A main argument that the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals uses to argue that the Pledge of Allegiance, with the text "under God", is constitutional is grounded on the claim that it is a patriotic exercise.
We hold that the Pledge of Allegiance does not violate the Establishment Clause because Congress' ostensible and predominant purpose-was to inspire patriotism and that the context of the Pledge - its wording as a whole, the preamble to the statute, and this nation's history - demonstrate that it is a predominantly patriotic exercise. For these reasons, the phrase "one Nation under God" does not turn this patriotic exercise into a religious activity.
They make a point out of the fact that even the dissenting judge agreed that the Pledge is a patriotic exercise.
Even the dissent agrees on this determinative point. Dissent at 4040 ("[T]he recitation of the Pledge both as originally written and as amended is a patriotic exercise . . . . ")
Yes, it is a patriotic exercise.
It is in virtue of the fact that it is a patriotic exercise - that it defines the character of a patriotic Aerican - that it serves its primary role to establish a filter whose purpose is to prevent atheists from obtaining high public office or positions of public trust in the United States.
It is because it is a patriotic exercise that serves the function of denying atheists the equal respect of their neighbors and fellow (patriotic) citizens - by teaching them that atheists were not patriots.
It is because it is a patriotic exercise that it makes it alienates atheists from their government, rendering them politically impotent on the grounds that, simply in virtue of the fact that he is an atheist, this implies he is not a true American, and thus his opinions on matters of public policy may simply be dismissed.
Yes, the Pledge of Allegiance is a patriotic exercise. There is no doubt about this.
It is an government sanctioned exercise that aims to teach the American people, and particularly its young children, that true patriots support a nation under God as they support a nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all. And that any who do not support a nation under God, like any who would not support a nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all, are not patriots.