U.S. Court of Appeals Says It's OK to Pledge Allegiance to "One State Under God"

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For the last three years, David and Shannon Croft have tried to excise the phrase "one state under God" from the Texas Pledge of Allegiance, four words added in the summer of '07. The couple had kids at Rosemeade Elementary School in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD, and the self-proclaimed "humanists" found the addition of religion to the equation unnecessary and objectionable. But U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade disagreed last year and upheld its constitutionality.

That's how the case landed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit; that's why Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a 32-page brief in support of the Texas Pledge. Finally, for now, the case comes to an end: The Court of Appeals has handed down its ruling, and the Texas Pledge remains intact. Let's just jump to the end:
The pledge is a patriotic exercise, and it is made no less so by the acknowledgment of Texas's religious heritage via the inclusion of the phrase "under God." A pledge can constitutionally acknowledge the existence of, and even value, a religious belief without impermissibly favoring that value or belief, without advancing belief over non-belief, and without coercing participation in a religious exercise. Texas's pledge is of this sort and consequently survives this challenge.

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