Most overturned court in the U.S.  WASHINGTON, D.C., June 27, 2002 ( – A San Francisco federal appeals court yesterday ruled the 1954 text of the United States Pledge of Allegiance “unconstitutional.” A 2-1 majority of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals wrote: “The statement that the United States is a nation ‘under God’ is an endorsement of religion… It is a profession of a religious belief, namely, a belief in monotheism,” and therefore violates the separation of church and state. The particular court, not co-incidentally located in the gay capital of the US, has a history of making outrageous judgements which are frequently later overturned. One Congressman noted yesterday that it is the most overturned court in the U.S.  Republicans and Democrats both condemned the ruling, which affects Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. “Nuts” was how Sen. Tom Daschle of South Dakota, the leader of the Democratic majority in the Senate, described it. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said: “The view of the White House is that this was a wrong decision and the Department of Justice is now evaluating how to seek redress. … The Declaration of Independence refers to God as the creator four different times. Congress begins each session of the Congress each day with a prayer and our currency says ‘In God We Trust’.”  The dissenting judge, Ferdinand F. Fernandez, said: “I cannot accept the [striking] of the simple phrase ‘under God’ from our Pledge of Allegiance, when it is obvious that its tendency to establish religion in this country or to interfere with the free exercise [or non-exercise] of religion is de minimis.”  The case was bought by Michael A. Newdow, an atheist, on behalf of his daughter, a second-grader, who he said was “forced each day to listen to her teacher recite the Pledge containing the words ‘under God’,” which he claims “coerces” children who don’t believe in God.  Ironically, in the same week, a “class exercise” obliged California students to “pretend they were Muslims” for three weeks, “praying in the name of Allah the Compassionate the Merciful, chanting Praise to Allah, picking a Muslim name from a list to replace their own name and to stage their own Jihad via a dice game, reports the Thomas More Law Center, which filed the lawsuit against the Byron Union School District to stop the use of “Islam Simulation.”  As for the implications for Canada, Globe and Mail columnist John Ibbitsion writes today that, “faced with the U.S. example, the burning question for Canadians might be whether O Canada (“God keep our land …”) could survive.” All it might take is for a mischievous self-described atheist to mount a Charter challenge on grounds the national anthem violates his freedom of religion.  Most commentators agree that, if the Ninth Circuit court does not itself overturn its decision, then the Supreme Court will most certainly uphold the Pledge of Allegiance.  For Washington Times coverage see:   To read the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruling in Newdow vs. U.S. Congress (Pledge of Allegiance Case) see:   For the reaction of Republican Congressman Tom DeLay, who reacted by putting ‘God Bless America’ on his website, see:   For commentary from the Family Research Council see:   For Jack Dunphy’s National Review commentary on other Ninth Circuit rulings see:


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