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House Republicans failed Wednesday to advance a bill protecting the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. Only a day earlier, the GOP had placed the measure on its "American Values Agenda" in hopes of bolstering the party's prospects in the fall election.

But Republicans could not muster a simple majority on the issue in a committee where they outnumber Democrats by six.

The legislation tries to strip federal courts of jurisdiction over cases challenging the pledge. It responds to a federal appeals court ruling in 2002 that the pledge is unconstitutional because it contains the words "under God." A district court judge made a similar ruling last fall, citing the appeals court precedent.

A simple majority is required to report a bill to the House floor with a favorable committee recommendation. The House Judiciary Committee split 15-15 on the pledge bill Wednesday; Rep. Bob Inglis, R-S.C., joined 14 Democrats to oppose it.

Inglis said he is concerned that if the Republican-dominated Congress passes "court-stripping" legislation, a future Democrat-dominated Congress might pass its own bill denying courts jurisdiction of more issues. In addition, he said, the legislation would allow state courts to rule on issues related to the Pledge of Allegiance while denying litigants the ability to appeal to a federal court.

Seven of the committee's 23 Republicans did not show up for the vote, while three Democrats were absent. The chairman, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., said he would try again for a majority on Thursday.

On Tuesday, Senate Republican leaders failed by a single vote to pass a constitutional amendment to ban the burning of the American flag.

The GOP's "American Values Agenda" also includes a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, which died in the Senate before it even reached a vote; a prohibition on human cloning; and possibly votes on several popular tax cuts.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?.../w130415D23.DTL

What confuses me is that the Republicans are attempting to gather more votes... by taking away more of our freedoms....

Did I miss something?

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Maybe you missed the fact that Republicans will do anything for fundamentalist Christians?

Yes, that vital 10% of the voting block. Republicans are the more partisan of the two parties. These incumbents know they can do whatever the hell they want, their own personal motives, and get away with it since gerrymandering prevents them from losing their seat. Quite a few of them are fundamentalist Christians of course. But it's not to get votes, just about all House Republicans could do everything besides murder and stay in office. It's to actually do what the individual politicians think is best for America.

And that's the scary part.

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I don't really believe God exists, but the vast majority of America does. The pledge should represent the majority values, shouldn't it? I'm not required to say the "under god" part of the pledge of alleigance, or any part at all for that matter.

It's just a few extra words, and if God really doesn't exist like I suspect, then it doesn't matter one way or the other. But if taking them out is going to cause a huge percentage of America to go berserk, then I say might as well just leave them in. It isn't hurting me any.

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I don't really believe God exists, but the vast majority of America does. The pledge should represent the majority values, shouldn't it? I'm not required to say the "under god" part of the pledge of alleigance, or any part at all for that matter.

It's just a few extra words, and if God really doesn't exist like I suspect, then it doesn't matter one way or the other. But if taking them out is going to cause a huge percentage of America to go berserk, then I say might as well just leave them in. It isn't hurting me any.

Seperation of Church and State is part of our system. I think if you allow religious values to influence the government even in the smallest way then we're going to regress as a country. Whether they realize it or not the Christian conservatives are anti-civil rights and biggots, and they are such because of their values.

The majority's values shouldn't be forced onto everyone because then the minority becomes repressed. Not everyone in America believes in a god or the same god and so the government shouldn't endorse the values of a single religion, but instead adopt values that any human being of any sensable race or religion would find acceptable.

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Seperation of Church and State is part of our system. I think if you allow religious values to influence the government even in the smallest way then we're going to regress as a country. Whether they realize it or not the Christian conservatives are anti-civil rights and biggots, and they are such because of their values.

The majority's values shouldn't be forced onto everyone because then the minority becomes repressed. Not everyone in America believes in a god or the same god and so the government shouldn't endorse the values of a single religion, but instead adopt values that any human being of any sensable race or religion would find acceptable.

Here are the simple facts-

1) If there really is no god, it doesn't matter either way.

2) Removing it will cause more trouble than it is worth.

I don't feel repressed. I don't give a damn whether it's in there or not.

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Here are the simple facts-

1) If there really is no god, it doesn't matter either way.

2) Removing it will cause more trouble than it is worth.

I don't feel repressed. I don't give a damn whether it's in there or not.

Yes, but if you allow god into one faccet of the government, what's to stop him from spreading into others?

The problem is that this is not just a question of whether or not god should be in the national anthem, but whether or not god should be in the government.

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God can't be in the government if he doesn't exist.

Yes, I realize the belief in God can affect the decisions of politicians, but removing "under God" from the pledge of alliegance won't turn them atheist. It will just piss them off and, as I said before, cause more trouble then it's worth. The words "under god" don't cause any trouble. The majority of Americans have believed in God, do believe in God, and will continue to believe even if we take 2 words from the pledge.

Anyone who doesn't want to say it doesn't have to.

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SD, just because you're not offended doesn't mean others aren't, or, worse, aren't personally affected by the inclusion of God in our Pledge of Allegiance. Atheists and agnostics that wish to, say, raise their children outside of the influence of religious dogma are especially enraged, given that public schools across the nation require at least the broadcasting the pledge over their PA systems. Failure to stand up and recite the pledge- or deliberately leave out a rather noteworthy section of it- can and have caused social stigma, and thus psychological damage to the children involved. And for many, private school simply isn't an option... both because private schools are predominately religiously inclined, and usually expensive.

This's far less apparent if you live in, say, Oregon or the Californian Bay Area, but the failure to acknowledge God's existence in places like Texas or Arkansas or, worse, Florida can really, really cause trouble for a poor, naive schoolkid.

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How is burning the flag not covered by the first amendment, I wonder...

I don't care if "Under God" is in the pledge of allegiance because I refuse to pledge my allegiance to a fucking piece of cloth. I don't care who the cloth is under, it's cloth. It should have as little power over my life as possible.

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How is burning the flag not covered by the first amendment, I wonder...

I don't care if "Under God" is in the pledge of allegiance because I refuse to pledge my allegiance to a fucking piece of cloth. I don't care who the cloth is under, it's cloth. It should have as little power over my life as possible.

Had I not known you to be smarter than this, that post would make me think that you didn't at all understand the point of the pledge of alliegance, or a flag for that matter.

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God can't be in the government if he doesn't exist.

Yes, I realize the belief in God can affect the decisions of politicians, but removing "under God" from the pledge of alliegance won't turn them atheist. It will just piss them off and, as I said before, cause more trouble then it's worth. The words "under god" don't cause any trouble. The majority of Americans have believed in God, do believe in God, and will continue to believe even if we take 2 words from the pledge.

Anyone who doesn't want to say it doesn't have to.

You missed the point of my post completely.

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Had I not known you to be smarter than this, that post would make me think that you didn't at all understand the point of the pledge of alliegance, or a flag for that matter.

I was being mildly sarcastic.

But, in any case, I refuse to say the pledge of allegiance. I have done so for several years now, getting yelled at in elementary school because of it.

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SD, just because you're not offended doesn't mean others aren't, or, worse, aren't personally affected by the inclusion of God in our Pledge of Allegiance. Atheists and agnostics that wish to, say, raise their children outside of the influence of religious dogma are especially enraged, given that public schools across the nation require at least the broadcasting the pledge over their PA systems. Failure to stand up and recite the pledge- or deliberately leave out a rather noteworthy section of it- can and have caused social stigma, and thus psychological damage to the children involved. And for many, private school simply isn't an option... both because private schools are predominately religiously inclined, and usually expensive.

This's far less apparent if you live in, say, Oregon or the Californian Bay Area, but the failure to acknowledge God's existence in places like Texas or Arkansas or, worse, Florida can really, really cause trouble for a poor, naive schoolkid.

Less people are offended by keeping the words in than leaving them out.

And why is our opinion more important than theirs?

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That's what our government is based on. It isn't perfect, but it's the best we have. The majority rules.

And I'm not about to piss off a nation of bible thumpers just to take TWO WORDS out of the pledge of alliegance. Let them have their two words. I'll have peace and quiet.

The majority doesn't rule where religion is concerned, and even the largest religion in the nation has no business being involved in government policies. You don't seem to understand this or what seperation of church and state means at all.

Imposing religious morals and beliefs onto the nation is tyranny and unconstitutional. Basically the government is meant to be devoid of religious representation, so that all religious factions are treated fairly. To endorse the beliefs of one over the others is unconstitutional.

Republicans want god to be everywhere just because they believe in him and everyone else can just ignore it, but they shouldn't have to ignore it because it shouldn't be there in the first place. They enjoy reminding everyone that this country was founded on god, but it wasn't. This country was founded by people who believed in god, but the foundation of America was freedom. These followers of god created the seperation of church and state and the constitutional freedom of religion for a reason.

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Tyranny of the Majority may equal democracy, but it should be noted that the United States is not a democracy! We are, instead, a representative republic- the job of the government isn't to blindly do whatever the majority says, but to carefully consider the needs and wishes of its populace, and balance it against its constitutional obligations.

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Tyranny of the Majority may equal democracy, but it should be noted that the United States is not a democracy! We are, instead, a representative republic- the job of the government isn't to blindly do whatever the majority says, but to carefully consider the needs and wishes of its populace, and balance it against its constitutional obligations.

I love you.

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