Monday, June 14

Our Cold War Legacy Stands - "Under God" to Remain in Pledge

The New York Times has a brief story: Supreme Court Case on Pledge
Is Dismissed on Technicality

Looks like Stevens and the other centrists on the court persuaded the conservatives to throw this on a technicality rather than ruling on the issue directly. Rehnquist, O'Conner and Thomas (certainly with Scalia, if he had participated) wrote separately to declare the pledge was constitution, but of course, this has almost no legal weight, since it's not the real decision.

For those who don't know the very recent minting of this supposedly quintessential recitation: The Pledge was only adopted in during World War II in 1942. Even then, it made no reference to God. During the height of the Cold War, Joe McCarthy and his band of maniacs convinced a terrified Congress to insert "Under God" in 1954, arguing that it was necessary to distinguish the religious heritage of the United States apart from evil "godless communism." And so today, millions of schoolchildren continue to be forced to pay tribute to Joe McCarthy and his Manichean Good/Evil worldview (recently revived by Reagan and Bush.)