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FRIDAY, AUGUST 12, 2005
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EDITORIAL

Court right to uphold Pledge of Allegiance

A federal appeals court was absolutely right in upholding a Virginia law requiring public schools to lead a daily recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Edward Myers, a father of three and member of the Anabaptist Mennonite faith, objected, claiming the reference to "one nation under God" is an unconstitutional promotion of religion.

But the three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the pledge is primarily a patriotic, rather than religious, exercise.

"Undoubtedly, the pledge contains a religious phrase, and it is demeaning to persons of any faith to assert that the words 'under God' contain no religious significance," Judge Karen Williams wrote. "The inclusion of those two words, however, does not alter the nature of the pledge as a patriotic activity."

The judges were right to rule that the wording does nothing toward government establishment of religion, as prohibited by the First Amendment to the Constitution.

They were also right in acknowledging that the words have religious significance. There is nothing in the Constitution to prohibit the government from acknowledging God or from encouraging its citizens to practice the religion of their choice.

It is time we quit clogging our courts with these theoretical arguments and move on to more important matters that affect people in the real world.

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