Mara Kravitz's Speech On The Pledge Of The Future

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Ayan Seif-Gerard
Mrs. Kiessling
Writing Seminar
The Pledge of the Future
Two words. Two basic, quotidianly used words. How could something so elementary and effortless cause such havoc and commotion? When Mara Kravitz, a Pelham Memorial High School valedictorian, deliberately omitted the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance in her graduation speech, the many parents and students in the crowd reacted with vociferous discontent. For the next month, the audience reacted by sharing their critical views with the world through the Pelham Weekly newspaper. Mara Kravitz is only one of the many stigmatized students suffocated by the oppression and significance accompanying these two simple words, dedicated to the prevailing monotheistic ideal.
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Constitution. The First Amendment contains two clauses regarding religion’s role in government, the Establishment Clause which prohibits the government from establishing a national religion, and the Free Exercise Clause protects citizens right to practice whichever religion they please (as long it doesn’t violate government laws) (First Amendment). Many do not seem to comprehend that forcing a person to perform a ritual linked to or acknowledge the existence of someone else’s deity is equivalent to hindering their rights to or freedom of religious practices and systems. Children and teenagers have blindly underlined the belief that America is set under a Christian god or, more generally, a deity from a realm of monotheistic religions. “‘One nation under God’ is indisputably a statement of religious belief. By including it, the government is unconstitutionally using patriotism as a secular cover for advertising that particular belief” (Sherman). When people politely refuse to utter these words, they are often persecuted and considered as citizens lacking in nationalism. They are simply refusing to take part in the recitation of a false statement. The United States is categorized as a secular, free country, and should live up to the expectations that accompany such title. In fact, the Supreme Court has not ruled on the constitutionality of these words. An anxious father sued his daughter’s public for insisting upon the recitation of the words “under God.” The case was eventually brought to the Supreme Court, who expertly evaded the subject by dismissing the case under the technicality of the plaintiff’s lack of standing (Elk Grove). Therefore there is no legal support for including the
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