Actually, I think the suit over the pledge in public schools is based on the right issue, namely that the insertion of the words "under God" by Congress in 1952 was--don't kid yourselves--an attempt to "establish a state religion," even if only a rather amorphous one. Dewey, if "...it is a proclamation that the country [Italics mine]believes in a higher power..," that proves the point. As Fionn said, government is not supposed to take a particular stance on religion. It may not take an action for or against the establishment or exercise of religion.
And that has historically been the key issue in court decisions about religious ceremonies' and symbols' compatibility with the Fourth Amendment.
Nevertheless, you're right, LH--"Fussing about traditional religions and the use of the word "God" in this or that document at this point in history is like fussing about your malfunctioning barbecue while a forest fire engulfs your property from all sides."
The guy who brought the suit, for one thing, is badly in need of a personality transplant, if you ask me -- not the most charismatic spokesperson for atheism -- and, yes, Toadfrog, his timing, in bringing the suit so soon after 9-11-02 seems symptomatic of shoot-oneself-in-the-foot disease.
The public, the "liberal media," and US politicians, on the other hand are, by their exaggerated reaction to the court decision, kinda proving that the suit had merit! Both sides should pick their battles more judiciously.
Yes, Liland, I, too, find it interesting how people who are one minute screaming about "law and order" and "if you do the crime, you should do the time," can in the next breath be advocating civil disobedience when they think a law or court decision is unjust.
[Fionn, having kids salute the flag and say the pledge is an attempt at indoctrination, but it ain't brainwashing--nor are most attempts at propaganda. We use the term "brainwashing" much too loosely, I fear. What do we then call the kind of "attitude adjustment" which has been used on POWs, involving starvation, sensory deprivation, torture, removing a person from all human ties, and doing everything possible to remove all hope--i.e., the sytematic treatment for which the term "brainwashing" was coined?]
BTW, well said, Big Mick!!!
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