2002-07-03 / Editorials

Letters

Nation Always Under God

To The Editor:

With regard to the issue out West of removing the words. "Under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance I believe that this is totally wrong. If the parent of the child feels so strongly then tell your child to just not salute the flag. But, remember the flag is our country-all 50 states. Perhaps those who feel the way that this parent did should consider taking their children out of school and educate them at home so that their sensitive" ears won’t be offended by hearing God’s name.

Write all that is going on why are we having an issue such as this cause so much controversy? Students have been saluting the American flag for years without any problems. God Bless Old Glory and God Bless America-forever!

John Amato

Fresh Meadows

Don’t Ban God!

Dear Editor.

The Ninth Circuit's tortured logic that the inclusion of "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance is unconstitutional is an outrage.

As a father, as a citizen and as vice chairman of the Queens County Republican Party, I add my voice to that of President [George W.]Bush, Governor [George] Pataki and Mayor [Michael] Bloomberg who have already denounced this outrageous decision. I urge all elected officials to speak out against this ruling so that the Justice Department recognizes it has to act quickly to correct this embarrassment and the United States Supreme Court doesn't shy away from granting "certiorari."

The San Francisco court is just plain wrong. Others have said it better, but the Framers never intended to force religion from the public square or event our public institutions. Instead, the Framers sought to prevent a reenactment of Merry Olde England's establishment of the Anglican church with the executive branch at the helm and ecclesiastical courts to boot. The Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution was also intended to curb persecution of particular religious sects and denominations. The ratification of the Constitution by the colonies served to render unconstitutional numerous colonial state laws barring Papists (Roman Catholics) from holding office. (Maryland was one of the only colonies to allow same initially, then Pennsylvania)

The Establishment Clause certainly did not prevent virtually every president and lawmaker from invoking the deity, shall we say religiously. We all know how Congress starts its day. We all know about Congressional chaplains, military chaplains, fire chaplains, New York Police Department chaplains, oaths of office and oaths of jurist and the hallowed slogans on our courthouses and our money.

The "under God" enacted by [then President Dwight David Eisenhower] was a particularly timely act. Ike, formerly Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, saw first hand what free Democratic Republics (like Germany) were capable of when they threw off the shackles of acknowledging deference to a higher power than the state. The results were a variation on a familiar Rust Belt slogan "Without God all things are possible." We all know totalitarian regimes in the last century, in the name of progress and [that] science and enlightenment disallowed any public acknowledgment or recognition that there is a higher power than the state. Instead the western civic idea that human beings are endowed by the Creator with inalienable rights was supplanted with the insidious notion that rights come from the state (and therefore can be taken away by the state). The end result was that people, formerly citizens, became mere tools of the state objectified and stripped of the inalienable, the endowed, because Nietzsche's pronouncement was embraced. The wholesale degradations, slaughter and enslavement by the likes of Stalin, Hitler, Mao and Pol Pot that followed were in no small way made possible by reorienting of thought.

The Ninth's Circuit's holding can not be allowed to stand. Indeed the Seventh Circuit found otherwise on virtually the same set of facts, so the Supreme Court must grant "certiorari" to reconcile this conflict of law and correct the error. No fair reading of "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" against the backdrop of American history can support the actions of the Ninth Circuit. If the Ninth Circuit relied on Federal Common Law, ostensibly in deference to "stare decisis," it did so in contravention of the clear intent of the Framers and the established conduct, and practices of a nation "under God" predating any action by Ike and Congress in 1954. Federal common Law can be undone and generally should be where it lacks proper foundation and contravenes original intent. This does.

Some of my colleagues in the legal fraternity have suggested that the Ninth Circuit was bound by precedent and is therefore blameless. I believe the precedent relied upon has dubious underpinnings and that the Court's first duty is not to shy away from being rebuffed by a higher court. I also suggest that it is not judicial activism to curtail judicial activism.

Finally the Ninth Circuit is widely recognized as one of the most activist benches in America so its new-found respect for precedent is dubious at best.

To find as the Ninth Circuit has found divorces Americans from their, history, their culture, their beliefs and their traditions in the name of tolerance. Moreover, it defeats the actual purposes of the Establishment Clause by forcing a new alien religion on our nation: Secularism.

If this decision is not overturn[ed] the next logical step will be renaming of our cities that appear to pay homage to the Deity or to the sacrosanct. We can start with San Francisco and rename Maryland while we are at it. Heck, why not? There is precedent for it.

Respectfully

Vince Tabone Esq.

Vice Chairman

Queens County Republican Party


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