By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
9/9/2013 (1 year ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
The phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, recited by school children at the beginning of each school day, has long been controversial. The phrase, some have argued, brings religion into the classroom, violating the separation of church and state. Attorney Eric Rassbach says that "under God" will most likely remain in the pledge for now, in spite of a new challenge.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Rassbach is currently representing a family Massachusetts school district that would like to have their child continue to say the pledge every without changes.
"Nobody has to say the words 'under God,' or the pledge at all," Rassbach says. "That's an extremely important thing that most people don't realize. You can't compel people to say the pledge, and if someone was compelled to say the pledge, I'd be on the other side of the case."
Rassbach describes himself as a Presbyterian and claims he doesn't remember saying the pledge in middle or high school. Rassbach, the deputy counsel of the Washington, D.C.-based Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the fund has represented many religious groups in the past, as well as atheists.
The phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance has resisted numerous challenges over the years. Rassbach says that s ruling to remove the phrase "under God" "would represent a major break with federal law." The notion of standing up in front of a flag and saying words to it has incited controversy for most of the pledge's 120-year history.
First published in 1892, the phrase was first challenged on religious grounds in 1943 - even before the reference to God was even written in. in the case of the West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, the Supreme Court ruled that students could not be forced to salute or say the pledge in classrooms after a Jehovah's Witness refused to participate at school.
The pledge went unquestioned until the early 1950s, when the Knights of Columbus began pushing at annual meetings to have the phrase added for general recitation. Congress passed a joint resolution in 1954 that inserted the phrase, with the approval of then-U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower.
"These words will remind Americans that despite our great physical strength we must remain humble," Eisenhower wrote in a 1954 letter to the Knights, thanking them for their contribution. "They will help us to keep constantly in our minds and hearts the spiritual and moral principles which alone give dignity to man, and upon which our way of life is founded."
"A distinction must be made between the existence of a religion as an institution and a belief in the sovereignty of God," the sponsors of the 1954 bill said. "The phrase 'under God' recognizes only the guidance of God in our national affairs," they said.
Watch Catholic Online's most viral videos here!
By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Protesters in Tampa have burned down an American flag because of their belief that, like the Confederate flag, it signifies and uphold in the slavery and genocide from the country throughout history. Organizers of the protest denied they planned on burning the flag, ... continue reading
By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Mississippi has the greatest number of people not participating in healthy, physical activities than any other state in the country, according to research. Using the data collected from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) about American's exercises, ... continue reading
By Ken Blackwell
This is Ground Zero for the war on religious liberty. The political left-including gay-marriage activists-are saying that your First Amendment rights concerning same sex 'marriage' are limited to what you say in church or in your private home. You can't live it ... continue reading
By Matt C. Abbott
There have been numerous statements and articles written about the very disappointing (but not surprising) gay "marriage" ruling handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court. Most notable was the excellent statement issued by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, ... continue reading
By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
A New Black Panther Party affiliate group is planning to stir up a rally in the state of capitol of South Carolina on July 18. On that same day, a protest is also planned by a KKK white power group. Heat is brewing as a possible face-off is developing in Columbia, SC. ... continue reading
By CNA/EWTN News
An effort to remove the statue of Bl. Junipero Serra from the U.S. Capitol has been set aside for the time being. Los Angeles (CNA/EWTN News) - A statue of Franciscan missionary and saint-to-be Father Junipero Serra has stood in the U.S. Capitol since 1931. However, a ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith Fournier
The Declaration of Independence was the birth certificate of the United States of America, a Nation often called the American Experiment because of the very fact that it was founded upon principles. The words are still memorized by schoolchildren and can bring a ... continue reading
By Deacon Keith A Fournier
What conclusion, dear brethren, do you come to? Surely it was not by chance that this chosen disciple, was missing in the first place? Or that on his return he heard, that hearing he doubted, that doubting he touched, and that touching he believed? It was by ... continue reading
By Matt Hadro, CNA/EWTN News
As bishops warn of current threats to religious liberty in the United States, Catholics can take heart that such challenges have faced them before, and they have persevered, one Church historian says. Washington D.C. (CNA/EWTN News) - "It's okay to realize that ... continue reading
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
It was bound to happen. After the Supreme Court ruled same-sex unions legal in all 50 states, other proponents of non-traditional arrangements are clamoring for equality under the law. Nathan Collier, along with his wives Victoria and Christine have applied at ... continue reading