Tag Archives: under God

Republicans Fail to Protect God. Satan Removed Earmarked Exemption from Constitution

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday failed once again to save their omnipotent God from the potential ravages of a Satan tampered with U.S. Constitution. They proclaimed that the U.S. Constitution must have been tampered with while God was sleeping and that Satan had removed an earmarked exemption to protect “under God” from constitutional review, Republicans tried to undo the terrible deed. God sleeping meant that he was not able to really input his ultimate wisdom upon those who wrote the U.S. Constitution, so Republicans yesterday tried in vain to make the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance sacrosanct and beyond judicial scrutiny as to its constitutionality in the future.

Never mind that the Constitution is several hundred years old and that the phrase “under God” was added in 1954 to the Pledge of Allegiance. But God is prescient also so he should have forseen this happening.

Because, heaven forbid, if this nation “under God” allowed the judicial system set up “under God” to do its will, the courts just might find the words “under God” conflicted with the First Amendment of the US Constitution. So the Republicans tried passing legislation exempting the words “under God” from being able to be reviewed by the Federal Courts. They failed to get the legislation out of committee.

In a way its very similar to the recent Republican effort saying Congress would not set a date to get out of Iraq. Because then they might be held accountable for failing to get us out of Iraq. Because Republicans control Congress and the Presidency and the US Supreme Court is currently a partisan conservative Republican Court, Republicans can do pretty much whatever they want. But they don’t want to be caught making any promises they can’t keep.

One has to wonder why God who is supposed to be omnipotent and omnipresent now needs Republican Senators to protect his holiness. Won’t the Nation still be “under God”, even if we don’t say it in the Pledge of Allegiance? Won’t God still be in people’s hearts and guide their actions? Won’t Congress still act based on God’s wisdom and will and his commandments?

And what is this thing about desecrating the flag? Does a piece of cloth really represent our nation or do the people and their actions represent our nation? Seems to me this piece of cloth is really some kind of false idol by indications of all the attention the Republicans give it these days. They are using this piece of cloth to try to rally conservative voters. Wouldn’t they be more successful if they really did a compassionate act, like raised the minimum wage or helped really rebuild New Orleans?

Republicans under Chief Priest and Holy Intrepreter of the Conservative Church of America, Karl Rove, are desperately trying to rally the right wing ideologues to save America from heathen Democrats. It’s a real threat.

But if the Republicans really want to show God that they are saved and have seen the light, then maybe they should spend their time and the taxpayers money dealing with some real issues instead of doing the bidding of corporate America and the oil companies.

Like why don’t we have car fuel efficiency standards that would really reduce our dependence on foreign oil?

Why are we not engaging in a serious effort for energy independence?

Why can’t we raise the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour which it has been for the last 10 years? Congress raised their own salary $30,000 during the same time?

Why are thousands of mobile homes taxpayers paid for sitting unused while people are still homeless as a result of Hurricane Katrina?

Why have billions been spent on Iraq and Afghanistan reconstruction without getting results?

Under Franklin Delano Roosevelt, we has a C.C.C. It was the Civilian Conservation Corps. It employed the unemployed during the Depression when the free reign American economic system broke down. Government and its citizens went to work rebuilding and building new roads and bridges and parks to benefit our country.

Today the Republicans have instituted a new C.C.C. It is called the Congressional Corporate Cronyism program. Under this new C.C.C. the Republicans have decided to give large tax breaks to wealthy multi-millionaires and corporations while passing token tax cuts for the rest of us taxpayers.

Republicans refuse to raise the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour. It’s been the same for the last 10 years. Meanwhile Republicans in Congress have raised their own salary by $30,000 per year.

Republicans in Congress dole out large contracts to non-governmental entities to rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan. Billions are spent with little to show. Republicans in Congress refuse to investigate.

Likewise millions are spent in contracts without government supervision to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina with much being wasted. Government entities like the Army Corps of Engineers are bypassed because Republicans believe in private enterprise.

It’s almost like a conspiracy by the Republicans to carry out their oft stated purpose of reducing the Federal Government. We bomb the hell out of Iraq with an Awe and Shock campaign, destroying their infrastructure. Remember how at the time the rationale was that Iraq oil would pay for reconstruction. Never happened.

Instead billions in tax dollars from hard working Americans flow into the hands of private contractors that the Republicans favor in promoting free enterprise. Domestic programs are cut, reducing education, health care and other social service programs.

The end result. Both Osama Bin Laden and George Bush win. Osama Bin Laden gets us to spend billions and billions in a war on terror that drains our domestic economy. Bush having spent billions and billions in his personal war in Iraq forces Congress to both cut current expenditures for domestic programs and indebt future generations for war costs.

It is a rehash of the Reagan era military spending buildup to run the Russian economy into ruin. It worked then and it’s now being flipped back on us. And Osama Bin Laden doesn’t even have to expend billions. He just has to threaten us.

Americans are getting the results of reduced government under Bush. Corporations, oil companies and multimillionaires get tax breaks, while students and parents pay more to go to college, taxpayers pay the bills for higher medical costs and programs to help the poor decrease.

Instead of a compassionate government under God we have a mean spirited Republican Government hell bent on promoting increased wealth for the wealthy and giving tax breaks for corporations and oil companies. The Republican free enterprise doctrine is rapidly taking place in America as Republicans are successfully implemented their attack plan of limiting government for most citizens while giving special protections to corporate America.

Why is that not surprising? Americans put an oilman in the White House, not an educator, or a social worker. The Bush Republicans have done a great job of hoodwinking America as to their goals and intentions.

Coming Next – "One Nation Under God"

As if flag burning was not enough, the Republicans next pledge to not deal with the economy, the Iraq War, health care or global warming. Instead, one of the next burning issues is the Pledge of Allegiance.

By the way, isn’t it just a little odd, that once a flag is old and not in great shape, that the acceptable procedure of what to do with the flag is to burn it.

And for the record, both of Washington’s U.S.Senators, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, voted against amending the Constitution to prohibit flag burning.

Anyway, keeping with the Republican priorities of dealing with the real issues facing Americans today, the Republican leadership on Tuesday said it plans to vote this summer on a same sex marriage amendment, abortion rights, Internet gambling, property rights and the Pledge of Allegiance.

In case you’ve forgotten, the pledge says:

” I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”

The issue goes back to the words “under God” which ironically were not in the first Pledge of Allegiance. “Under God” was added in 1954. Republicans don’t want the lower courts to have any judicial review of constitutional issues involved in using the words “under God”

Wikipedia has an interesting section on the Pledge of Allegiance, which for some odd reason states at the top “The neutrality of this article is disputed”

Maybe it’s because of the odd history of the Pledge of Allegiance that’s covered by the Wikipedia article and by God, much of popular history is not the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It all depends on who’s telling it. Anyway here’s some of the wikipedia version:

The Pledge of Allegiance was written for the popular children’s magazine Youth’s Companion by socialist author and Baptist minister Francis Bellamy on September 7, 1892. The owners of Youth’s Companion were selling flags to schools, and approached Bellamy to write the Pledge for their advertising campaign. It was marketed as a way to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus arriving in the Americas and was first published on the following day.

Bellamy’s original Pledge read as follows: I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. It was seen by some Brightonians as a call for national unity and wholeness after the divisive Civil War. Bellamy had initially also considered using the words equality and fraternity but decided they were too controversial since many people still opposed equal rights for women and African Americans. Bellamy said that the purpose of the pledge was to teach obedience to the state as a virtue.

…In 1940 the Supreme Court, in deciding the case of Minersville School District v. Gobitis, ruled that students in public schools could be compelled to recite the Pledge, even Jehovah’s Witnesses like the Gobitases, who considered the flag salute to be idolatry. In the wake of this ruling, there was a rash of mob violence and intimidation against Jehovah’s Witnesses. In 1943 the Supreme Court reversed its decision, ruling in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette that matters of religious conviction should be safeguarded from political control.

…On Flag Day, June 14, 1954, Congress passed the legislation adding the phrase “under God” to the Pledge.Before World War II, the Pledge was begun with the right hand over the heart during the phrase “I pledge allegiance”. The arm was then extended toward the Flag at the phrase “to the Flag”, and it remained outstretched during the rest of the pledge, with the palm facing upward, as if to lift the flag. An earlier version, the Bellamy salute, also ended with the arm outstretched and the palm upwards, but began with the right hand in a military salute, not over the heart. Both of these salutes differed from the Roman salute, where the palm was toward the ground. However, during the war the outstretched arm became identified with Nazism and Fascism, and the custom was changed: today the Pledge is said from beginning to end with the right hand over the heart.
On September 13, 1988, Sonny Montgomery became the first Congressman to lead the U.S. House in citing the Pledge of Allegiance as a permanent part of its daily and morning business operations [1].
On June 24, 1999 the Senate passed a resolution sponsored by Senator Bob Smith ofNew Hampshire to recite the Pledge before each day’s session.

There’s a lengthy discussion of the Knights of Columbus starting the drive to add “under God” and how Eisenhower went to a church sermon where the words were discussed as aligning with Abraham Lincoln’s usage in his speeches. I recommend reading the whole article but found the origin of the Pledge of Allegiance as a selling gambit much like lots of advertisements today to so very American. Sort of like signing the lyrics of a soap commercial before we use it, reinforcing subliminally our need to buy the same brand of soap next time.

And the whole issue of the flag salute – I wonder if the Republicans considered this as something we should revert to since it was a tradition at the time. Aren’t Republicans for maintaining American traditions?

But especially curious are the dates that Congress first decided to start their sessions with a Pledge of Allegiance – 1988 and 1999. Seems Congress has been a little slow in something schools have been doing starting in 1892 – a full century before. Isn’t it a little “Johnny Come Lately” of them to profess such concern about the actual wordage of the Pledge of Allegiance when they only officially started using the pledge so recently. Wikipedia also notes Congress first recognized the pledge as the official national one in 1945. Again it didn’t seem like such a high priority to them for so long a time.

A good article by Steve Sacks of Yale Law School points out the difficulties Republicans will have in trying to stop lower courts reviewing the constitutional issues like the first amendment.