I first must establish that I am not a religious person. By birth and by family I am Christian, but I am not one to believe that Christianity can be the only "correct" religion. Basically, I believe that we're all talking about the same guy, viewing him differently.
That being said, this notion that saying "under God" in our pledge is so destructive as to warrant a court ordering its removal is simply insane at best.
The line "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" was intended to prevent the government from controlling religion (as was then the case in England) or religion controlling government (as was in Afghanistan during the Taliban). It was NOT written with the intent that religious principles be completely eliminated from any and all government functions. Let me repeat. IT WAS NOT WRITTEN WITH THE INTENT THAT RELIGIOUS PRINCIPLES BE COMPLETELY ELIMINATED FROM ANY AND ALL GOVERNMENT FUNCTIONS. This is the point that countless liberal politicians, judges and newspapers fail to see (including the Daily News itself).
If you read the Federalist Papers, or any official documents written by our founding fathers during the time, you'll see countless references to "Almighty," "Supreme Judge," and "Divine Creator" (four in the Declaration of Independence alone). Based on this, I feel the founding fathers felt that religious principles in government were not only good, but necessary.
So why is a total separation of church and state a bad idea? Religion, at its basis, is a system of guidelines and practices that guide a person through life. Look at the Ten Commandments and think about those just in a "guide to life" sense. If you kill people, lie, steal, cheat on your significant other, etc., you're going to have a lower quality life than if you don't.
Now I'm not here to debate the existence of "God" because the fact of whether there is a God is inconsequential relative to the idea of one and the principles that belief instills in us. A governing body must be based on some sort of religious foundation for a society to prosper. Why? Because it provides for a higher model to build laws around. A government completely separate from any religious values becomes amoral. When it becomes amoral, it becomes corrupt. And when a government becomes corrupt, we lose our freedoms. In other words, it becomes communist, just like Mao's China or Stalin's USSR, and would you want to live in those countries?
But what I find most troubling is that I feel the court went against its own findings in making this decision.
The primary reasoning Judge Goodwin used, as indicated in the concurrent opinion, is a three-pronged model called the "Lemon test," named for a Supreme Court case, Lemon v. Kurtzman in 1971. First, the statute "must have a secular purpose;" I've already explained the secular purpose of religion in government.
Secondly, it "must have a principle or primary effect that neither advances nor inhibits religion." I know that the name "God" itself is not technically the same name as "Allah," but I would believe that most Muslims would understand the reference just as most Christians would understand a reference to "Allah" in a similar context. You could make a case that atheists are excluded from this, but I already explained how atheistic governments become communist.
Finally, it "must not foster an excessive government entanglement with religion." Are two words in the pledge an excessive entanglement, especially when you consider you're not even required to say it (as was the daughter whose father brought about this lawsuit)? Compared to militant Islamic states, I don't see any way it could be considered such.
This country is great because we are tolerant; however, there are extremes that cannot be crossed. Remember this: a nation not "under God" becomes its own God; unfortunately, nations are comprised of people. Are people perfect? Of course not. So when people become the divinities and screw things up, the consequences can be biblical.