Protect the Constitution, not the Pledge
Fundies seem to think that everything needs protection (marriage, the flag, etc.) except the rights of people who aren’t like them. Their latest whine is about how much the Pledge of Allegiance needs safeguarding from the Liberal Homosexual Hollywood Ninth-Circuit Media French Agenda.
Some website calling itself RightMarch.com has a hyperventilating editorial called “Protect the Pledge of Allegiance! Demand Congress Pass the Pledge Protection Act!” It says:
ALERT: Patriotic hard-working Americans like you and I are fed up with the efforts by activist judges and extremist groups to remove the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance. As you are probably aware, self-avowed atheist Dr. Michael Newdow continues his crusade against the Pledge in the federal courts.
Don’t you love the way they underline key phrases to make sure you don’t miss them? Apparently they think you have the reading comprehension of a second-grader, so they have to highlight all of the key points. ALERT: We’re fed up with activist judges, extremist groups, and especially those evil atheists! All we want to do is protect the Pledge of Allegiance ! ! ! ! ! ! !
(By the way, it should say “you and me”, not “you and I”. Literacy is not a requirement to be a fundie.)
Arguing that it’s “unconstitutional” to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools, Newdow actually won his case before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2002.
Notice that they put “unconstitutional” in scare quotes, as if the concept is so far-fetched that only a court as divorced from reality as the Ninth Circuit could rule that way. In actuality, the Ninth Circuit is often the only court that still understands and upholds the Constitution.
The U.S. Supreme Court eventually dismissed the case, but only due to a “technicality” — since Newdow didn’t actually have custody of his daughter, the Court ruled that he lacked standing to bring suit in the case.
Wow, no underlines! They did put “technicality” in scare quotes to remind you that it’s only by the grace of Almighty God that we dodged this bullet the first time around.
Newdow vowed to sue again — and true to his word, in January 2005, he filed another suit…
Oh no! Not another suit! What an evil, evil man!
…this time with eight other families having custody of their children. It’s clear that until Congress acts decisively, the right of children to voice their allegiance to our Republic “under God” will be jeopardized by fringe groups and activist judges.
It’s our worst nightmare! Our eternal foes, the Activist Judges, have now teamed up with Fringe Groups!
Actually, I seriously doubt that many kids are worried about their “right” to pledge allegiance to God. Most kids only have the vaguest notion of what the Pledge is even about. And even if they did want to swear a loyalty oath to God, nobody is preventing them from doing so on their own time.
In response, Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO) has once again introduced the “Pledge Protection Act” (H.R. 699), which removes the issue of the Pledge’s constitutionality from the jurisdiction of federal courts.
First of all, notice that it’s a Republican congressman from the Bible Belt who wants to foist this bad legislation on the rest of us. Secondly, this seems like an unconstitutional power grab by the Legislative branch. They know that their precious religious ritual is a violation of the First Amendment, so they’re trying to prevent the courts from ever hearing the matter. How can a law like this be constitutional? I’m guessing that it isn’t, but their plan is to add this as an additional barrier. It will take so long for this law to be challenged and thrown out that they’ll have time to dream up some other crazy idea to “protect” the Pledge from judicial oversight.
The Pledge Protection Act contains the same language that passed on the floor of the House in August 2006 by a vote of 260-167.
Which tells us that 61% of Congress doesn’t understand or respect the Constitution.
An overwhelming majority of Americans believe that schools should be allowed to use the Pledge…
Civil rights aren’t a popularity contest. If they were, we wouldn’t need a Bill of Rights in the first place. The purpose of the Constitution is to protect the minority from the majority.
…regardless of whatever mistaken rulings the wacky left-wing Ninth Circuit (or other federal courts) might be tempted to issue.
The people writing this screed have contempt not only for the “wacky left-wing” Ninth Circuit, but for the entire federal court system! Why don’t they just come right out and admit that they’d like to do away with the whole system? Just let Congress pass whatever laws they want without any oversight.
Like judges, every Member of Congress takes an oath to defend the Constitution upon taking office. By definition, that oath includes a commitment to act when the courts exceed their constitutional mandate.
But that oath doesn’t extend to passing unconstitutional laws! And how is a court determining whether something violates the Establishment Clause exceeding its authority?
In other words, Members of Congress must STAND UP and use constitutional means to rein in judges who try to legislate from the federal bench.
Wait. Do they want Congress to use constitutional means, or do they want them to pass this bill?