There were alot of reports about the Legislature adding "one state under God" to the Texas state pledge. It is a required morning ritual in Texas public schools along with the pledge to the U.S. flag and a moment of silence. It was approved in the Texas House of Representatives on a 124-12 vote and in the Texas Senate on a 29-0 vote. According to the article State Rep. Debbie Riddle, who sponsored the bill, said it had always bothered her that God was omitted in the state's pledge. "Personally, I felt like the Texas pledge had a big old hole in it, and it occurred to me, 'You know what? We need to fix that,' " said Riddle, R-Tomball.
This is a very important issue in view of the fact that: "By law, students who object to saying the pledge or making the reference to God can bring a written note from home excusing them from participating."
So I did a little research:
In 1836, when the state's Declaration of Independence was written Texas, which complained of religious coercion in its Declaration of Independence from Mexico, now has added "one state under God" to the Texas Pledge. The framers of state's Declaration Of Independence did not want a national religion, calculated to promote the temporal interest of its human functionaries. No we don't need a "State Religion," in Texas any more than we need a "Church State" in the U.S.A.
In 1892 the Pledge Of Allegiance to the U.S. flag was written by Francis Bellamy who was an author and a socialist Baptist minister. It was written for an advertising campaign for a children's magazine "Youth's Companion." Bellamy said the purpose of the pledge was to teach obedience. He had initially considered using the word equality but decided it was too controversial since many people were opposed to equal rights for women and blacks.
In 1940 a case brought to the Supreme Court by Minersville School District v. Gobitis, ruled that the students in public schools could be compelled to recite the Pledge, including the Jehovah's Witnesses who objected to the Pledge for religious reasons. As a result of this ruling, a rash of mob violence and intimidation against Jehovah's Witnesses occurred. In 1943 the Supreme Court reversed its decision, ruling in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette that "compulsory unification of opinion" violated the First Amendment
Other objections have been raised since the addition of the phrase "under God" to the Pledge in 1954. The Government requiring or promoting the Pledge with "under God" has brought about much criticism and legal challenges based on the contention that it violates one or both of the religion clauses in the First Amendment. Prominent legal challenges have been based on the contention that state-sponsored requiring or promoting of the Pledge is unconstitutional because it violates one or both of the religion clauses in the First Amendment. Religious proponents have pointed to the phrase "under God" in the pledge as proof that religion is a required part of American life.
A decision in the case of Cameron Frazier who was removed from algebra class for refusing to follow the teacher's instructions to recite the Pledge or stand during recitation. In 2006, in the Florida case Frazier v. Alexandre, No. 05-81142 (S.D. Fla. May 31, 2006. A federal district court in Florida ruled that the 1942 state law requiring students to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, even though the law allows students to opt out, because they can only do so with written parental permission and are still required to stand during the recitation. This means that people can not be forced to participate in anyway, not even forced to stand, and there is no parental consent necessary.
Recount of Events:
First:4-5 decision by Supreme Court ruled that a group of taxpayers did not have standing to sue the US government for its funding of faith-based initiatives with federal money. Many people objected because they see this as a scheme by republicans to use taxpayer funds to mobilize religious voters
Next:Texas governor Rick Perry appointed a creationist to head the Texas State Board of Education.
Next: "Under God" is added to Texas Pledge to flag.
If the Supreme Court has to confirm that there is a God, then it must be more supreme
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The ACA Lecture Series continues Sunday, October 11th at 12:15pm in the Austin History Center, 9th and Guadalupe. The building opens at noon. Texas Freedom Network's Dan Quinn will give us an update on their activities. The lecture is free and open to the public.