Fighting the “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance seemed like such a folly a year or so ago, but then Texas reminds us of just how pushy the religious can be.
Texas students will have four more words to remember when they head back to class this month and begin reciting the state’s pledge of allegiance.
This year’s Legislature added the phrase “one state under God” to the pledge, which is part of a required morning ritual in Texas public schools along with the pledge to the U.S. flag and a moment of silence.
State Rep. Debbie Riddle, who sponsored the bill, said it had always bothered her that God was omitted in the state’s pledge.
“Personally, I felt like the Texas pledge had a big old hole in it, and it occurred to me, ‘You know what? We need to fix that,’ ” said Riddle, R-Tomball. “Our Texas pledge is perfectly OK like it is with the exception of acknowledging that just as we are one nation under God, we are one state under God as well.”
And of course, to make it extra-unconstitutional, they are introducing a new concept to free speech in schools – student free speech is only ok if the parents approve.
By law, students who object to saying the pledge or making the reference to God can bring a written note from home excusing them from participating.
Charming. In a way this may end up being Newdow’s dream come true. The national pledge at least had 50 years of history (although the “under God” was shoved in for equally bad reasons) to contend with in the courts. This effort, if challenged, might undo both pledges, because this is completely indefensible.