June 14 in freethought history…

childrenpledgesalute

Children reciting the Pledge using the “Bellamy salute.” During WW2 the hand-over-heart salute was adopted.

June 14, 1954 – President Eisenhower signs a law inserting “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance, saying, “FROM THIS DAY FORWARD, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural school house, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty. To anyone who truly loves America, nothing could be more inspiring than to contemplate this rededication of our youth, on each school morning, to our country’s true meaning.”

June 14, 2004 – The US Supreme Court rules, in Elk Grove Unified School District v Newdow, that Dr. Michael Newdow lacks standing, as a non-custodial parent, to sue his daughter’s public school on her behalf.  Newdow argued that the daily Pledge of Allegiance (which includes the phrase “under God”) constituted religious indoctrination. Not content simply to explain Newdow’s lack of standing, SCOTUS described the Pledge as merely a “patriotic exercise” and repeated the ridiculous phrase “ceremonial deism” to characterize obviously blatant religious expressions as “under God” and “In God We Trust.”

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