July 23, 2002
James Randi speaks up on the Pledge decision.

I've been away for a bit and a recent posting I tried to accomplish over the weekend went up in smoke when my browser crashed out for no apparrent reason. Such is life. So, to help stir things up a little bit I thought I'd offer a small bit of commentary from skeptic James Randi on the reactions some of the Senators gave to the recent Pledge decision. The points he makes here are ones I hadn't considered before:

Expressing here a personal opinion: In the recent Pledge of Allegiance brouhaha, I ask you to consider quotations from three of the leading proponents of having "under God" retained in the Pledge. The court decision was that the "under God" inclusion is unconstitutional because it clearly expresses that the USA is aligned with belief in a Christian or other variety of deity.

Senator Robert Byrd, D-West Virginia, who voted for the addition of "under God" on the currency in the Congress on June 7, 1954, warned that any judges who declared the Pledge unconstitutional, should never come before him because he would "blackball" them. If that's not a threat, spoken by a US Senator against appointed judicial figures who have accomplished the legal functions asked and required of them, and have provided compelling proof of their decision, I don't know the meaning of the word, "threat." Webster's tells me it's "a declaration of an intention to inflict punishment, injury, etc., as in retaliation for or conditionally upon, some action or course." Threatening, under the law, is an offense even if done by a Senator. Go ahead, try threatening a judge, and watch the black helicopters with the assault team drop into your back yard. When a senator does it, the result is only embarrassment for others.

Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, said, "This decision is nuts." I see. A proven, well-argued, decision by a properly appointed federal group of judges, is simply "nuts"? When it comes to a serious nut-competition, who do we suppose would win, in this case? Let's hear a serious discussion of "nuts" from the folks in South Dakota!

Senator Trent Lott, R-Mississippi, said, "This is obviously an unbelievable decision, as far as I am concerned, and an incorrect ruling and a stupid ruling." Let's talk. Can we ask from whence this "obvious" learned opinion was derived, Senator Lott? No, apparently not. At no point did any of these senators explain where the majority decision might be in error. That would seem, to my admittedly politically-naive mind, to be what would accompany those comments. It appears that senators can threaten and insult us, and are not easily called upon to explain their statements, their actions, or their opinions.

There's just so much about U.S. royalty that I don't understand.


Posted by at July 23, 2002 03:01 PM
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