This ruling applies only to Northern California, but:
Karlton said he would sign a restraining order preventing the recitation of the pledge at the Elk Grove Unified, Rio Linda and Elverta Joint Elementary school districts in Sacramento County, where the plaintiffs' children attend.
This I don't understand. The Supreme Court has already ruled that no one is required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Objectors don't even have to stand in respect during the Pledge, they just cannot disrupt it in any way. So what is the problem here, the words "under God"?
The Founders had every intent of recognizing God. The 1st Amendment has become warped when people think that no mention of God is constitutional. "In God We Trust" is our national motto. The House of Representatives has a chaplain, and has since Day 1. The government hires thousands of chaplains, most of whom work in military and federal law enforcement agencies. The Founders of our current republic also wrote the Northwest Ordnance under the Articles of Confederation--an ordnance that set aside land for churches and money for missionaries! Even the Supreme Court opens each session with "God save the United States and this honorable Court."
The Supreme Court has also ruled on "ceremonial deism", saying that recognizing there is a God/god is not the same thing as having the government "establish" a religion.
So where is the harm? It's not in having atheists exposed to ceremonial deism. It's in bastardizing the words and intent of the 1st Amendment to create outright hostility to any religion.
Government offices had better be open on Christmas day.
Update, 9/15/05 6:47 am: I forgot the best part of this fiasco. The vast majority of Americans--and I do mean the vast majority--support the Pledge of Allegiance as it currently stands. This situation gives President Bush a wonderful PR tool: "We need someone on the Supreme Court who can interpret the Constitution as the Founders intended, not try to warp it to fit their own personal beliefs. This case shows just how important our federal judges are in the lives of ordinary Americans. With that sobering thought in mind I nominate...."
I hope he uses it.