(7/8/2002) Hot off the presses, news of a Federal Court ruling that the current Pledge of Allegiance was unconstitutional because the phrase 'under God' violates the First Amendment's provision of the separation of church and state, flies directly in the face of a nation's heightened sense of patriotism.
SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT
FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO YOUR FRIENDS AND HELP RALLY 1,000,000 PEOPLE TO STAND AND SAY, "I SUPPORT THE PLEDGE IN OUR SCHOOLS."
We are RUSHING you this update because the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals just ruled the Pledge Of Allegiance unconstitutional in our public schools!
The judges ruled that the phrase "under God" is a violation of the U.S. Constitution because it creates an "establishment" of religion.
THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS!!! WE MUST TAKE ACTION!
The Center For Reclaiming America has just launched a nationwide petition to rally hundreds of thousands of Americans as quickly as possible who will stand up and say, "I Support The Pledge In Our Schools".
* * * * * ACTION ITEM
CLICK BELOW TO TAKE A STAND IN SUPPORT OF THE PLEDGE IN OUR SCHOOLS:
The Center For Reclaiming America wants to deliver 1,000,000 petitions as soon as possible directly to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, as well as the U. S. Supreme Court, leaders in Congress and President Bush.
WE NEED YOUR HELP!!!
PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION IN SUPPORT OF THE PLEDGE.
THEN, ALERT YOUR FRIENDS.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP!!!
The Center For Reclaiming America
P.S. If you haven't yet read what these judges said in their ruling, be sure to click the link below. YOU WILL BE SHOCKED to read how they have made a mockery of the Pledge! We must respond quickly. Please sign. Then, rally your friends.
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On June 26, 2002, a three-member panel of the U.S. Ninth District Court of Appeals ruled that the current pledge of allegiance violates the First Amendment protection that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The phrase "under God" was added to the Pledge by Congress in 1954. The ruling applies only to nine states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington). Note that this is not the same as "banning" the Pledge.
Dr. Michael A. Newdow, a parent in Sacramento, CA, filed suit in Federal District Court, claiming his daughter's first amendment rights were being infringed because she was forced by school officials to proclaim that our nation is one under God. Most reports identify Newdow as a well-known atheist.
Public outcry to the ruling was immediate and included vows from legislators, governors, religious leaders, Attorney General John Ashcroft and President George W. Bush that it would not go unchallenged. The Ninth District Court's ruling had a built-in 45 day delay to allow for challenges, but Circuit Judge Alfred T. Goodwin, who wrote the opinion, blocked the ruling on June 27, 2002, to determine if the court will reconsider the case.
Conservative grassroots groups like the Center for Reclaiming America, the American Family Association, the American Center for Law and Justice and others quickly jumped on the "save the pledge" bandwagon. High-profile topics like this one are often a good opportunity for advocacy groups to drum up support and grow their supporter lists.
Some of these organizations have some creative solutions in mind for reversing the decision, but, by law, that can only be accomplished through one of four avenues:
The defendants request the original panel rehear the case,
The defendants could ask, or the court could order, a full-court review,
The defendants take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, or
A constitutional amendment could be passed by congress and state legislatures.
Letters or petitions to congressmen and the President may tell high-ranking officials how you feel on the issue, but does little to influence the decision. Personally - written letters or phone calls to the 9th District Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary M. Schroeder would have the most impact.
As with most hot-button topics, several less-organized and anonymous "show your support, sign and forward" chain letters also began circulating soon after the news broke.
SAMPLE CHAIN LETTER TEXT
Yesterday-June 26, 2002- the Supreme Court ruled the Pledge of Allegiance 'unconstitutional' because it says "Under God".
I don't know about you, but that just makes me very mad and sick to the stomach. God is such a big part of my life.
Our nation was founded on Christianity and GOD.
So what is our nation coming to?!?
The courts have already made praying at athletic events against the law, and now our own Pledge of Allegiance is 'unconstitutional'. Seriously.....
If you personally feel that the Supreme Court made a big error, then please sign this and pass it on to everyone you know. Feel free to say something about it too.
END CHAIN LETTER TEXT
Newdow's ex-wife and others filed a challenge to the decision on the basis that Newdow did not have custody of the girl, and thus, had no legal right to act on her behalf. In December 2002, the federal appeals court ruled that he did have a right to bring the case. This means that the appeals court in San Francisco must now decide whether to uphold its June ruling.
BreakTheChain recommends against participating in any online petition, because most suffer the common drawbacks of Armchair Activism. Besides, why should you have to give detailed information about yourself to a third-party to do what you can do yourself? Break this Chain!