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The Pledge of Allegiance: Is It Illegal?

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• Part 2: What Will the Supreme Court Do?

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• The History of the Pledge of Allegiance
Text of the Pledge of Allegiance

Part 1: The Recent Ruling

The Supreme Court has announced that it will arguments beginning March 24 on the case of whether part of the Pledge of Allegiance is illegal. The case has come to the Court by way of a decision last year by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that the appearance of the words "under God" meant that the government was sponsoring a religion, something that lawyers argued—and the Appeals Court agreed with—violates the First Amendment's mandate of a separation of church and state, meaning that the government will not list one religion as an "official" one.

Many people, including President Bush and many lawmakers, are upset by this decision. These people say that the decision denies the importance of religion in people's lives. Others think that the inclusion of the words "under God" mean that schoolkids might have to pledge allegiance to not only the flag but also to gods that they don't believe in.

The case was brought by a California man who doesn't believe in any god. He didn't want his daughter having to pledge allegiance to any god. Other people whose religion has more than one god agree with the court's decision as well.

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