"Under God" and the Pledge of Allegiance

Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
@Ajax_Minoan

As it turns out the bit about the Christian religion was NOT INCLUDED in the original Arabic version, only in the English version presented to congress.

Once a treaty is law, the reasons for its existence are irrelevant. Unless of course the treaty was made with Native Americans.

"Private religious schools should be left alone."

In terms of religious practices, IE prayer, of course. That is the way of things in Australia. However, religious schools here are not exempt from the law of the land. That means they may not for example refuse to employ a teacher because of sexual preferences or because that person has a same sex spouse.

Australian private schools also receive large government subsidies.

We are moving away from excepting religious belief as an excuse for prejudice and discrimination not permitted the rest of society.

I really could not care less about the personal superstitions of others. I DO care when such people try to impose beliefs sand values based on their religious beliefs. I especially refer to beliefs about abortion, homosexuality, same sex marriage. Plus of course the treatment of women ,as found for example among ultra orthodox Christians, Muslims and Jews. To me every religion practiced in my country is obliged to follow our laws.,whether in public life or in their own schools

Over some decades, the Catholic church especially, considered itself above the law when it came to reporting child abuse. They chose instead to protect a systemically corrupt institution. They are not the only Church or religious believers to so behave, merely the most visible. Churches have shown very clearly that they cannot be trusted without independent scrutiny.

,.
Australia also has the constitutional separation of Church and state. (Section 116)
 
Mar 2018
776
UK
I like the idea of a separation though, right up until it is defined by anti-religious radicals.
That's basically just begging the question: you're defining anti-religious radicals as those who have a different idea of separation of church and state to you.

The concept of separation of church and state is fairly simple and unambiguous. The state and its organs (e.g. schools) do not prefer or treat any one religion differently to the others. So having compulsory christian prayers in school clearly goes against that. However, if you were to have compulsory religious education where students can study/pray to any religion of their choice, that would be fine.

The French concept is Laïcité, which is very different. That is more saying that the state (and its organs) are atheist. That doesn't mean that it is illegal to practice a religion, only that the state has none. For example in the UK when you swear an oath, you can do it on the Bible or the holy book of your choosing. In France, it has to be on the constitution. It also has odd consequences; state school teachers (who represent the state in some way) are forbidden from wearing religious symbols like the hijab or a crucifix while teaching.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,447
Dispargum
...The First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion".... I don't see how you get from there to prohibiting prayer in the schools.
I think the argument goes something like:
An established religion is a religion that has received from the government unique favor, privilege, status, or other advantage that other religions do not have.
If there can be no established religions, then the government must be strictly neutral on all questions of religion
Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, Judaism, etc are all religious opinions. So are atheism, agnosticism, or any other form of religious skepticism
The government may not favor one religious opinion over another
Religious neutrality therefore requires the government to either have no religious opinion or to grant favor, privilege, status, etc to all religions equally

So prayer in schools shows state support for those religious opinions that pray and criticism/disrespect/intolerance of those religious opinions that do not pray.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,872
Portugal
I have a couple of doubts here, that is some way show my ignorance about many things in the USA:

When (and in what circumstances) is this “Pledge of Allegiance” said?

And

If a person refuses to say it, for religious or a-religious motifs, does he suffer legal or social consequences?
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,447
Dispargum
I have a couple of doubts here, that is some way show my ignorance about many things in the USA:

When (and in what circumstances) is this “Pledge of Allegiance” said?

And

If a person refuses to say it, for religious or a-religious motifs, does he suffer legal or social consequences?
The Pledge of Allegiance is traditionally said each morning in American classrooms. It might be accompanied by the singing of patriotic songs. There are other occasions when the pledge is said. For instance, I live in a state that has a caucus instead of a primary election. At the begining of the caucus everyone says the pledge of allegiance. It might also be recited sometimes at Boy/Girl Scout meetings. Those youth groups consider teaching patriotism to be an important part of their mission.

Anyone who refused to say it for religious reasons would probably be subjected to social pressure such as hazing, shunning, or other signs of social displeasure. They would probably be considered unpatriotic. Most people would probably lose sight of the question of religious conscience. I doubt there would be legal consequences.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,872
Portugal
The Pledge of Allegiance is traditionally said each morning in American classrooms. It might be accompanied by the singing of patriotic songs. There are other occasions when the pledge is said. For instance, I live in a state that has a caucus instead of a primary election. At the begining of the caucus everyone says the pledge of allegiance. It might also be recited sometimes at Boy/Girl Scout meetings. Those youth groups consider teaching patriotism to be an important part of their mission.

Anyone who refused to say it for religious reasons would probably be subjected to social pressure such as hazing, shunning, or other signs of social displeasure. They would probably be considered unpatriotic. Most people would probably lose sight of the question of religious conscience. I doubt there would be legal consequences.
Thank you for the answer.

From what you say here and from what I already read in the thread, when you say “each morning in American classrooms”, I assume that it is in public schools.

I had to Google “caucus” to understand what it was. But political parties are private organizations, same for Boy/Girl Scouts organizations in the USA (I think), so it doesn’t have the same weight of that happening in public organizations.

As for the social consequences, they seem quite heavy.
 

History Chick

Ad Honorem
Jun 2010
3,336
Colorado Springs (PA at heart)
The Pledge of Allegiance is traditionally said each morning in American classrooms. It might be accompanied by the singing of patriotic songs. There are other occasions when the pledge is said. For instance, I live in a state that has a caucus instead of a primary election. At the begining of the caucus everyone says the pledge of allegiance. It might also be recited sometimes at Boy/Girl Scout meetings. Those youth groups consider teaching patriotism to be an important part of their mission.

Anyone who refused to say it for religious reasons would probably be subjected to social pressure such as hazing, shunning, or other signs of social displeasure. They would probably be considered unpatriotic. Most people would probably lose sight of the question of religious conscience. I doubt there would be legal consequences.
That was not the case when I was in school, lol. When I was in high school (the 90s), it was uncool to say the pledge with gusto. Most kids mumbled it without enthusiasm, while others didn’t say it at all and there were no social repercussions. I frequently didn’t say it, and no one cared. On the contrary, showing any enthuasism for it would have resulted in teasing from other students. Of course the grunge era seem to have the influence on kids that showing any kind of enthusiasm for anything at all was uncool, like we must all be vapid, uninteresting, and have no personality to somehow be cool.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,447
Dispargum
That was not the case when I was in school, lol. When I was in high school (the 90s), it was uncool to say the pledge with gusto. Most kids mumbled it without enthusiasm, while others didn’t say it at all and there were no social repercussions. I frequently didn’t say it, and no one cared. On the contrary, showing any enthuasism for it would have resulted in teasing from other students. Of course the grunge era seem to have the influence on kids that showing any kind of enthusiasm for anything at all was uncool, like we must all be vapid, uninteresting, and have no personality to somehow be cool.
I did not consider high school kids when formulating my answer. :) It's actually very rare that I hear the pledge anymore. In the last 35 years I think I've only heard it (and said it) when I caucused, and it seemed strange then. It's also rare when I hear patriotic songs anymore. I don't go to sporting events or watch them on TV.
 

History Chick

Ad Honorem
Jun 2010
3,336
Colorado Springs (PA at heart)
I did not consider high school kids when formulating my answer. :) It's actually very rare that I hear the pledge anymore. In the last 35 years I think I've only heard it (and said it) when I caucused, and it seemed strange then. It's also rare when I hear patriotic songs anymore. I don't go to sporting events or watch them on TV.
Ah, well, you started off by saying it's traditionally said in American classrooms so I thought you were including that. I have no idea if it's even still said in most classrooms or not. At sporting events, it's usually the national anthem that gets played (or America the Beautiful, which some people think should be our anthem), but it's never been expected that people sing along.
 
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
I'm under the impression that the pledge of allegiance had been banned in US public schools along with prayer in schools (?)

The pledge was introduced in 1954 (I think) as a counter measure to Godless communists, so it is religious by intent as well as by content.