Officials decry pledge ruling

Carson City political and religious officials said Wednesday they expect to see a reversal of the ruling that the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance are unconstitutional.

Gov. Kenny Guinn was among those who predicted the decision will end up being overturned.

"I think there'll be a huge outcry all across America that'll send a strong message," said Guinn. "I think it's going to be a different ruling when they go to the Supreme Court."

Carson Schools Superintendent Mary Pierczynski said the pledge is required by Nevada law, so the district will continue to have children recite it, but they'll have to wait until the court battles are finished to determine the wording used.

"We'll just continue to do what we're doing now until the full Ninth Circuit or the Supreme Court rules," she said. "If the ruling stands, we'll have to make some changes this fall. We would have to issue that to our teachers to retrain our children.

"But as a school district, we have to follow what the law says."

U.S. Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., was outraged.

"The Pledge of Allegiance does not, in my opinion, endorse any specific religion but instead stands as a pledge of our commitment to democracy and freedom," said Gibbons. "Today's ruling only shows the overwhelming need to nominate common-sense jurists to ensure the integrity of our judicial system."

Carson City resident and Vietnam veteran Jim Weller was vehemently opposed to the ruling.

"As a member of the Legion and the VFW and Marine Corps League, I am personally affronted by this thing," said Weller.

Weller, 61, president of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter No. 388, said he is very conservative, Republican and Catholic. He spent 24 years as an FBI agent in charge of operations in Nevada.

"I personally and professionally spent 30 years in law and am affronted by it. I was in the First Battalion Ninth Marines in Vietnam; we were called 'The Walking Dead.'

"When we (Vietnam Veterans of America) meet next week, you can damn well be assured we're going to say 'under God,' and we will continue to do so.

"I think it goes back to who is appointing who to these courts. If you look at them, 17 of 24 were appointed from either Clinton or Carter."

One of the two judges who supported the ruling was appointed by President Carter, the other by President Nixon. The dissenting opinion belonged to a Bush appointee.

"There's no shortage of village idiots," said the Rev. Lary Rothchild, president of the Carson City Ministerial Fellowship. "That's all that proves."


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