Appeals Court Rules "Under God" in Pledge of Allegiance Unconstitutional

July 7, 2002

Source: The Denver Post

On July 7, 2002, The Denver Post reported that "when he was a child growing up in Los Angeles, Kanya Okamoto left out the words 'under God' when he recited the Pledge of Allegiance because the God referred to didn't fit with his Buddhist beliefs... Now, as minister of Tri State/Denver Buddhist Temple in downtown Denver, [Colorado] Okamoto still doesn't see the need for having that phrase in the pledge... 'But there are Buddhists who disagree with me,' he said. 'They have grown up with the phrase. That's OK'... Some are less flexible about the phrase, which was ruled unconstitutional June 26 by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in California. The court said it violates the separation of church and state."