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[Ben]:Pledge ruling No discussion found
The Supreme Court ruled today that Newdow - the militant atheist suing to protect his daughter from hearing the word "God" - did not have sufficient authority to speak as his daughter's legal representative.

I think it's sad that he's decided to use his own daughter against her will as a tool to make a political point. Seems unfair to me.

My take on the issue is that as long as students aren't punished for not saying the pledge, there is no standing for anyone to challenge it in the courts. If they are punished for noncompliance, the challenge is not on religious grounds but much more basic free speech grounds.

Public schools - like the rest of the world - are filled with dozens of religious and pseudo-religious symbols and celebrations, the existance of which are inescapable whether your faith/lack of faith agrees with them. That's life. As long as the kid has the ability to opt out of the pledge (entirely regardless of what it says) there are no grounds for a Constitutional challenge.

Personally, I'm not sure I like the idea of pledging my allegiance to a flag, or even to the government that flag represents, but that choice remains mine.

I'd also like to be clear that I don't like the idea of forcing someone to state their belief in any particular diety or lack thereof, but the whining about the pledge doesn't strike me as an issue to get worked up over (just like I didn't get worked up over Christmas parties and Easter decorations when I was in school).
  2004-06-14
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