Liberal Pledge of Anarchy
04 April 2004
Who would have thought thirty years ago that it would be "unacceptable" to celebrate holidays such as Christmas and Easter.
I truly thought with
the emergence of the PT Cruiser and the arrival of fat free sour cream that
we’d finally reached the core of what could universally be regarded as poor
decision-making. Of course, that was before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
ruled almost two years ago that it is unconstitutional to recite the Pledge
of Allegiance in California public schools.
The school district’s appeal, which is now being considered by the Supreme
Court, highlights the liberal assault that has been waged against our culture
throughout the past three decades. If the 9th Circuit’s ruling is upheld,
the Pledge would be banned in schools in the 9th Circuit, and potentially
in all public schools nationwide.
The left has taken aim at our public schools since the 1970s -- from radical
feminists who have contorted Title IX into a law that discriminates against
boys; to whole language fanatics who don't believe children should learn
to read through phonetic instruction; to liberal sociologists and educators
who put more faith in the importance of “self-esteem” than the ability of
students to compute or think critically. And we now confront Michael Newdow,
an atheist who finds nothing wrong with trying to commandeer one of the most
intimate traditions of the United States to serve his own selfish interests.
Since this case is now before the Supreme Court, it is worthwhile to reflect
back to the specifics surrounding Mr. Newdow’s original motivations for his
Newdow claimed that the term "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance offended
him because he’s an atheist. But as is common with most members of the vocal
minority, he didn't particularly seem to care how many other Americans he
offended by bringing his lawsuit so long as he got his way.
One of the most beautiful features of this country is our fundamental right
to question authority. But when confronted by CNN's Arthel Neville back in
2002 about whether his daughter was ostracized at school for refusing to
say the Pledge, Mr. Newdow admitted that nothing of the sort had taken place.
He simply admitted his daughter is part of his lawsuit "because you need
that for standing."
If it isn't pathetic enough that Michael Newdow took a grievance to a federal
court in the absence of any overt prejudice, using his daughter as a tool
in his little campaign against religion and the Pledge ought to be. And when
asked how long he’d been contemplating this lawsuit, Newdow stated blithely,
upon determining that the verbiage in the Constitution supported his case,
that "(suing is) a cool thing to do. Everyone should try it."
Indeed, Mr. Newdow. We’re aching for people like you to disgrace the integrity
of our judicial process in order to honor their own gratuitous whims.
Newdow’s own biases aside, the disaster of the 9th Circuit’s ruling wasn’t
so much rooted in the decision itself, but in the reality that it is an activist
court intent on establishing a secular precedent, one that will no doubt
be used to continually support assaults against America’s traditions and
values -- whether in support of Big Tobacco-style lawsuits, gay marriage,
or the removal altogether of spirituality from public life.
To be sure, the term "under God" may represent the presence of a deity in
the hearts and minds of Americans, but it hardly represents a government
endorsement of religion, a sentiment Justice David Souter expressed last
week during arguments. Actually, whether agnostics agree or disagree with
certain spiritual phrases in our national songs, mottos, or slogans is not
the relevant issue here. The fact remains that our nation was founded on
inalienable Judeo-Christian principals, understood by our Founders to provide
the very rights that Michael Newdow is now -- ironically -- exploiting in
order to challenge those very principles.
Who would have thought thirty years ago that today it would be "unacceptable"
to celebrate holidays such as Christmas and Easter or traditions like Halloween,
Mother's Day, Father's Day, or Valentine's Day in many of our public schools,
for fear that someone might feel “uncomfortable?” Or that no-smoking policies
on airplanes would have led to legislation prohibiting smoking in public
places or -- of all things -- in private establishments? Or that it would
be feasible to sue your neighbor because a waft of cigarette smoke coming
from his porch found its way across your fence to your nose?
Conservatives generally don’t buy into the concept of the slippery slope,
but ignoring its existence is fast becoming a luxury we can afford less every
day. After all, liberals know that to reveal their entire agenda at once
would mean almost certain defeat. So instead we get what we see with today’s
fight for the Pledge: isolated attempts to systematically erode our liberties
and moral standards, all in search of the ultimate goal of total secularism.
Our public schools have plenty to improve upon as far as instructional and
disciplinary policies are concerned, but one fight they would do well to
continue -- regardless of the Supreme Court’s ruling this summer -- is their
right to lead our children in those verses before the school day that are
all too frequently taken for granted, and have unfortunately become one of
our last lines of defense of patriotism and freedom as we know it.
Say the Pledge of Allegiance. It's a cool thing to do. Everyone should try it.
Trevor Bothwell is the editor of The Right Report.
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