SLevinson at mail.law.utexas.edu
Sun Mar 28 11:58:13 PST 2004
Apropos Randy Barnett's posting, I will take the liberty of mentioning an episode about four or five years ago when I was teaching comparative constitutional law to Eastern Europeans in Budapest. One of the cases I assigned was West Va. v. Barnette, assuming that it would convey a message of how tolerant the US was. Instead, several of the students, especially one from Slovenia, was shocked that the school day began with the pledge at all. For him, it was all too reminiscent of the pre-1989 reality that everyone was eager to shelve.
From: "Randy Barnett" <rbarnett at bu.edu>
To: <CONLAWPROF at lists.ucla.edu>
Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2004 12:33:44 -0500
Subject: RE: RE: Meaning of "Under God"
Ditto to Walter's point 2 below, which has long been my objection to the
pledge--and also, but less so (because it is not confined to young
captive school children), to the national anthem before ball games.
"(2) Libertarian conservatives, of course, might object to the
government setting up a system of having children stand and recite any
government scripted message. To them, the footage of kids saying the
pledge and the footage of Ilian Gonzalez back in Cuba standing and
reciting a government message might look all too similar. (Of course,
maybe in Cuba dissenting children are shot rather than excused from
reciting as they are here.)"
As said to some St. Louis University law students at lunch on Friday,
how exactly is making all school children stand and recite a pledge of
allegiance supposed to distinguish us from (godless) communists Russia?
I saw that a light went on for at least one conservative student in the
Randy E. Barnett
Austin B. Fletcher Professor
Boston University School of Law
765 Commonwealth Ave.
Boston, MA 02215
http://www.LysanderSpooner.org (Lysander Spooner page)
http://pup.princeton.edu/titles/7648.html (Restoring the Lost
http://www.RandyBarnett.com/SOL.htm (Structure of Liberty page)
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