Federal Court in California ruled that the "Pledge of Allegiance" is unconstitutional because of the inclusion of the phrase "under God." The person who brought the case to trial is Michael Newdow, an avowed atheist who said he was offended by the phrase. But I am clueless as to why Mr. Newdow is offended - and so offended that he put considerable resource (time and money) to fight it.
Like Mr. Newdow, I am not a Christian. But I am not an atheist. I am a Buddhist by faith. And my religion is best described as agnostic. Our scripture does not mentions the Creator. We do not affirm or deny the existence of God. Therefore "under God" is not a part of my tradition either. But I am not offended by the phrase "under God" and readers would find that no Buddhist would be offended by it either. Why would I be offended by someone else expression of faith. And saying "under God" in the pledge of allegiance does not degrade my religious belief in any way.
Perhap Mr. Newdow is a small man who is offended by the belief of others that are different from his. Let call his attitude what it really is - intolerance and bigotry. Of a million things to be offended on this world, he decide that this issue offend him. Perhap I can offer him other issues to be offended about - issues far more worthy of his zeal in protest. Let start with the genocide in Darfur where thousand of peoples are dying on a daily basic. Does it not offend to him? Michael Newdow can also be offended by the oppression of women in Saudi Arabia. If that is not enough for him, the murderous rampage of Islamofacists around the world. And if he want something closer to home, how about the Government of New London bulldozing people homes to profit big cooperation. Or if he want something that personally affect him, how about his hard earned tax money being used to built roads to nowhere or pay for farmers to grow nothing. Any of the preceeding issues are far more worthy of outrage than "under God" in the pledge of allegiance.
The Most Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh once wrote about the dynamiting of Buddha statues by the Taliban in Afghanistan. He chided commentators and pundits for their misdirect outrages. They were quite outrages by what they deem as destruction of valuable arts. He scolded them that instead of being outrage about inanimate stones and rocks, they should be more outrages about the treatment of women in Afghanistan - who are flesh and bones.