Constitution Culture Faith History Law

Massachusetts Rules Pledge of Allegiance Constitutional

Should this even be something we have to discuss? I mean, seriously. How is this even something anyone could argue about? Are there mental midgets out there who actually believe that the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional?

Some atheist in Massachusetts got mad back in 2010 that a school was reciting the pledge. The words “under God” offended their silly sensibilities – so, of course, they reacted appropriately and SUED the school district. (I’m being sarcastic about the appropriateness of the action.) Sure, every public school or school district across the country also recites the pledge, and sure, time after time Courts have already upheld that the pledge does not violate anyone’s rights, ESPECIALLY when said voluntarily. But who cares… let’s sue.

Thankfully, even a liberal court like the one in Massachusetts can’t seem to find the legal ground to make the pledge unconstitutional. Can we finally put this silly debate between the godless and all of the rest of us to bed? Saying the pledge and believing in God are two very different things. A public organization offering you the opportunity to take part in a patriotic tradition does not qualify as religious oppression or even the feared “government endorsement of religion.”

The Supreme Judicial Court said the words “under God” in the pledge reflect a patriotic practice, not a religious one.

“We hold that the recitation of the pledge, which is entirely voluntary, violates neither the Constitution nor the statute,” Chief Justice Roderick Ireland wrote, later adding “it is not a litmus test for defining who is or is not patriotic.”

“Although the words “under God” undeniably have a religious tinge, courts that have considered the history of the pledge and the presence of those words have consistently concluded that the pledge, notwithstanding its reference to God, is a fundamentally patriotic exercise, not a religious one.”

flagThe plaintiffs also whined that when their child didn’t say the pledge they were made to feel less patriotic. (I’m not kidding.) In essence, these people sued the school district because their child felt like other people thought less of them when they chose not to recite the pledge. Instead of suing, these parents should have been telling their child to “Suck it up. If you want to stand for what you believe, sometimes it’s going to hurt.” That’s what every other good parent does when their child goes against the grain and stands up for things they believe, even when it’s tough.

The Court responded to this part of the suit too. Though they were a bit nicer than me.

“We likewise reject the plaintiffs’ contention that, when some children choose to exercise their constitutionally protected right not to say the words “under God,” there is necessarily conveyed a message that the children are “unpatriotic.”” Justice Barbara Lenk wrote in Friday’s ruling.

“Patriotism is not a legal status or benefit that is conferred or withheld by the State, and it is certainly not limited to those who recite the pledge in its entirety. There is no litmus test for patriotism. Schools might conduct patriotic exercises, but they do not define who is and who is not patriotic.”

Listen up, atheists. The Pledge is Constitutional – stop acting like it’s not.

 

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com


About the author

Onan Coca

Onan is the Editor-in-Chief at Liberty Alliance media group. He's also the managing editor at Eaglerising.com, Constitution.com and the managing partner at iPatriot.com. You can read more of his writing at Eagle Rising.
Onan is a graduate of Liberty University (2003) and earned his M.Ed. at Western Governors University in 2012. Onan lives in Atlanta with his wife and their three wonderful children.

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