Last updated on: 6/8/2018 | Author: ProCon.org

Douglas Laycock, JD Biography

Title:
Robert E. Scott Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Virginia
Position:
Con to the question "Should the Words “under God” Be in the US Pledge of Allegiance?"
Reasoning:

“Now if God does not exist, or if I believe that God does not exist, then that isn’t one nation under God. We can’t have a nation under God unless there is a God. It doesn’t say one nation under our god, or some gods, or one of the gods. It pretty clearly implies there is only one God, and if there is only one God, then the God of the Pledge is the one true God, and other alleged gods around the world are false gods…

The largest private opinion polls have about 15 percent of the population not subscribing to any monotheistic conception of God… That’s 15 percent of the population, with 7.2 million children in public schools who are being asked to personally affirm every morning a religious belief that is different from the religious belief that is taught or held in their home and by their parents…

People don’t get angry at a recital of historical and demographic facts. People get angry because they know what it means; it’s plain English. They believe what it means, they want people to say what it means, they want their kids to say what it means. And I’ll tell you a dirty little secret: They want to coerce other kids to say what it means and what they believe to be true. They know that ‘under God’ means under God.”

Debate at the National Press Club entitled “Under God? Pledge of Allegiance Constitutionality,” Mar.19, 2004

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Robert E. Scott Distinguished Professor of Law, University of Virginia
  • Former Associate Dean for Research, University of Texas at Austin School of Law
  • Former Alice McKean Young Regents Chair, University of Texas at Austin School of Law
  • Testifies frequently before Congress about issues of religious liberty
  • Has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Member, Council of the American Law Institute
  • Elected Fellow, American Academy of Arts & Sciences
Education:
  • JD, University of Chicago, 1973
  • BA, East Lansing Michigan State University, 1970
Other:
  • None found
Quoted in:
  1. What Are Some of the Theories and Supreme Court Tests Used to Analyze the Religious Clauses of the Constitution's First Amendment?
  2. Does the Declaration of Independence Set a Precedent for Religion in Government?
  3. Do the Words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance Improperly Endorse Religion?