Just recently I wrote about how easy it is for people to gum things up by pandering to religion and patriotism. As if to support my point, Republicans state legislators in Michigan have introduced legislation that would require all public school children to recite the pledge of allegiance each day.
In 1942, West Virginia passed a law requiring that students salute the flag each day while reciting the pledge of allegiance which at that time did not end with the words ‘under God’. The US Supreme Court ruled such actions unconstitutional in 1943, with Justice Robert Jackson writing in his majority opinion:
If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein.