Thursday, June 17, 2004
The hobgoblin of little minds
Ah ha! An Out!
That is very insightful.
I mean, come on. It makes me sad when I have to say that Scalia (ugh) made the most honorable decision on a case (he abstained because he'd commented on the manner publicly).
You're right. 88% of the SCOTUS is out to get you. So are 92% of Americans...
The problem is that "under god" is a hard issue to touch, but it's so obviously and blatantly unconstitutional that an easy out like this one is the only out for justices of conscience.
Let's try a little basic law. To bring a lawsuit in a court you have to have standing. Oh, you don't have that if you're a minor...and if you're not the Guardian. Game, set, match, right?
Not that justices of conscience should be taking an out, but oh well.
But this isn't a real out, because it's a poor ruling. Don't take my word for it, read Scrivener's Error, a blog written by a Real Lawyer, who explains in legal speak why the ruling is incorrect.
Capitalize Lawyer but not God. Let's see what Scrivener says:
"Leaving aside the dubious neglect to ask the child what her wishes are..."
I'm no lawyer, but I believe that the child is a child (tautology alert) and, therefore, the Guardian (the mother) is the one who will have to stand if there is such a case. The mother decided no. Tough cookies.
Wait a minute, you say. Obviously and blatantly unconstitutional? Absolutely.
How? Unsubstantiated allegation.
If you don't think it's an issue, just imagine you have a daughter (or a son, but let's assume daughter so I don't have to worry about pronouns). Now imagine you're an atheist.
So you're under 10% of Americans.
Just try it for a minute, I know it might be hard, but we're people too.
Who are trying to establish your religion - nihilism as the official religion of the United States.
Now imagine that your young daughter goes to school every day, and every morning she hears her teacher and all her classmates say "under god".
Imagine if your daughter hears the English language, or mathematics.
So what do you do? Are you an understanding parent, who tells her it's ok to say it, possibly planting the seeds for future indoctrination?
I'd be a tolerant person who stands on the convictions of their argument, not an intolerant bigot...
Or are you a strict parent, cruelly forbidding her from saying it to stand up for your principles, making her feel left out? And will she even obey you if you do forbid her?
My guess is Teddy leans towards intolerance and bigotry.
Or, if it's too hard to imagine you're an atheist, imagine you're a Christian (hell, statistics say you probably are) but the pledge contains the words "under Allah," or "under Zeus". Are you okay with that?
Sure. Obviously, pluralism isn't your strong suit.
You (if you disagree with me) need to accept the fact that not everyone believes in "god",
Just enough to make a law. If you disagree, go write a law. You need a majority in both houses and the support of the President.
and you need to understand that I'm not attacking your religion.
You are trying to abolish my God and replace it with a nihilistic creed.
Believe in god. Believe this nation is under god. Believe this nation is under Cthulu, I don't care, believe what you want, and teach your kids about it all you want. But don't stuff it down my throat, and certainly don't try to stuff it down my (hypothetical) kid's throat. Not having the words "under god" in the official pledge doesn't harm your religion, doesn't stop you from practicing it in any way.
Intolerance and bigotry
Besides, the words "under god" ruin the rhythm of the pledge.
I'm sorry it's not aesthetically pleasing to you. Would it be better if it was in Russian?
And they're a legacy of McCarthyism, a part of this country's history we'd all like to erase (or at least, all reasonable people would).
Because, you know, Communists never penetrated this Government.