One Nation, [Sponsorship Opportunities Available]

San Francisco ( - A U.S. federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in public schools is unconstitutional because it contains the phrase "under God," a decision blasted by Democrats, Republicans, and brand managers who say the United States is making a grave mistake in dropping its principal sponsor.

"Over the years, the U.S. under God has been a great draw for the major players: Einstein, Solzhenitsyn, John Lennon," said government marketing analyst Gil Treacle. "Without God's brand recognition and infinite marketing powers, you risk losing the marquee names to competitors. Then the networks don't renew, the money dries up, the fans revolt, and the next thing you know, you're Argentina."

The U.S. Justice Department, assigned the difficult task of finding a replacement, said it has already been in contact with several entities ("One nation, but 24,000 Starbucks") interested in having their brands associated with America. Until an agreement is reached, however, the U.S. will advertise the position by replacing the phrase "One nation, under God," with "One nation, (sponsorship opportunities available)."

While the words "under God" were only added to the Pledge by Congress in 1954, God has been the title patron of the United States since its founding in 1776, and the God name adorns everything from U.S. currency to the phrase "So help me God" used to swear in the President. The three-judge panel who voted to sever that 226-year relationship has come under heavy fire, but many have defended the decision, saying it is wrong to force religion on anyone.

"The phrase 'under God' clearly violates the First Amendment's separation of church and state," said McDonald's CEO Jack Greenberg. "However, there is nothing in the Constitution that separates chicken and state, which is why we're proposing, 'One nation, six chicken McNuggets and a medium Coke, all for $1.99.'"

A handful of Americans, however, has insisted the United States can get along just fine without a primary sponsor. Their suggestion that the Pledge phrase be regularly updated to reflect the national condition, however, has so far attracted little interest, as a CNN/Gallup poll found only 10 percent of respondents would feel comfortable reciting "One nation, under indictment."

Europeans, meanwhile, seemed to be confused by the entire episode. "I don't understand. I always thought it was 'One nation, we are God,'" said British Prime Minister Tony Blair. "Oh my, I've been worshipping them for nothing."

God, in various forms, currently supports most nations, with the exception of officially atheist China and Vietnam, and the Netherlands, which hasn't been told yet but is in for a nasty shock tomorrow.

Submitted By: Anonymous
Aug 15, 2002 16:22

This joke is rated: PG