WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Supreme Court has ruled to preserve the phrase "one nation, under God," in the Pledge of Allegiance, saying that a California atheist who challenged the phrase should accept it or go to hell.
The court members said atheist Michael Newdow had no business telling other people that the nation was not under God, no matter what he believed.
Justice Antonin Scalia removed himself from participation in the case because he thinks more than one nation is under God and that that God is the only God, no matter what nation is under It or Him or Whatever.
"When hard questions of Godly relations are sure to affect the outcome, the prudent course is for the federal court to tell the person challenging the law to go to hell," Justice John Paul Stevens wrote for the court.
"I cannot go to hell," Newdow said after the ruling was announced. "If I don't believe in God then how can I even say I am going to go? I don't believe in hell, so the court telling me to go there makes no sense to me."
Chief Justice William Rehnquist agreed with the outcome of the case, but wrote that one time he told Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Clarence Thomas to go to hell in a different context.
The First Amendment guarantees that government will not "establish" religion, but can tell any one to go to hell as far as the nation being under God.
The Supreme Court has already said that schoolchildren are not required to recite the oath and that under their breaths they can use any noun to replace the word "God." But, the Court also warns that anyone who does that may be in peril of going to hell.
The Bush administration, the girl's school and Newdow all asked the Supreme Court to get involved in the case. The Court felt it could not tell Bush to go to hell, since the Court was responsible for electing the President.
Newdow said he would continue that fight, "since I will not be in hell."