Boulder Student Socialists Demand “God”-less Pledge

Update 2 (move to top): Michelle Malkin has picked up the story:

Diversity worship? Check.

Enviro-worship? Check.

“Choice?” The kind that Planned Parenthood supports, no doubt, and not educational vouchers, I’m sure.

File under: Reason number 10,000,000 to homeschool your children.

Couldn’t have said it better myself. Though we’re left to wonder why the word “comrade” was omitted from the Student Worker pledge.

Update: The latest version of the Rocky story contains a photo from this morning with the student club’s banner showing a large red star – an unmistakable symbol. It’s sad, these kids seem to have no idea what great evil was done and human misery caused in service to this symbol. You can also read their absurd alternative Pledge here.

A handful of Boulder teens carry on their city’s tradition of over-dramatized and inconsequential protest, reports the Rocky Mountain News today:

Waving signs and American flags, Boulder High School students this morning will stage the first of what could become many Pledge of Allegiance protests in the school courtyard.

Members of the activist Student Worker club are inviting their peers to leave class every Thursday at 8:30 a.m. — when the pledge is recited over the intercom — and meet in the courtyard to say a revised version of the pledge that doesn’t reference God.

“Student Worker club”? Does anyone really think there’s exaggeration involved when Boulder is described as a mini-socialistic state? And being that this is Boulder, who isn’t concerned that the administration will bend over backwards to accommodate these students? Here’s how the state-governed policy works now:

[Assistant principal Lynn] Donnelly said Boulder High’s daily pledge announcement starts with this invitation: “Please stand if you want to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance.”

“Then they go on with class,” she said. “It’s not disruptive.”

Since the assistant principal’s description of the practice goes unchallenged, why do the student socialists want a disruptive alternative?

Members of the student group say they have three main gripes with the way the traditional pledge is read at the start of second-period classes: It takes away from school time; it’s ignored or disrespected by mocking teens; and the phrase, “one nation, under God,” violates the separation of church and state.

“Boulder High has a highly diverse population, not all of whom believe in God, or one God,” [club president Emma] Martens said. “We didn’t think it was fair for the whole school to have to listen to it.

The first two arguments look to be fillers: their alternative isn’t a time-saver, and they’re doing nothing at all to propose more respect for the flag or the Pledge. The third argument, though, the meat of their argument, doesn’t mesh with history, the Constitution, or case law. These adolescents need a lot more civics education before telling us convincingly what violates the Constitution. It’s their opinion – fine – but it’s an ill-informed one.

And finally this from the socialist student club president:

“It’s almost religious oppression,” she said.

I hope Ms. Martens and her fellow students come to see that this sort of hyperbolic rhetoric denigrates the meaning of the term, as well as those in other countries who suffer from genuine religious oppression. Sadly, it’s a typical soft-headed, Left-wing tactic.

The administration should say: “We appreciate your right to your opinion, and give you time and space to share your views amongst those who choose to join and participate in your club. But the current Pledge policy is in line with state law, and there’s nothing about it that is disruptive or oppressive. You have the same rights as always to choose whether or not to participate in the Pledge each morning. But choosing to participate in a protest or demonstration that in any way disrupts the school day will result in fairly-administered consequences as provided in the student code.”

Simple, straightforward common sense in Boulder schools? Color me an optimist.


  1. says

    >“It’s almost religious oppression,” she said.

    Islamic crazies beheading non-muslims is religious oppression.

    Christians burning heretics at the stake in the 16th century was religious oppression.

    This little girl needs a real history lesson taught by a real teacher.

    4 years ago I decided never to visit Boulder again- not even to drive through it on the way to Estes Park. I remain convinced it was the right thing to do.

  2. says

    Exactly. By denigrating the term “religious oppression,” she has downplayed the serious incidents you point out.

    Your practice of by-passing Boulder has some appeal to it.

  3. says

    Dear Principal Jenkins,

    === LESSON #1 (1785): Religious Assessments ===
    James Madison, Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments
    June 20, 1785

    The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate. This right is in its nature an unalienable right. It is unalienable, because the opinions of men, depending only on the evidence contemplated by their own minds cannot follow the dictates of other men.

    What influence in fact have ecclesiastical establishments had on Civil Society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the Civil authority; in many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny: in no instance have they been seen the guardians of the liberties of the people.

    === LESSON #2 (1791): Freedom of Religion ===
    Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression
    Ratified December 15, 1791

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    === LESSON #3 (1802): NO LAW for Religious Establishment ===
    From Thomas Jefferson
    January 1, 1802.

    Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

    === LESSON #4 (1947): Separation of Church and State ===
    U.S. Supreme Court
    Everson v. Board of Education
    Decided February 10, 1947

    “The ‘establishment of religion’ clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect ‘a wall of separation between Church and State.'”

    === LESSON #5 (1971): LEMON TEST ===
    Laws must:

    * have a secular purpose, and
    * be neutral towards religion (neither hinder nor advance it), and
    * not have excessive entanglements between the government and religion.

    U.S. Supreme Court
    Lemon v. Kurtzman
    Decided June 28, 1971

    Held: Both statutes are unconstitutional under the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment, as the cumulative impact of the entire relationship arising under the statutes involves excessive entanglement between government and religion.

    === LESSON #6 (1984): ENDORSEMENT TEST ===
    A law is unconstitutional if it favours one religion over another in a way that makes some people feel like outsiders and others feel like insiders.

    U.S. Supreme Court
    Lynch v. Donnelly
    Decided March 5, 1984

    In my view,

    those involvements of religious with secular institutions which (a) serve the essentially religious activities of religious institutions; (b) employ the organs of government for essentially religious purposes; or (c) use essentially religious means to serve governmental ends, where secular means would suffice

    must be struck down.

    === LESSON #7 (1989): COERCION TEST ===
    A law is constitutional if it recognizes or accommodates a religion, as long as its demonstration of support does not appear to coerce individuals to support or participate in a religion.

    U.S. Supreme Court – COERCION TEST
    County of Allegheny v. American Civil Liberties Union, Greater Pittsburgh Chapter
    Decided July 3, 1989

    Whether the key word is “endorsement,” “favoritism,” or “promotion,” the essential principle remains the same. The Establishment Clause, at the very least, prohibits government from appearing to take a position on questions of religious belief or from “making adherence to a religion relevant in any way to a person’s standing in the political community.”

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