Shea of Holy Family Catholic Church. "It's a further erosion in our
nation by a small group of people. It's further interpolation of the
establishment clause [of the 1st Amendment]. The Constitutional
fathers never intended that that line is what it's about."
The court said requiring children to recite the Pledge of
Allegiance with its "under God" phrase violates the establishment
clause of the Constitution, which demands the separation of church
But the phrase "under God" does not endorse any one religion, said
the Rev. Frank Brougher, pastor of First Baptist Church of Glendale
and immediate past president of Glendale Religious Leaders.
"I believe in a straight separation of church and state, but I can
pledge allegiance with all my heart because I have a very broad
understanding of the word God," he said. "Supreme being is another
word for God. The word God is not just Christian. The word G-O-D is a
word that describes this being, this spirit, this activity that is
over and above us all."
Atheist Alliance International, a 35-group national organization,
has applauded the federal ruling, saying the court "has forbidden our
children from being marginalized in the classroom."
Temple Sinai's Rabbi Jeffrey Ronald disagreed.
"I thought the ruling was unfortunate, and even if it was legally
grounded, it does nothing to help create a sense of common moral base
among the American people," he said.
"I think [the phrase] can be unifying," he said.
"The Muslims can pledge allegiance to the flag for their god, so
can the Hindus, the Buddhists, the Native Americans. Everyone can
pledge allegiance to their God."