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Andrei in the office


Andrei's Universe

One man's journey from infinity to nothingness

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Andrei in the office

Something of substance

By now, most people have seen that the US 9th circuit court has deemed the current iteration of the "Pledge of Allegiance" unconstitutional.

If not the link is: http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020626/ap_on_re_us/pledge_of_allegiance

I've decided to weigh in with my comments on this issue and let others decided whether they wish to respond or not.

Well, ho, ho ho... Once again it's three cheers for the first amendment.

The famously debated line is as follows (1,2):
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.

Well, now it is time to turn into Bill gates/Clinton and really dissect what the statement is.
Congress: (The house and/or senate)
shall make: (create, be party to the creation)
no law:

  • feeling or showing deferential regard for
  • avoiding violation of or interfering with
  • relating or referring to, concerning

an establishment:(4)

  • An arranged order or system, especially a legal code.
  • A permanent civil, political, or military organization.
  • An established church.
  • A place of residence or business with its possessions and staff.
  • A public or private institution, such as a hospital or school.

of religion:(5)

    • Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
    • A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.

  • The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
  • A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
  • A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

It seems simple enough, but if we put the right pieces together we can obviously see why this one causes so much difficulty for society:
Congress shall make no law showing deferential regard, avoiding violation of, or interfering with:
an arranged order or system, permanent civil organization, established church, place of residence or business, public or private school:
(of)that is derived or coming from, caused by, composed of, associated with, adhering to, (etc)
any belief in reverence for super natural powers regarded as creator/governor of the universe, personal or institutionalized system of beliefs, beliefs, values, and practices based on teachings of a spiritual leader....

Short form. Congress can not sign off on a law that mentions God.

Granted, by this law (a really stupid one in my mind) congress really can't make laws involving abortion, murder, sexuality either. But we let them.

What this comes down to is that we really need to sit down and redefine what separation of church and state really means. This vaguery has plagued us for far too long. this personal issues I'll take on under a separate posting.

(1) US Constitution:http://www.law.emory.edu/FEDERAL/usconst.html
(2) Amendment I:http://www.law.emory.edu/FEDERAL/usconst/amend.html#art-1
(3)Respecting, definition: http://www.dictionary.com/search?q=respecting
(4)Establishment, definition: http://www.dictionary.com/search?q=establishment
(5)Religion, definition:http://www.dictionary.com/search?q=religion

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Thoughtful commentary, at last...

Greetings! I've ben searching around looking for intellignet commentary for me to respond to. Even though my spelling is terrible, I still enjoy engaging in debate with an informed soul.

I have long been confused by the church vs state business. In elementary school, we were forced to say the lords prayer (protestant version) every morning in class, in a public school. At the time, I didn't know anything about religion (except that my parent's thought anyone who followed a religion was a "religious nut"). I remember being very uncomfortable that everyone in my class seemed to know how to say this prayer thing and I didn't.

It is a huge farce to say that we have separation of church and state, much the way it is ludicrous to say things like "keep your laws off of my body" regarding abortion and soforth. There have always been God-references on our currency. While many folks beleive that it is wrong, or not a big deal; writing on currency that "God" somehow endorses our government has affected abortion trials (even those where doctors are murdered), custody battles (children can still be taken from parents if the parents are gay, pagan, pot smokers etc), and many other issues that should not involve government sanctioned religion. If I can't come home from work, smoke some marijuana, and give oral sex to my husband legally, well then I'd say someone has thier laws on my body already. It is not even legal to kill myself if I want to.

Frankly, it seems like our whole consitution is due for a rewrite. Most businesses rewrite thier handbooks every five years or so, yet the US been operating with the same outdated manual for far longer. Even the amendments are outdated...and things like gun ownership and free speech should be revisited, if only for the sake of clarification.

I look forward to reading your next posts on the issue.

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