Christopher Merola

On Thursday, March 11, 2010, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the most liberal court in the history of the United States, upheld as constitutional the phrase, “One Nation Under God,” found in the Pledge of Allegiance, as well as the phrase, “In God We Trust” on our currency. The Ninth Circuit rejected two legal challenges by the rabid atheist, Michael Newdow.

Newdow is the same atheist that sued over the Pledge of Allegiance in 2002 and won his case at the 9th Circuit at that time, only to have the Supreme Court in 2004 tell him he lacked legal standing to file the suit, as he did not have custody of his daughter for whom he was filing the suit.

In this recent case, Newdow was making the claim that the phrase, “One Nation Under God,” disrespected his own religious beliefs. Yet, the 9th Circuit rejected his suit this time. The Pledge is constitutional," said Judge Carlos Bea, who wrote the majority decision. Bea said, "The Pledge of Allegiance serves to unite our vast nation through the proud recitation of some of the ideals upon which our Republic was founded."

When the 9th Circuit of Appeals, which is the most frequently overturned circuit court in our nation’s history, a court that has been overturned by the US Supreme Court several times in one day, actually upholds references to God as constitutional, it gives more credence to the fact that our Constitution is not a living document.

You may recall that in November and December of 2008, I submitted two articles on the topic of the Separation of Church and State to Townhall for the purposes of clarifying just what that phrase truly means, and just what the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States truly states. In spite of the 9th Circuit’s recent ruling, the errors, falsehoods and misinterpretations of the First Amendment still continue.

Take for example the recent case of Poway United School District of San Diego, California. In January of 2007, math teacher Bradley Johnson was ordered by the school district to remove two patriotic banners from the walls of his classroom as the banners mentioned God. The school district claimed that Johnson’s banner violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

Some of the phrases on the banners were actually the same phrases recently upheld by the 9th Circuit, like “In God We Trust,” and “One Nation Under God.”

I like how Bradley Johnson’s attorney put it: "Mr. Johnson doesn't proselytize to his students. These banners are patriotic expressions. None of them are from any religious text. None of them are from the Bible or the Koran. They're right out of historic significance. That's the reason why he put them up."


Christopher Merola

Christopher Merola is the President of Red Momentum Strategies, LLC, a conservative political strategy and communications company in Washington, DC.