Case Study 2: I Pledge the Allegiance to the Flag
Latarsha S. Dowdell
Society, Law, and Government – SOC 205
Dr. Clinton D. Gortney
March 9, 2014
America. The land of the free home of the brave. These are the words that are cited when we sing the Star Spangled Banner. This is our song dedicated to our country. The Pledge of Allegiance was cited every morning before school started when I attended. It was our way of giving thanks to those that have fought and died for our freedom. Unfortunately, somewhere down the line, citing the Pledge of Allegiance became a political and religious issue. In this paper, I will summarize the points of the Supreme Court case ...view middle of the document...
Miss Banning had no issue with her 10 year old daughter reciting the Pledge of allegiance, but Mr. Newdow seemed to think it violated his constitutional rights. Mr. Newdow fought to have the Pledge of Allegiance removed from his daughter’s school, but as stated in an article “he does not have sufficient custody of the child to qualify as her legal representative, the court said. Eight justices voted to reverse a lower court ruling in Newdow’s favor” (Williams, 2004). The Supreme Court ruled that the words “under God” were not unconstitutional and would not be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance. If the Supreme Court would have ruled in favor of Mr. Newdow, “9.6 million schoolchildren in California and other western states” (Williams, 2004) would have been affected and would have caused a serious uproar across the nation. The outcome of the case showed that those in higher courts still believe that the words “under God” are words for patriotism, not religion. The Supreme Court felt that everyone has the right to practice their individual religious freedom, but you cannot force your individual religious beliefs on others. I whole heartedly believe that the Supreme Court was justified in their decision and anything else would have be infringing on others religious beliefs.
The question now is whether I believe that the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance is a religious issue or a sign of respect for the United States. As a Navy veteran, I served my country for 13 years. I have been all around the world and had the opportunity to visit countries that some people can only dream about. As a child growing up in an abusive home, serving my country was my only escape to what I considered to be “freedom”. The Navy saved my life. So when I hear the Star Spangled Banner and the Pledge of Allegiance, it’s a reminder to me of how far I’ve come and where I would have been if I did not serve my country. In elementary school, children may not understand the full impact of what the words in the Pledge of Allegiance truly stand for. As a parent, I think we all owe it to our children to allow them to recite the Pledge of Allegiance so they will one day want to serve their country. Even if they choose not to take the military route, they still need to understand what it means to be free and respect our Flag. The moment we start eliminating words from the Pledge of Allegiance, we are slowly taking away what our Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, and Airmen have died for. I understand how religion plays a huge part in our society. Without religion, it takes away the reason to do what’s right, it takes away the goodness that we have, and it takes away the morals that we need in our society to be successful. However, in my opinion, if a person does not believe that the...