by DannyHaszard 12 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • DannyHaszard

    DuVal Student Who Refused Pledge Of Allegiance, Told to Leave ...
    Montgomery County Sentinel, MD - 30 minutes ago
    ... In an 8-1 vote, the court ruled that West Virginia violated the First Amendment rights of Jehovah's Witnesses students when they were expelled for refusing to ... By Vincent J. Swanson Managing Editor SEABROOK, MD, Nov. 30—A DuVal High School student who refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance for political reasons was told by his teacher to leave the classroom, and according to the ACLU of Maryland, the practice of teachers pressuring and harassing students to stand for the pledge has increased significantly statewide since the start of the Iraq war. "As the conflict in Iraq continues, we have seen heightened emotions over the pledge in public schools across the state," said Richard Griffiths, an attorney with the ACLU of Maryland. "The ACLU was founded in response to hostility towards dissent during World War I, and we strongly believe during difficult times our democracy is strengthened, not threatened, by a diversity of voices." Parents and students from Prince George's County—as well as Frederick County, Carroll County, Baltimore County, and St. Mary's County—asked the ACLU of Maryland for help after several children had complained that they were being harassed, and in some cases, ridiculed by teachers for not standing to salute the American flag. "In one of the complaints, in Baltimore County, after a student would not stand for the Pledge of Allegiance, the teacher grabbed the kid's hand and put it over his heart," Griffiths said. "We've found that some teachers have been insensitive to dissent." Because of client-attorney privilege, a law that keeps communication between attorneys and their clients confidential, the name of the DuVal student and the student's reason for refusing to recite the pledge were not released by ACLU attorneys. In response to the complaints, the ACLU of Maryland issued a letter to state and county officials reminding them that the pledge is not mandatory in American schools. The letter, dated Nov. 28, 2005, explained that the ACLU had "fielded complaints by students who are being harassed by teachers and school administrators because they decline to participate in the Pledge of Allegiance." Maryland law states that both teachers and students can be excused from participating in patriotic exercise, but the law also says that schools furnish the opportunity to access those rights, such as displaying a flag and allowing students to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. The Supreme Court ruled in 1943 in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette that students and educators have the right to choose whether or not to participate in saluting the flag. In an 8-1 vote, the court ruled that West Virginia violated the First Amendment rights of Jehovah's Witnesses students when they were expelled for refusing to salute the flag. The 1943 decision overturned a previous 1940 Supreme Court case, in which the court supported a school district's right to enforce the pledge. In Minersville School District v. Gobitis, the court half-heartedly supported dissent by arguing that the best form of political expression was to change school policy by simply voting for a new school board. But in Barnette, the court realized that it had erred in Gobitis, arguing "the very purpose of the Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the vicissitudes of political controversy, and place them beyond the reach of majorities." Writing for the court's majority Justice Robert H. Jackson wrote: "One's right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote." The ACLU letter to Howard A. Burnett, Interim Chief Executive Officer of Prince George's County schools, asks the school chief for assistance, along with his professional peers in every school district, in "reversing a disturbing trend emerging in Maryland's public schools that impinges on the First Amendment rights of students." John White, a spokesman for the Prince George's County school system, said that Burnett had reviewed the ACLU's letter, and would be notifying county principals and teachers of state and federal law. "The law is specific on this issue, on both the state and federal level, and we will be issuing a correspondence to help principals, teachers and students understand the law," White said. At the state level, spokesman Bill Reinhard said that school superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick was in receipt of the letter, and was working with various state and county entities to remind officials of the law. "The state law is clear, and our role is to remind the school systems of the law," said Reinhard. "The state board simply becomes an appellate court during these times, and listens to the school boards." One dissenting student in Baltimore County said her teacher lectured her on why it was so important to stand and salute the American flag. "The teacher said that in North Korea, a political dictatorship, the state requires that students stand for the pledge, without question, and where dissent is illegal," Griffiths said, underscoring the irony of the teacher's actions. "The very idea of the American flag is that it protects your right to not salute a flag, the right to dissent from patriotic exercise," he said. "You can't have freedom, without the right to political dissent."
    [email protected] [email protected]

  • DannyHaszard
    "One's right to life, liberty, and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote."

    How about it for your dissidents Watchtower,what say you?

  • sf

    I asked this same question in another thread and received no reply:

    WHY are American children required to "pledge allegiance" by saluting the flag? WHAT are they/ were we/ were we not pledging TO DO? Why is it considered offensive, sometimes down right treason, if one chooses not to PLEDGE?

    What is it that is being pledged?

    Replies please.


  • inbyathread

    SF - Hope this helps. You can hear Red's wonderful rendition of this at this website.


    The following words were spoken by the late Red Skelton on his television program as he related the story of his teacher, Mr. Laswell, who felt his students had come to think of the Pledge of Allegiance as merely something to recite in class each day.

    Now, more than ever, listen to the meaning of these words.

    "I've been listening to you boys and girls recite the Pledge of Allegiance all semester

    and it seems as though it is becoming monotonous to you.

    If I may, may I recite it and try to explain to you the meaning of each word?"


    me, an individual, a committee of one.


    dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self pity.


    my love and my devotion.

    To the flag

    our standard, Old Glory, a symbol of freedom. Wherever

    she waves, there's respect because your loyalty has given

    her a dignity that shouts freedom is everybody's job!


    that means that we have all come together.


    individual communities that have united into 48 great states.

    Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and

    purpose; all divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to

    a common purpose, and that's love for country.

    And to the republic

    a state in which sovereign power is

    invested in representatives chosen by the

    people to govern. And government is the people

    and it's from the people to the leaders, not from

    the leaders to the people.

    For which it stands, one nation

    one nation, meaning "so

    blessed by God"


    incapable of being divided.

    With liberty

    which is freedom -- the right of power to live one's

    own life without threats, fear or some sort of


    And Justice

    the principle or quality of dealing fairly with others.

    For all

    which means, boys and girls, it's as much your

    country as it is mine.


    Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country

    and two words have been added to the pledge of Allegiance...


    Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said

    that is a prayer

    and that would be eliminated from schools too?

  • sf

    I appreciate that. Thx.


  • Apostate Kate
    Apostate Kate

    I am glad that I am free today to pledge my allegience, and free to not do so. As a JW kid I was not free. I had to NOT salute it or die at Armegeddon. My rights were severely violated further by one grade school teacher. She would make me stand outside while the flag salute was being said, then forget to allow me back in. So there I sat, alone, embarrassed, ostracized sometimes until the recess bell rang so that had to be a couple hours. One day well into the school year a man walked by, I think he was the vice principle. He asked me why I was there alone. After some words with the teacher I was allowed back in. It was a horrible experience. No child should have been made to go through that in a free country. Being a JW kid was torture enough.

  • VM44

    Here is how the flag salute was done up to 1942.

    For some reason many people do not like to be reminded of this.


  • heathen

    Yah it's not hard to see the hypocrisy in that . They swear oaths of liberty and justice for all and then turn around and abuse people . I remember they did take the pledge out of school in the 70's my parents told me to stop doing it so I did and was the only kid in class that stopped even tho they weren't j-dubs but only a study at the time . They eventually tried a moment of silence for some stupid reason . I am against both prayer and pledging for children in school .I think pulbic school should leave kids alone as far as religion and politics are concerned .

  • ballistic

    As a boy, I heard about saluting the flag at schools in the literature and meetings but did not realise it was only done in America. There was a flag pole at my school but I'd never seen it used. However, I was so worried about being caught up in something "pagan" in my 5 year old mind, I used to religiously ask my mother every day as I left for school, "are they going to salute the flag today?" and mum would always smile and say "no". One day I forgot to ask her and I sat there all day petrified that I would get hauled in front of the flag and forced to salute it. Sometimes I wonder how I turned out slightly sane.

  • VM44

    Here is how the flag salute was done in 1899

    1899 flag salute

Share this