The Case for 1st Amendment Exclusion of
Under God in Public School -and- One Nation
Under God (inspired by the bible)
(Top Posts - Social/Legal - 063002)

}}} The Case for 1st Amendment Exclusion of {{{
}}} "Under God" in Public School Classrooms {{{

What does that One Nation Under God phraseology mean,
to most folks, do you think?

Of interest, words can be defined in all sorts of ways. One
of the definitions of God, for example, is "a very handsome
man". Another is "a powerful ruler or despot". Few would
argue that One Nation Under God is referring to those parti-
cular definitions, at least one would hope not.

The God being referred to is supernatural in nature, in the
manner it is recited, contextually, and in the manner it was
intended to be perceived, by the U.S. Congress and the
U.S. President who signed it into law.


Now, having established that it is the supernatural being that
is being paid homage here, by virtue of the California statute
and its implementation by the Elk Grove Unified School Dis-
trict, based on the law enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1954 ...

... the 1st amendment ("... Congress shall make no law
respecting an establishment of religion ...") comes into play.

Needless to say, many would perceive that a supernatural being
or force called God, in the context of a pledge to One Nation
Under God, is equivalent to "respecting an establishment of

} - - - see footnote (bottom of this post) for further
} - - - detail on how this has been dealt with by many
} - - - of religious faith who want the pledge left as is

So, that begs the question, what is religion, what is respecting,
what is an establishment of religion, and does a pledge to One
Nation Under God (what is God?) fall under that area that is
verboten based on the establishment clause of the 1st amend-

Note the phrase not present in the 1st amendment - "respecting
an establishment of *a* religion" - - - no, the article *a* is not
there, the passage states clearly "... Congress shall make no law
respecting an establishment of religion ...".

Respecting? To feel or show deferential regard for; esteem.

An establishment? An act of setting up or something that is
already set up.

Religion? Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or
powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.

God? A being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient
originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith
and worship in monotheistic religions.

Now, note that the initial definition for religion (definition 1a in
the above) mates quite closely to the initial definition for God
(definition 1a in the above), making for a near perfect match
between the two.

Therefore, I submit that One Nation Under God *is* clearly
respecting an establishment of religion in the exact manner
verboten by the 1st amendment, as implemented by the Elk
Grove Unified School District as a result of California statute
and U.S. law enacted by the U.S. Congress, as signed into
law and commented on by President Eisenhower, in 1954. In
regards to the "under God" portion of the law he signed, he
wrote that "millions of our schoolchildren will daily proclaim
in every city and town, every village and rural schoolhouse,
the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty."

- - -

Applicable section of the California court ruling (a court case
filed by Michael Newdow)
pertaining to the requirement to
say "one nation under God" in classes:

Reference: Text of the ruling (PDF file) ...

Reference: Text of the ruling (HTM file) ...


The California Education Code requires that public schools begin
each school day with "appropriate patriotic exercises" and that
"[t]he giving of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United
States of America shall satisfy" this requirement. Cal. Educ..
Code 52720 (1989) (hereinafter "California statute").[1]

To implement the California statute, the school district that
Newdow's daughter attends has promulgated a policy that states,
in pertinent part: "Each elementary school class [shall] recite the
pledge of allegiance to the flag once each day."[2]

The classmates of Newdow's daughter in the EGUSD [Elk Grove
Unified School District] are led by their teacher in reciting the
Pledge codified in federal law.

On June 22, 1942, Congress first codified the Pledge as "I pledge
allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the
Republic for which it stands, one Nation indivisible, with liberty
and justice for all." Pub. L. No. 623, Ch. 435, 7, 56 Stat. 380 (1942) (codified at 36 U.S.C. 1972).

On June 14, 1954, Congress amended Section 1972 to add the
words "under God" after the word "Nation." Pub. L. No. 396,
Ch. 297, 68 Stat. 249 (1954) ("1954 Act").

The Pledge is currently codified as "I pledge allegiance to the Flag
of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it
stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice
for all." 4 U.S.C. 4 (1998) (Title 36 was revised and recodified
by Pub. L. No. 105-225, 2(a), 112 Stat. 1494 (1998). Section
1972 was abolished, and the Pledge is now found in Title 4.)

(end excerpt)

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

}}} One Nation Under God (inspired by the bible) {{{

The following excerpts help to explain why the phraseology
One Nation Under God resonates so strongly with mono-
theists as a symbol of their faith and their commitment to
promote it despite the 1st amendment in the U.S. Bill of

Also, recognize the bond of Christians with those of Jewish
faith and Islamic faith in the endeavor to combine Nation
with _____ (God aka Jehovah/Yahweh aka Allah aka the
Holy Trinity [God/Holy Spirit/Christ]) in order to promote
faith (in general, to soften up / marginalize / dismiss disbe-
lievers) while at the same time providing leverage / valida-
tion for a specific interpretation of faith at home / places
of worship.

Bible references only are included here, as most Americans
have been exposed to them since childhood. The major
monotheistic competitor to the bible, the quran, does not
resonate with most Americans, for social/cultural/historical
reasons, despite its use of monotheism (and a supreme
being) that some find to be the same as the God of Chris-
tianity (in public), while maintaining a strong distinction
(due to differing dogma / interpretations) at home / places
of worship. That distinction is sometimes publicly pro-
nounced, usually on the part of fundamentalists (like Pat
Robertson, Jerry Falwell, bin Laden, and other Islamic

Take note of both the threats and promises tied into the
notion of God rewarding a NATION based on worthiness /
faithfulness / submission / belief -or- smiting a NATION
based on worthlessness / following the wrong gods / sin /
disbelief ...

Response to search for the word Nation at the
following web site:


2 And I will make of thee a great NATION, and I will bless thee,
and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

14 And also that NATION, whom they shall serve, will I judge:
and afterward shall they come out with great substance.

20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard thee: Behold, I have blessed
him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly;
twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great NATION.

18 Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty
NATION, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

4 But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, LORD,
wilt thou slay also a righteous NATION?

13 And also of the son of the bondwoman will I make a NATION,
because he is thy seed.

18 Arise, lift up the lad, and hold him in thine hand; for I will make
him a great NATION.

11 And God said unto him, I am God Almighty: be fruitful and
multiply; a NATION and a company of nations shall be of thee,
and kings shall come out of thy loins;

3 And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go
down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great NATION:


6 And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy
NATION. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the
children of Israel.


10 Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against
them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great

13 Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight,
shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace
in thy sight: and consider that this NATION is thy people.


23 And ye shall not walk in the manners of the NATION, which
I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and
therefore I abhorred them.

12 I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and
will make of thee a greater NATION and mightier than they.


6 Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your
understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these
statutes, and say, Surely this great NATION is a wise and under-
standing people.

7 For what NATION is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto
them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him

8 And what NATION is there so great, that hath statutes and judg-
ments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?

34 Or hath God assayed to go and take him a NATION from the
midst of another NATION, by temptations, by signs, and by won-
ders, and by war, and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched out
arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your
God did for you in Egypt before your eyes?

14 Let me alone, that I may destroy them, and blot out their name
from under heaven: and I will make of thee a NATION mightier
and greater than they.


49 The LORD shall bring a NATION against thee from far, from
the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth; a NATION whose
tongue thou shalt not understand;

50 A NATION of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the
person of the old, nor shew favour to the young:

21 They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God;
they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move
them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke
them to anger with a foolish NATION.

28 For they are a NATION void of counsel, neither is there any
understanding in them.


6 And NATION was destroyed of NATION, and city of city: for
God did vex them with all adversity.


12 Blessed is the NATION whose God is the LORD; and the
people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.

1 Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly
NATION: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.


34 Righteousness exalteth a NATION: but sin is a reproach to
any people.


4 And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many
people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their
spears into pruninghooks: NATION shall not lift up sword against
NATION, neither shall they learn war any more.


6 I will send him against an hypocritical NATION, and against the
people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and
to take the prey, and to tread them down like the mire of the streets.


2 Open ye the gates, that the righteous NATION which keepeth
the truth may enter in.


2 Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a
NATION that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance
of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take
delight in approaching to God.


12 For the NATION and kingdom that will not serve thee shall
perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.


9 Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: and shall not
my soul be avenged on such a NATION as this?


28 But thou shalt say unto them, This is a NATION that obeyeth
not the voice of the LORD their God, nor receiveth correction: truth
is perished, and is cut off from their mouth.

9 Shall I not visit them for these things? saith the LORD: shall not
my soul be avenged on such a NATION as this?

17 But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that
NATION, saith the LORD.

7 At what instant I shall speak concerning a NATION, and
concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to
destroy it;

8 If that NATION, against whom I have pronounced, turn from
their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.

9 And at what instant I shall speak concerning a NATION, and
concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;


8 And it shall come to pass, that the NATION and kingdom which
will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and
that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon,
that NATION will I punish, saith the LORD, with the sword, and
with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed
them by his hand.

13 Why will ye die, thou and thy people, by the sword, by the
famine, and by the pestilence, as the LORD hath spoken against
the NATION that will not serve the king of Babylon?


24 Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying,
The two families which the LORD hath chosen, he hath even cast
them off? thus they have despised my people, that they should be
no more a NATION before them.


29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, NATION, and
language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach,
Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses
shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can
deliver after this sort.


3 And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations
afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their
spears into pruninghooks: NATION shall not lift up a sword against
NATION, neither shall they learn war any more.


5 Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast, the NATION of the
Cherethites! the word of the LORD is against you; O Canaan, the
land of the Philistines, I will even destroy thee, that there shall be
no inhabitant.


43 Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken
from you, and given to a NATION bringing forth the fruits thereof.

7 For NATION shall rise against NATION, and kingdom
against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences,
and earthquakes, in divers places.


8 For NATION shall rise against NATION, and kingdom against
kingdom: and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and there
shall be famines and troubles: these are the beginnings of sorrows.


10 Then said he unto them, NATION shall rise against NATION,
and kingdom against kingdom:


John 11
50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die
for the people, and that the whole NATION perish not.

51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year,
he prophesied that Jesus should die for that NATION;

52 And not for that NATION only, but that also he should gather
together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.


35 But in every NATION he that feareth him, and worketh righteous-
ness, is accepted with him.


15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without
rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse NATION, among
whom ye shine as lights in the world;

9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy
NATION, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the
praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his
marvellous light;

9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast
redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue,
and people, and NATION;

6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the
everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and
to every NATION, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

(end excerpts)

- - -

} - - - begin footnote - - -
} Footnote to address the manner in which this issue has been
} dealt with by many religious folks who want the pledge to
} One Nation Under God phraseology left as is and who tend
} to argue that it's not respecting an establishment of religion,
} in a disingenuous manner, I would submit, for how can a God
} of the pledge be the same as, yet different from, the God they
} pray to, worship, give money to, plan on spending immortality
} with, proselytize for, believe in, and fear for their very lives if
} they don't pay respect to in a manner dictated by religious faith?
} What do they think folks are thinking / feeling when they utter
} the phrase "Under God" or listen to the phrase "Under God"?
} Don't they realize that's a promo for religious faith? Of course
} they do.
} How do they reconcile, with a straight face and an honest heart,
} "thou shall place no other gods before me" with "One Nation
} Under God", that God being code-word for Allah, Buddha,
} Vishnu, the Christian God, the Jewish Jehovah/Yahweh, and
} any of numerous religious claims for the be-all end-all of all?
} Would their God hold that against them, do they think, bonding
} with all faiths on earth as if the Christian God was but one of
} many worthy Gods? Who can know, as it's all a matter of
} religious faith.
} - - - end footnote - - -