March 3, 2003


Posted by Arcane Gazebo at March 3, 2003 3:04 PM To say a little more about the Pledge case, I'm happy that the Ninth Circuit made the right decision but I'm worried about the consequences if the Supreme Court does the same thing. Specifically, the overwhelming opposition to the original Ninth Circuit decision in the executive and legislative branches as well as the general public demonstrates that there would be no obstacle to the enactment of a constitutional amendment allowing "under God" in the Pledge. This would be far more damaging than the current state of affairs, and harder to correct than a bad Supreme Court decision.

This puts me in the rather odd position of praising the Ninth Circuit decision while hoping the Supreme Court overturns it. In the end, the Pledge thing is not a big deal. Sure, some powerful people have used the "under God" phrase to justify anti-atheist rhetoric, but the real threats to church-state separation come from other directions.

If it's not a big deal, then why am I so pleased with the decision? It's not as if a huge oppression has been removed from me. However, it's bolstered my faith in the judicial system; it shows that there are judges who will support church-state separation even when it's vastly unpopular. This is important when those aforementioned real threats come along. Of course, Bush has stated that he will appoint judges who think that "our rights derive from God". That would be really scary, given the way God is said to treat unbelievers. Tags:
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