In looking at the tests that Majority applied in determining that the placement of 'under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance counts as constitutional, the next test they looked at what the endorsement test.
Under the Endorsement Test, we look to see whether the challenged governmental action has the purpose or effect of endorsing, favoring, or promoting religion, particularly if it has the effect of endorsing one religion over another.
Endorsement sends a message to non-adherents that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community."
The case is closed. A Pledge of Allegiance to ‘one Nation under God” is unconstitutional.
Any claim that the Pledge does not endorse ‘under Nation under God’ with its prerequisite belief in a God is as absurd as claiming that the Pledge does not endorse union, liberty, and justice for all.
Any claim that the Pledge does not send a message that those who do not support ‘one Nation under God’ are outsiders, not full members of the political community is as absurd as claiming that the Pledge does not condemn secession, tyranny, and injustice.
Any claim that a Pledge of Allegiance does not endorse religion and brand those who do not believe in God as outsiders and not full members of the political community is as absurd as claiming that if the Pledge were changed to be, ‘one white nation’, that this would not be an act that communicated that white citizens are superior to black citizens and that blacks are not (or ought not to be considered) full members of the political community.
No charge against ‘under God’ being a part of the Pledge of Allegiance is so obviously true or so obvious to defend.
In fact, this point is so clear and so obvious and so easy to defend that, on this point, I am completely baffled to discover that atheists are not making and defending this point. I find atheists preferring to use obscure and difficult arguments that are easy to mangle and counter about separation of church and state or the intentions of the founding fathers.
When, right here, there is the simplest and quickest of all of the possible arguments against having ‘under God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance. That it is as malicious and prejudiced against the interests of atheists as a pledge of allegiance to ‘one white nation’ would be to African Americans.
Furthermore, it is a message that is reinforced by the practice of having atheists self-select from being included in Pledge ceremonies. It would be difficult to find anything that better communicated that atheists are not full members of the political community than having them sit or stand aside while the rest of the community stands and gives a Pledge of Allegiance.
Throughout their opinion, the judges speaking in the majority concur with the fact that the Pledge is meant to endorse Union, liberty, and justice for all, and the effects that this has had on the attitudes of the political community.
On the fact that the term ‘indivisible’ appears in the Pledge they wrote:
Reinforcement of the idea that this nation is indivisible, a concept most Americans today would not even think was up for debate, reflects the fact that the Pledge was first drafted in 1892, not long after the Civil War.
If the word ‘indivisible’ is a ‘reinforcement’ – an endorsement – of an indivisible nation then it is a flat out contradiction to say that ‘under God’ is a reinforcement – an endorsement – of a religious proposition. If ‘indivisible’ aims to have the effect of creating a nation in which its citizens do not think that secession is even up for debate, then ‘under God’ aims to have the effect of creating a nation in which the citizens do not think that the existence of God is not up for debate.
The fatal flaw – the Achilles heel – of ‘under God’ is right here. This is where it fails. Yet, this is the point that the bulk of atheists and secularists choose to ignore.
If I were asked for a reason to explain why atheists and secularists avoid their easiest argument on this case, I would assert that it is because they are afraid to succeed on this issue. The aversions planted in their brain as young children – placed there by the message and condemnation inherent in the Pledge and the Motto themselves – make obscure and easy to challenge arguments against ‘under God’ far more comfortable than simple arguments that strike to the very core of this practice.
While much of what I have written in the past week against ‘under God’ applies as well to ‘In God We Trust’, here I want to make the case specific.
The Motto says ‘we’ trust in God – which necessarily implies that those who do not trust in God are not (or ought not to be considered) fully qualified members of the group known as ‘we’. Here, again, nothing can be so obvious that a motto that divides ‘we’ from ‘them’ on the issue of trust in God endorses trust in God as a positive quality and sends a message to non-adherents that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community.
Nothing could be more obvious.