Congressman Jerry Weller, pick up the courtesy phone in the lobby…
Congressman Jerry Weller sent me a nice letter in response to an email. He proudly announces:
“I am pleased to inform you that I joined over 250 of my colleagues in supporting H.R. 2389 on July 19, 2006. H.R. 2389 is currently awaiting action in the U.S. Senate…
…H.R. 2389 would amend the Federal judicial code so as to deny jurisdiction to any Federal court, and appllate jurisdiction to the Supreme Court, to hear or decide any questions regarding the interpretation of the Pledge of Allegiance or its validity under the U.S. Constitution. H.R. 2389 would not be applicable to courts of individual states…”
- Jerry Weller, letter dated 9 August, 2006
Jerry, you may be pleased, but I think it’s a horrifying piece of legislation…
Imagine for a moment that this was a predominently Muslim country. The pledge of allegiance said; “One nation under Allah” and your children were being forced to say it that way or not say it at all (facing the social consequences). You had sued to get the government to uphold the plain sense of its constitution, that it should be neutral regarding religion.
And then your congressman writes you to say; “We are using a technicality in the judicial code to make it impossible for the courts to protect minority citizens of the states from their local religious majority”. Would you be OK with that?
How about another example. Suppose the courts of some state made self-defense illegal, and the NRA sued to correct it. Then your congressman simply said; “Sorry, that’s up to the states.”
The US Constitution should thread all the way down to the level of protecting individual citizens. Who can doubt that this is what the founding fathers intended? Otherwise, the states can excuse any crime by saying; “State’s Rights!”
Freedom from ideological coercion is fundamental to what it means to be “American”. Far from being “pleased”, you should be ashamed of yourself, Congressman Weller. What you have done may please some of your constituents, but it muddies the clarity of our national definition.
Our country somehow struggled along without a phrase of religious coercion in The Pledge for 62 years. In that time, we grew to a World power and won two World Wars.