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View Diary: Breaking: Equal Rights for Atheists Denied by Massachusetts Court (100 comments)

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  •  Yeah right (9+ / 0-)
    No Massachusetts school student is required by law to recite the pledge or to participate in the ceremony of which the pledge is a part. Recitation of the pledge is entirely optional. Students are free, for any reason or for no reason at all, to recite it in its entirety, not recite it at all, or recite or decline to recite any part of it they choose, without fear of punishment.
    Like as though that's remotely how things work in the real world.

    Similar to how when my boss asks me to contribute the the United Way on a completely volunteer basis, I am completely free not to do so . ..

    •  Beat me to it . . . n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roadbed Guy
      •  Of course they didn't (0+ / 0-)

        considering that besides "common sense" and "real world experience" (aspects far removed from the courts) there is no way to prove any of this.

        •  Sure there is (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Remembering Jello, terrypinder

          Disciplinary reports. Testimony from the kids.  Instead, this is what the record reflects:

          At the time the parties filed their cross motions for summary judgment, the Does' three children were fourteen, twelve, and ten years old. They acknowledged in their affidavits [FN11] that "[they] understand that [they] have the right to refuse to participate in the flag-salute ceremony, but [they] want to participate in it." They also acknowledged that "[i]n fact, usually when [their] class[es] say[ ] the Pledge [they] do participate in the ceremony (although [they] usually do not say the 'under God' words)." The children, as atheists and Humanists, "do not believe that the United States of America or any other country is 'under God.' " They stated that they believe that the pledge, as recited in their schools, "suggests that all good Americans believe in God" and that others, like them, "who don't believe in God, aren't as good as others who do believe." Jane Doe and John Doe, in their affidavits, likewise expressed concern that the recitation of the pledge "marginalizes [their] children and [their] family and reinforces [a] general public prejudice against atheists and Humanists, as it necessarily classifies [them] as outsiders, defines [them] as second-class citizens, and even suggests that [they are] unpatriotic." They claimed that "[i]t is inappropriate for [their] children to have to draw attention to themselves by not participating, possibly leading to unwanted attention, criticism and potential bullying," and that at their children's ages, " 'fitting in' is an important psychological need." As the motion judge noted in her memorandum of decision, however, there is no evidence in the summary judgment record that the Doe children have ever been subjected to any type of punishment, bullying or other mistreatment, criticism, condemnation, or ostracism as a result of not participating in the pledge or not reciting the words "under God."
    •  And furthermore (6+ / 0-)

      any judge who says that the inclusion of "under God" didn't change the "patriotic" nature of the pledge into one of a more religious nature is an idiot and one who has no business citing history as justification.

      •  Unfortunately being an idiot is almost (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Indexer, jodylanec, anon004

        a requirement , rather than a disqualify factor, for participating in our country's legal system these days.

        •  Has to be since the inclusion of that phrase (6+ / 0-)

          was explicitly to make it more religious.

          •  Yes, one really has to wonder if a judge (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Indexer, Prinny Squad, anon004

            who argues otherwise is simply completely corrupt, or just so haughty as to think he or she can make completely nonsensical argument w/o we peons noticing . ..

            •  I think the judge is just following (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Remembering Jello, jodylanec

              in the footsteps of the Founding Fathers, many of whom couldn't give two shits about the existence of god, but had no problem with having religion used as a cudgel with which to keep the unwashed masses (whom they hated and feared anyway) in line.

              Remember that the notion of religious freedom was NOT part of the original Constitution; that the First Amendment has only to do with the non-establishment of a church for the new federal republic, and in fact granted religious freedom to nobody -- states continued to establish their own state religions and otherwise restrict religious freedom until the Fourteenth Amendment could be read as forbidding this too.

              And there's no constitutional guarantee of freedom from religion.  There should be -- but there just isn't.

              Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

              by corvo on Fri May 09, 2014 at 01:04:33 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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