the same token that you cannot insert any other, religious or non-religious statement when making the declaration (such as slipping in Eminem lyrics, or something). There are other statements in the declaration that do not have the word "God" in them. Does this absence of that word consitute a prohibition of freedom of religious expression? Then nor does not having the word in the speech at all.

But I agree, the whole thing is rather silly. Do people have the choice NOT to recite?
 
  • #44
221
0
In the UK we have had this same problem, actually to some extent we still do.. The English/British National anthem is a protestants song...

God save our Queen
God save our holy Queen
God save our Queen
etc etc

Ie it is signifing that the Queen is "holy"

As you can image, this used to piss the welsh, scots, off, for obvious reasons, and also non-prodestants off
 
  • #45
918
16
I was under the impression that when the constitution says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion", it meant that public money could not be used to support a church. The amendment was necessary because there were cases where people were forced to give financial support to an established church even though they were not members.

If this is correct, then government property should not be used for religious purposes. That would include public schools. The issue is not whether you can express a certain religious view, or even whether you can force it on your children. The issue is whether you can spend public money doing it.
 
  • #46
Anttech said:
In the UK we have had this same problem, actually to some extent we still do.. The English/British National anthem is a protestants song...

God save our Queen
God save our holy Queen
God save our Queen
etc etc

Ie it is signifing that the Queen is "holy"

As you can image, this used to piss the welsh, scots, off, for obvious reasons, and also non-prodestants off
There is no obligation in any non-CoE society to sing the national anthem. You need to take Billy Connelly's advice and hum the Archers theme tune in protest! :smile:
 
  • #47
Art
Anttech said:
In the UK we have had this same problem, actually to some extent we still do.. The English/British National anthem is a protestants song...

God save our Queen
God save our holy Queen
God save our Queen
etc etc

Ie it is signifing that the Queen is "holy"

As you can image, this used to piss the welsh, scots, off, for obvious reasons, and also non-prodestants off
Which is why these days it is more a football anthem than a national anthem. :biggrin:
 
  • #48
221
0
sung by Ranger fans to piss the celtic fans off...
 
  • #49
Astronuc
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kyleb said:
The Church of England was Catholic at the time, not Roman Catholic, but Catholic all the same.
It would be more appropriate to say the CoE is part of the catholic church (small c), which means a part of the Christian community. May Christian denominations maintain that they are part of the whole Christian 'body'.

Anyway, the main objection in the colonies (which became United States of America in 1776) was the CoE under the control of the English Monarch, and the fact that CoE could acquire land and tax non-CoE peoples. Many of the signers of the Constitution belonged to other denominations, and several (perhaps many), like Thomas Jefferson, did not have a particular religious affiliation.

Some background.

The English Reformation was initially driven by the dynastic goals of Henry VIII of England, who, in his quest for a queen to bear him a male heir, found it necessary and profitable to replace the Papacy with the English crown. It was not Henry's intention to found a new church. He was well informed enough about history to know that the powers he was claiming were those which had been exercised by European monarchs over the church in their dominions since the time of Constantine, and that what had changed since then had been the growth of papal power. The Act of Supremacy put Henry at the head of the church in 1534, while acts such as the Dissolution of the Monasteries, put huge amounts of church land and property into the hands of the Crown and ultimately into those of the English nobility. These created vested interests which made a powerful material incentive to support a separate Christian church in England, under the rule of the Monarch.
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglican_church#Origins

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_of_England

BTW, the US and particularly its predecessor (the colonies) were founded as a commercial enterprise, and not on the basis of religion, and certainly not as a Christian nation.

I see the problem of saying "under God" as being one of religious coercion, and a very subtle form of coercion. Sure children do not have to say if they do not believe it, but then they stand out to those who do. My experience then is that some in the 'majority' will harrass the 'minority', and that is unacceptable.

In the 1970's, my classmates and I refused to stand and recite the pledge of allegiance (especially the "under God" part). The school authorities didn't appreciate that, but eventually we forced them to accept the fact that we would not be forced to do something against our beliefs and conscience. Most of us were against the Vietnam War and policies of the Nixon Administration.
 
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  • #50
1,490
21
El Hombre Invisible said:
No, it isn't. NOT telling someone to say something in accordance with their religion does not prohibit them from expressing their religious beliefs.
IMHO The religious belief of many is that God is over everything, and that you are pledging your allegiance to the country as a secondary allegiance not exceeding your allegiance to God. To omit this phrase means that the person who believes in God is forced to declare the country is above God. Omitting the phrase "Under God" does not allow a truly religious person to say the pledge in good faith.

For example, the early Christians were asked to pledge their allegiance to the Roman emperors, or be put death. The question was actually used as a means to test their faith.
 

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