Text: H.Res.459 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Information (Except Text)

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Engrossed in House (06/27/2002)

[Congressional Bills 107th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H. Res. 459 Engrossed in House (EH)]

                 In the House of Representatives, U.S.,

                                                         June 27, 2002.
Whereas on June 26, 2002, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the 
        Pledge of Allegiance is an unconstitutional endorsement of religion, 
        stating that it ``impermissibly takes a position with respect to the 
        purely religious question of the existence and identity of God,'' and 
        places children in the ``untenable position of choosing between 
        participating in an exercise with religious content or protesting.'';
Whereas the Pledge of Allegiance is not a prayer or a religious practice, the 
        recitation of the pledge is not a religious exercise;
Whereas the Pledge of Allegiance is the verbal expression of support for the 
        United States of America, and its effect is to instill support for the 
        United States of America;
Whereas the United States Congress recognizes the right of those who do not 
        share the beliefs expressed in the Pledge to refrain from its 
Whereas this ruling is contrary to the vast weight of Supreme Court authority 
        recognizing that the mere mention of God in a public setting is not 
        contrary to any reasonable reading of the First Amendment. The Pledge of 
        Allegiance is not a religious service or a prayer, but it is a statement 
        of historical beliefs. The Pledge of Allegiance is a recognition of the 
        fact that many people believe in God and the value that our culture has 
        traditionally placed on the role of religion in our founding and our 
        culture. The Supreme Court has recognized that governmental entities 
        may, consistent with the First Amendment, recognize the religious 
        heritage of America;
Whereas the notion that a belief in God permeated the founding of our Nation was 
        well recognized by Justice Brennan, who wrote in School District of 
        Abington Township v. Schempp, 374 U.S. 203, 304 (1963) (Brennan, J., 
        concurring), that ``[t]he reference to divinity in the revised pledge of 
        allegiance * * * may merely recognize the historical fact that our 
        Nation was believed to have been founded `under God.'. Thus reciting the 
        pledge may be no more of a religious exercise than the reading aloud of 
        Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, which contains an allusion to the same 
        historical fact.''; and
Whereas this ruling treats any religious reference as inherently evil and is an 
        attempt to remove such references from the public arena: Now, therefore, 
        be it
    Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that--
            (1) the Pledge of Allegiance, including the phrase ``One Nation, 
        under God,'' reflects the historical fact that a belief in God permeated 
        the founding and development of our Nation;
            (2) the Ninth Circuit's ruling is inconsistent with the United 
        States Supreme Court's First Amendment jurisprudence that the Pledge of 
        Allegiance and similar expressions are not unconstitutional expressions 
        of religious belief;
            (3) the phrase ``One Nation, under God,'' should remain in the 
        Pledge of Allegiance; and
            (4) the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals should agree to rehear this 
        ruling en banc in order to reverse this constitutionally infirm and 
        historically incorrect ruling.


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