Two words, "under God," have ignited a public maelstrom. A three-member panel of the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals - the nation's most left-wing, lunatic court - has decided that public schoolchildren in nine western states must not recite the Pledge of Allegiance as long as those two words are part of it.
The natural reaction among God-fearing Americans has been one of outrage. But hyperventilating is probably not necessary, as it is almost a certainty the U.S. Supreme Court will reverse the decision, as it does with a lot of rulings coming from the Ninth.
Rather than argue about the God-hating atheist who brought the lawsuit, it is well for us to remind ourselves of the history of the pledge: The original pledge, composed by Francis Bellamy (a Baptist minister), was this: "I pledge allegiance to my Flag, and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all."
Eighty years ago, the words, "the Flag of the United States" were added. And during the Cold War, when our country was watching godless communism creep like a shadow across the planet, the words, "under God," were inserted, as if to ward off a dreaded disease.
It would be a dark day, indeed, if the Ninth Circuit's decision stood. But the ruling doesn't have a prayer of surviving - and Americans wouldn't stand for it if it did.
Teachers would continue to lead their classes in the pledge in what would be the largest act of civil disobedience in years. Parents would grab their children by the hands and flee the public school system in droves, especially now that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld school vouchers.
As crazy as it is, the Ninth Circuit ruling (which has already been stayed by the very judge who penned it) is a sober reminder of just how bizarre that court's decisions so often are. Twice as large as any other appeals circuit and with sweeping judicial powers over 50 million people, the Ninth Circuit has been the subject of ridicule for years because of its strange legal edicts.
It's time to split up the Ninth Circuit, reduce its influence and create a 12th circuit court. The split should happen now, before the public loses all of its trust in the judiciary.