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State of South Dakota  


Introduced by:     Representatives Hanks, Brunner, Buckingham, Davis, Faehn, Hackl, Howie, Jensen, Kraus, Krebs, McCoy, McLaughlin, Nelson, Rave, Rhoden, Sebert, and Van Etten and Senators Duniphan, McCracken, and McNenny  

         A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION,  Expressing legislative support for the preservation of the words, under God, in the pledge of allegiance.
     WHEREAS,  the first amendment to the United States Constitution, which guarantees religious freedom to all Americans, is the literal keystone of our nation's political edifice; and
     WHEREAS,  the just and proper convictions of the Founding Fathers were not limited to a perpetual prohibition against the establishment of any one religion, but were predicated upon a fervent desire to foster an abiding spirit of tolerance not only for all religions, but for all religious philosophies; and
     WHEREAS,  much of the contentious recent first amendment litigation has been premised on the mistaken theory that the first amendment was designed to establish an areligious or even an antireligious context for religious worship in America instead of an America deeply committed to the respectful toleration of all religious consciences; and
     WHEREAS,  petty bickering and partisan wrangling over long established and nonspecific references to God serves no practical or legal purpose but does considerable damage to the spirit of toleration, which, more than laws or courts or constitutions, is the supreme safeguard of our religious liberties:
     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED,  by the House of Representatives of the Eightieth Legislature of the State of South Dakota, the Senate concurring therein, that the Legislature deplores all litigation motivated by any misguided determination to substitute restrictive minority viewpoints for traditional American religious tolerance; and
     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED,  that the Legislature supports the retention of all traditional, nondenominational references to God or the concept of divinity as incorporated in the national pledge of allegiance, the national motto, many state mottos, and various oaths of office and similar legal formulations.