Andrei Freeman (lordandrei) wrote,
Andrei Freeman
lordandrei

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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:
respecting:(3)

  • 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.



References:
(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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