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House reaffirms 'under God' in Pledge

By The Associated Press
10.09.02

WASHINGTON — Spurred by a recent court ruling, the House passed a bill yesterday that would reinforce support for references to God in the Pledge of Allegiance and the national motto.

The measure, S. 2690, passed in a 401-5 vote. Those members voting against the bill were Reps. Barney Frank, D-Mass., Michael Honda, D-Calif., Jim McDermott, D-Wash., Bobby Scott, D-Va., and Pete Stark, D-Calif.

Four members — Reps. Gary Ackerman, D-N.Y., Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., and Mel Watt, D-N.C. — voted present rather than record a yes or no vote.

In addition to reaffirming support for the words "under God" in the pledge, the measure also reiterates that "In God We Trust" is the national motto.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in June ruled that the phrase "under God," inserted by Congress in 1954, amounts to a government endorsement of religion in violation of the separation of church and state.

The case was brought by a California man who objected to his daughter being compelled to listen to her second-grade classmates recite the pledge.

The bill is a nonbinding resolution that will have no legal bearing on the lawsuit.

The measure also includes rules on the appropriate manner for saying the pledge, including a provision that says anyone reciting it should remove nonreligious headdress with the right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, with the hand resting over the heart.

The Senate has already passed the bill, but it did not include the headdress provisions. Lawmakers there are expected to pass the House version soon. It would then go to the White House for the president's signature.


Related

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Attorneys general urge court to reconsider Pledge ruling
9th Circuit's decision is legally flawed, matter should be reheard by full court, say officials from 48 states, two territories in letter. 07.31.02

Pennsylvania Senate passes patriotism bill
Measure would require students in public, private schools to recite Pledge or sing national anthem daily. 11.17.02

Hawaii high school drops 'love for God' from honor code
Move comes as part of settlement of federal lawsuit filed by ACLU, which claimed school's code violated church-state separation. 01.29.03

9th Circuit won't reconsider 'under God' ruling
Not yet clear when ban on reciting Pledge of Allegiance might take effect for millions of students in nine states. 03.03.03

'Under God' embraced in court of public opinion
9th Circuit ruled phrase unconstitutional in Pledge, but many Americans have made it clear those words embody their feelings toward the nation — no matter what the courts say. 09.06.02

Constitutional crossroads: where 'under God' meets 'justice for all'
By Ken Paulson Pledge of Allegiance's religious phrase shouldn't have been inserted in 1954, but in 2002 it's a little late to change it. 06.28.02

The pledge flap: Let's brush up our civics
By Charles C. Haynes Many of us need to relearn that respecting the flag means respecting the rights of others, even those with whom we deeply disagree. 07.03.02

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