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Thursday, September 15, 2005

U.S. District Judge Threatens Restraining Order Against Children Uttering
"Under God" in Pledge

Lawrence Karlton, the California U.S. District Judge who ruled that the United State Pledge of allegiance phrase "under God" amounts to coercion, has threatened the school districts where the plaintiffs reside with a restraining order to prevent the uttering of the phrase "Under God." Michael Newdow, the man who failed in his previous attempt to have "Under God" removed from the pledge, is now representing three other unnamed plaintiffs. Meanwhile, Judge Karen Williams in Richmond, VA ruled that the pledge is a patriotic exercise, not a religious affirmation - "The inclusion of those two words, however, does not alter the nature of the pledge as a patriotic activity."

Judge: School Pledge Is Unconstitutional

Jordan Lorence, Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) Senior Counsel, commented on the ruling, "Would the court have us believe that children reading 'In God We Trust' on their milk money is an establishment of religion? Today's ruling simply lacks all common sense. 'One nation under God' is a statement of political philosophy, not a religious prayer. It has been routinely used for more than 200 years of American history, long before the Congress added it to the Pledge."

ADF condemns new judicial attack on Pledge

"On the merits, I conclude that the Elk Grove Unified School District policy that requires teachers to lead willing students in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, which includes the words 'under God,' does not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment ... The phrase 'under God' in the pledge seems, as a historical matter, to sum up the attitude of the nation's leaders, and to manifest itself in many of our public observances. Examples of patriotic invocations of God and official acknowledgments of religion's role in our nation's history abound."
- Chief Justice William Rehnquist

After Pledge Ruling, Catholics Call for Civil Disobedience

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