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Senate passes resolution supporting Pledge of Allegiance

WASHINGTON (BP)–The U.S. Senate voted 99-0 in favor of a resolution supporting the Pledge of Allegiance. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) could not vote due to an illness. Following is the complete text of a resolution introduced June 26:

Whereas, this country was founded on religious freedom by founders, many of whom were deeply religious;

Whereas, the First Amendment to the Constitution embodies principles intended to guarantee freedom of religion both through the free exercise thereof and by prohibiting the government establishing a religion;

Whereas, the Pledge of Allegiance was written by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist Minister, and first published in the September 8, 1892, issue of the Youth’s Companion;

Whereas, Congress in 1954 added the words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance;

Whereas, the Pledge of Allegiance has for almost 50 years included references to the U.S. flag, the country, to our country being established as a union “under God” and to this country being dedicated to securing “liberty and justice for all;”

Whereas, the Congress in 1954 believed it was acting constitutionally when it revised the Pledge of Allegiance;

Whereas, this Senate of the 107th Congress believes that the Pledge of Allegiance is not an unconstitutional expression of patriotism;

Whereas, patriotic songs, engravings on U.S. legal tender, engravings on federal buildings also contain general references to “God”;

Whereas, in accordance with decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, public school students cannot be forced to recite the Pledge of Allegiance without violating their First Amendment rights;

Whereas, the Congress expects that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit will rehear the case of Newdow v. U.S. Congress, en banc;

Resolved, that the Senate authorizes and instructs the Senate Legal Counsel to seek to intervene in the case to defend the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance.

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