UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh is all over the Ninth Circuit ruling today that held the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional due to the “under God” bit. I find the arguments that removing this phrase from the pledge will lead us down a slippery slope that requires us to banish various important parts of our cultural history to be interesting, and perhaps persuasive. As all the stories point out, the “under God” thing was added to the pledge in 1954 at the behst of the Knights of Columbus (a Catholic organization). I don’t have a problem with it being sent out of town on a rail. On the other hand, I don’t think we ought to expunge things that are important parts of our history, like the words of the Star Spangled Banner or the text of the Declaration of Independence. I agree with the dissenting judge’s idea that there’s such a thing as “ceremonial Deism,” but I don’t think that the “under God” phrase falls under that category. If things in 1954 were anything like they are today, there was a political agenda behind the Knights of Columbus campaign, not unlike the stupid movements to tack up copies of the Ten Commandments all over the place. On the other hand, many other invocations of a supreme being are really are there to add gravity and solemnity to whatever they’re included in.