Teachers And Parents Already Decided "Under God" Is Okay - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

10/15/03

Teachers And Parents Already Decided "Under God" Is Okay

Although Supreme court justices aren't expected to take up the Pledge of Allegiance controversy until next year some parents and teachers have already made up their minds.

Atheist Michael Newdow filed the original suit to kick the pledge out of public schools. He claims of the phrase "under God" is unconstitutional because of the separation of church and state. The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals later agreed.

Before they retired Marie and Don Stephenson started countless work days with the Pledge of Allegiance. That's because together they've put 60 years into educating students.

"I think it's very important to teach the children respect and love for their country and respect for each other," said Marie. "I think it's a very good way to start your day with a pleasant thought and realize that you are in a wonderful country."

Tammy Howell came to the Edgewater Rotary meeting as a guest. She and many others here credit the patriotism they learned as children to leading them to be community minded adults.

"We understand that we are citizens of America and it is one united nation and its under the flag and under God. That's what it teaches us and that's what the children need to know," Howell said.

Is the phrase "under God" appropriate in public schools.? There are many opinions but in the end only one that matters. The Supreme Court could rule the Pledge unconstitutional and therefore illegal.

Gill Miller spent 26 years in the Air Force. He optimistic justices will share his views.

"I think the ladies and gentlemen on the Supreme Court are smart enough to know that this country was founded under God and will continue to be under God and they will leave God in the Pledge of Allegiance."

If the justices decide otherwise Tammy Howell thinks "the effect will be in the children starting school now because they won't get that base. They won't learn the pledge of allegiance."

Atheist Michael Newdow says congress broke the law in 1954 by adding "under God" to the pledge of allegiance. He labels the phrase as "purely religious dogma."

by Danielle Thomas

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