The 9th Circuit Does Something Right

This is slightly old news (in internet news time) but the result of the Michael ‘I hate my country’s history’ Newdow’s lawsuit is in.

The 9th Circuit Federal Appeals court (which had previously ruled in Newdow’s favor, only to be overruled by the Supreme Court on technical grounds) in a 2-1 ruling, ruled that words ‘under God’ do not violate the 1st amendment. Most people with half a brain already knew of course that this phraseology didn’t in fact ‘establish’ a church of any sort, but it often takes a Federal Court ruling to explain this to a militant atheist.

In a separate 3-0 ruling, the court further delegitimized Mr. Newdow’s purpose in life, and ruled against his suit to remove ‘In God We Trust’ from American coins and currency.

The rulings themselves are of no surprise, and completely consistent with the American view of religion in American life, going back to the origin of the country. That the 9th circuit finally figured this out is the big news here.


12 Responses to The 9th Circuit Does Something Right

  1. From the ruling,

    “The Pledge of Allegiance serves to unite our vast nation through the proud recitation of some of the ideals upon which our Republic was founded.”

    So we can put deistic claims in there, too? Or how about the anti-religious views of Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, Madison, and Paine?

    Oh, or how about we establish a pledge which says black people are lesser beings than whites? Afterall, the only basis is apparently ideals that were present in the late 18th and early 18th centuries.

  2. jackhudson says:

    To which particularly ‘deistic claims’ do you refer?

    And the Founders, while they were certainly soured on the idea of a state based church (or a church which dominated the state) were in no way ‘anti-religious’ -indeed they were almost to a man regular church goers.

    And none of them (with perhaps the exception of Jefferson) seemed to have held blacks to be lesser beings.

  3. jackhudson says:

    Michael, now you are just making things up. Adams was the son of puritans and a faithful member of United First Parish Church. His response to Jefferson on his religious beliefs was , “My Adoration of the Author of the Universe is too profound and too sincere. The Love of God and his Creation; delight, Joy, Tryumph, Exaltation in my own existence, tho’ but an Atom, a molecule Organique, in the Universe, are my religion.”
    If this is an anti-religious sentiment, then you have no idea what a religious sentiment is.

    In regard to the Founders views on slavery, Franklin started an anti-slavery society as did John Jay, James Madison, and many others who were among the Founding fathers – Adams refused to own slaves and made it clear he opposed owning slaves. Thomas Paine was a fervent opponent of slavery. So you are not just wrong here, but embarrassingly wrong, and should think before you respond to post involving a modicum of knowledge of early American history.

  4. Bettawrekonize says:

    Yes, this nation is a nation under God all right. We legalize abortion and yet we consider ourselves a nation under God?

  5. jackhudson says:

    Well, one would hope it’s as much a statement of aspiration as it is a statement of current reality.

  6. jackhudson says:

    I don’t understand the constant confusion people have over religion and God. They are not the same thing.

    I agree; as when people like Newdow confuse the mention of God on our coins and in our pledge with establishing a religion.

    “As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?”…etc.

    So his point here would be (and I tend to agree with it) that what is problematic is not Christianity itself, as much as it is a revelation from God, but human imposed ideas about Christianity. How this proves Adams was ‘anti-religion’ is beyond me – particularly as I agree with this sentiment. I suppose that makes me ‘anti-religious’ too!

    Adams did not like mass religion, especially Christianity and its history.

    No, Adams did not like the bastardization of Christianity he saw in European religious antagonisms – he was himself a life long church-goer, and the son of church goers, and the friend of church-goers – hardly the act of a man who didn’t like Christianity.

    I’m not sure at what point any of this addresses the fact that they held racist views, believing blacks to be inferior.

    Well the evidence Jefferson was racist is well documented by his own hand. Your evidence that Franklin, Adams, and Madison were racist is documented by what? Nothing. What we do know is that they were strongly anti-slavery – and that certainly doesn’t seem to indicate ill-will towards people of African decent.

    But this is all besides the point. The court based its decision upon an appeal to historical relevance. The U.S. was also a slave-holding nation, a concentration camp nation, a genocidal nation, an imperial nation, and a number of other terrible, tragic things. We do not recite homages to our bad deeds because they would not be “proud recitations” – we are not proud of what we did and we do not want to endorse those past ideals because they aren’t our current ideals. “Under God”, however, reflects the current ideals of a majority of Americans: that we are a nation lead, watched over, and deeply concerned with one particular god. This has never been a matter of history but instead a matter of endorsing what a majority currently thinks. This establishes an endorsement of religion.

    So let me be clear. Other than furthering proof of your historical ignorance, the above paragraph seems to be proffering the logic that Americans should not acknowledge the fact that we are, and always have been a fundamentally and traditionally theistic nation because we have in the past been a nation that has done wrong.

    We also have been a nation that established the longest lasting and most pervasive democracy on earth, extended (at the loss of tens of thousands of our own citizens) those democratic ideals to all of our citizens, and to hundreds of millions of people around the earth. We have the extended prosperity to more people than anyone in history, advanced liberties that previous to our existence were unthinkable, been a fundamental advancer of science and technology and knowledge, as well a protector of countries who, if not for our protection, would have ceased to exist all together.

    So while we are not a perfect nation, it is good to remember that we have innumerable blessings, and so we extend a modicum of acknowledgement to the Being who gave them to us to begin with. Of course, being a liberty loving people as well as a believing people, we don’t oblige ingrates to join in.

  7. jackhudson says:

    He’s pointing out that he believes Christianity is based upon revelation. Everything that came after it had nothing to do with that revelation and is just a bloody religion.

    No, he doesn’t say that – in fact he is re-iterating common belief at that time of the Protestant view of what Christianity had become in the Roman Catholic Church and the Church of England. Adams forebears were Puritans – they believed the church in Europe had been corrupted, and it was their job to purify it, thus the name Puritans.

    As for racist views, Adams disparaged blacks like everyone else did. Franklin pined for an increase in white people. Madison (and Adams) was on board with Jefferson, believing it better to send send blacks back to Africa because they ought to be free, but separate from whites.

    I think the above mish-mash is typical of shoddy analysis of history that attempts to view past events through the lens of modern political correctness. Adams and Franklin opposed slavery, both in words and actions. Madison disdained slavery and the treating of men like property, but not so much that he freed his own slaves. A number of people held to the idea of sending freed Africans to a country in Africa because that is where they were forcibly removed from, and because they perceived their lives might very well be miserable living amongst former slave owners. Why this idea is particularly racist isn’t clear.

    As far as Franklins desire to ‘increase white people’, Franklin actually lamented the small number of British in the world. He was an Anglophile. He expressed concern that the French and Spanish and Germans and African would soon outnumber both the English and the Indians in America, both of whom he found to be lovely, though he admitted this was probably a personal preference. No mention that he thought them to be particularly superior as a race.
    So, the picture is just not as simplistic as you attempt to make it out to be.

    What? The point is that we aren’t acknowledging ideals based upon the fact that they are historical. No one does that. We are acknowledging ideals because we still hold them as a majority. The historical basis is just for show.

    I think you are confusing actions with ideals. Historically and culturally we hold up as an ideal the equality of all men – we often fail to live up to that ideal. We hold up as an ideal the preservation of life – we fail even now to live up to this ideal. And we hold up as an ideal the idea that we have the freedom and blessings we do because God gave them to us, though we often fail to live as if this is true. It is good to incorporate our ideals into creeds and our coins, because they remind us of our purpose as a nation.

  8. jackhudson says:

    Why would I disagree with the point that the Pledge acknowledges God’s provision?

  9. jackhudson says:

    Hardly. The national anthem was written in 1814 and includes the lyrics:

    O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
    Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
    Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
    Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
    Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
    And this be our motto: ‘In God is our trust.’

  10. jackhudson says:

    That is when it was formally adopted, but as I have shown, the sentiment has been there since the beginning – it is certainly a historic consideration.

  11. jackhudson says:

    They may have been a concern when Congress acted in the ’50s to officially recognize the motto, but it certainly wasn’t a consideration of Francis Scott Key’s when he first suggested it, and communism didn’t exist around the time of the Civil War when it first graced our currency.

  12. jackhudson says:

    Sure; it officially confirmed what was already true – that unlike overtly atheistic countries, our history and culture informed by and includes the notion that our existence as a country is in part do to the providence and blessings of God. It wasn’t a new notion in the ’50s.

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