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Does God Belong in Government?
Issue of religion in government burns on 
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Pledge of Allegiance Ruled Unconstitutional

Enforcement of Pledge Ruling Stayed

History of the Pledge of Allegiance

High Court Upholds School Vouchers

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Public Schools Have No Prayer

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Pledge of Allegiance Ruled Unconstitutional

Separating Church and State

Governor Wants "In God we trust" Displayed in Schools

High Court Upholds School Vouchers 

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Pledge of Allegiance Ruled Unconstitutional
On June 26, 2002, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional under the First Amendment due to its inclusion of the phrase "under God." [See: Pledge of Allegiance Ruled Unconstitutional]

The very next day, June 27, the same court stayed enforcement of its ruling pending the outcome of appeals. [See: Enforcement of Pledge Ruling Stayed]

Supreme Court Allows School Vouchers
Also on June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Cleveland, Ohio school voucher program was constitutional and could continue, despite the presence of undisputed evidence that over 90 percent of the tax-supported vouchers were used to pay tuition to religious schools. [See: High Court Upholds School Vouchers]

Religion in Government at Issue
On religion, the First Amendment of the Constitution reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, ..." 

Over the years, a national debate has raged over the exact meaning and intent of the words "an establishment of religion." Did the Founding Fathers intend to assure the people freedom "of" religion or freedom "from" religion? 

Is saying "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance "an establishment of religion?" Does prohibiting a teacher from leading his or her class in a voluntary group recitation of The Lord's Prayer "prohibit the free exercise" of religion? Is there a point of compromise at which religion and government can co-exist? Should they co-exist at all?

Mixed Signals
American money says "In God we trust." The U.S. Congress starts its daily session with a prayer. The same U.S. Supreme Court that has consistently struck down organized prayer in public schools as unconstitutional opens its public sessions by asking for the blessings of God. 

Now one federal court declares the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional for including "under God," while one day later, the Supreme Court rules that tax-supported vouchers can be used to help parents pay tuitions to religious schools. 

What is America to think? What do YOU think?
One thing on which all Americans agree is that we are free, even encouraged, to discuss and debate issues like this. You can express your opinions and ideas on religion in government by responding to the polls on the right, or by discussing the issue in the online forums listed below:

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