Thursday, March 11, 2010

Atheists are Not Patriots

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.

Ninth Circuit upholds Pledge of Allegiance in public schools

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.


CybrgnX said...

I think the school kid had the best answer to refusing to say the pledge....
The pledge states 'with liberty and justice for all' doe snot exit so is a lie and he is not suppose to lie so has refused to say the pledge.
Also I say the original lines and as a 20yr VET dares anyone to question it.

Baconsbud said...

I don't think this ruling is saying atheist aren't patriots. I do see it as a breaking of the oath the judges took when they accepted the position they did. I don't see any pledge or oath as being an important part of life since people are going to do whatever they want anyway. They made a bad ruling but that seems to be happening much more of late within the court system. I see the court system as becoming more about politics then justice.

Alonzo Fyfe said...


It is not the ruling that says that atheists are not patriots.

It is the Pledge of Allgiance that says that atheists are not patriots.

The Pledge of Allegiance defines a patriot as an American who supports a nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Which means it defines a person who rejects any of these four qualities - union, liberty, justice, or 'a nation under God' - as being un-Patriotic.

It is a point driven home by the fact that the government says, 'If you do not support a nation under God then this government does not want you to be pledging allegiance."

Baconsbud said...

I understand that some see it that way and that only these conditions make you a real American. It isn't so much the government but people who go against their own oath of office that are saying this. Yes they are in the government but they can be removed. A judge is harder but his rulings can be overturned. These judges should be held to their oath and if they don't stick to it they and any rulings they have made should be reviewed by independent groups.

Alonzo Fyfe said...


No, it is the Pledge of Allegiance itself - the very words - that say that atheists are not patriots.

The Pledge of Allegiance defines the qualities of a patriotic American.

It states that those qualities include support for a nation under God (along with support for indivisibility, liberty, and justice for all).

If you think that the Pledge says that you can still be a good American if you don't support 'one nation under God', then does it also say that a good American need not support union, liberty, and justice for all?

Of course not. That's absurd.

wyamarus said...

Moreover,taking a blind loyalty oath flies in the face of the spirit of the Constitution. The original spirit of the Republic was a voluntary association of free entities without duress, which could be dissolved when it failed to perform it's original function. This also applies to the relationship of individual 'citizens' to their putative government.

To go back to the original meaning of the word "patriotism' implies an intimate connectedness to a particular place; a locality that has historically and traditionally occupied by one's ancestors and tribe. In this sense it is very much misused, and this misuse is promoted for base political ends. There are very few Americans (and I use the term in it's most generic and catholic sense) who can claim the long term connection to a specific place that develops the cultural memes necessary for true patriotism. Even the majority of the descendants of the aboriginal inhabitants have been forcibly removed to locales alien and physically far removed from their ancestral homeland, and their culture and practices actively eradicated by the dominant European invaders. The population of the US is largely rootless, and without a true culture, which only develops after prolonged residence in a particular spot, and after long-term adaptations have been made to survive in that specific scenario. At best, the promoters of a 'Pledge' can claim support for the current government; as in actuality it is a loyalty oath the the Flag (primarily as the military standard or banner of the Republic)... and not to the Constitution, which is the defining article of ideals under which the Republic was joined.

Doug Indeap said...

Perhaps the best evidence supporting your point, ironically, is the sermon delivered by Reverend George MacPhereson Dochetry in 1954 at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church with President Eisenhower in attendance in which he urged that "under God" be added to the pledge of allegiance. That sermon is commonly credited as one of the reasons Congress revised the pledge as he suggested. He said, in pertinent part:

"What then of the honest atheist?

Philosophically speaking, an atheistic American is a contradiction in terms. Now don’t misunderstand me. This age has thrown up a new type of man-we call him a secular; he does not believe in God; not because he is a wicked man, but because he is dialectically honest, and would rather walk with the unbelievers than sit hypocritically with people of the faith. These men, and many have I known, are fine in character; and in their obligations as citizens and good neighbors, quite excellent.

But they really are spiritual parasites. And I mean no term of abuse in this. I’m simply classifying them. A parasite is an organism that lives upon the life force of another organism without contributing to the life of the other. These excellent ethical seculars are living upon the accumulated spiritual capital of Judaio-Christian civilization, and at the same time, deny the God who revealed the divine principles upon which the ethics of this country grow. The dilemma of the secular is quite simple.

He cannot deny the Christian revelation and logically live by the Christian ethic.

And if he denies the Christian ethic, he falls short of the American ideal of life."

See and

Joseph Mitchell said...

I am not totally clear on "patriot" and more research is needed. I hold to Conservative Republican Ideals. Lately, I find myself sympathizing with "patriots", state's rights advocates, state sovereingtists, and successionists, and I have also signed petitions. It just seems we can learn from the UKIP, the British Nationalists Party, and the Eurosceptic wing of the Conservative Party in the UK. How is our Federal Union here any differant, I think not, and I am afraid of Globalistic Socialistic Encroachment. When I say the Pledge, I quietly, politely, leave the, "under God," phraze out, it is not original to the document, was added in the Fifties. I have no problem with what Christians do, I used to be one, they have a right to be wrong, and to fool with the learning process. I would prefer state and religion to be separate officially. I can assure you that there are Atheist Patriots out there. I have found them on line. I might be one, but more research is needed.