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By Ronald Bishop

Explores atheist Michael Newdow's constitutional problem and the way the inside track media marginalized him from the instant the 9th Circuit passed down its debatable ruling that the Pledge of Allegiance used to be unconstitutional.

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Additional resources for Taking on the Pledge of Allegiance: The Media and Michael Newdow's Constitutional Challenge

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For his part, Mayor Wagner said the proposed revision deserved “the full support of all,” and would go a long way toward reminding everyone “that our traditional heritages can and will be maintained only under Divine Guidance” (“Mayor Backs,” 1954). Action on the revision moved quickly. On May 5, both the House and the Senate subcommittees approved Rabaut’s resolution, primarily because it was the first one submitted, and was the only one to include the new Pledge in its entirety. Ferguson reportedly interrupted a Senate subcommittee meeting to push for his version of the legislation.

Readers were reminded that Communism “rejects the very existence of God” (p. 10). ” For its part, the New York Times offered a brief, but thorough description of the event, then ran three full paragraphs of President Eisenhower’s statement, without amplification or clarification (“President Hails Revised Pledge,” 1954, p. 31). Both the Times and the Post ran headlines that said the president “hailed” the revised Pledge. The Times also reported that Rabaut and Ferguson had put behind them their dispute over who authored the revision.

This is A Case of First Impression 27 closer to, but still not fully reflective of, Bellamy’s original intent. For journalists, it was enough that Bellamy was a socialist who had, to the extent that he espoused values we all supposedly cherish, seen the light. Ironically, children in Catholic schools joined children in the public schools in reciting the Pledge after World War I. “Catholic educators, originally suspicious of the Pledge’s secular intent, decided that the words, even without a nod to the deity, could do no harm and would help demonstrate the Americanism of American Catholics” (Jacoby, 2004, p.

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