Dear Miss Munsch:
Thank you for contacting me about S. 1046, the Pledge Protection Act,introduced by Senator Kyl. A Federal district court in California recently ruled that thePledge of Allegiance cannot be recited in public schools because itcontains a reference to God. In 2002, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals declared the pledge an unconstitutional endorsement of religion. I disagree with both these decisions. The Declaration ofIndependence leaves no doubt about the attitude of our founding fathers with regard to divine providence. The authors of the Declaration wrote,“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” On September 15, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution, which I co-sponsored, that affirms the pledge, stating that the phrase “one nation under God” reflects the religious faith central to the founding ofthe nation and that its recitation is “a fully constitutional expression of patriotism.”The Pledge Protection Act is pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Although I do not serve on that committee, I will keep your views in mind if this legislation reaches the Senate floor. Please don’t hesitate to contact me in the future. Your opinions are important to me.
Senator Bill Nelson