" (O'Leary, 41) Later the words "the flag of the United States" was added to it during the world war. Later the period between the wars saw the persecution of the Jehovah's Witnesses occurred because they refused to salute the flag and follow the "100% Americanism." However far back in 1943, the court in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette made the loyalty oath unconstitutional. It was on Flag Day, 1954, that President Eisenhower added the word "under God." (O'Leary, 41)
II. B. The Pledge Case
Alain L. Sanders commenting on the Press and Pledge Case and the religious controversy has made the observation that the case succeeded in dividing the Church from the State, and that at least was the intention of the U.S. Supreme Court. However the decision in the Elk Grove Unified School District v. Newdow was pronounced on June 14, 2004, the controversy is still not settled. The ambiguity in the judgment keeps the issue live. It was a question if a public school policy requiring children to recite the Pledge, invoking god is against the Establishment of Religion Clause of the First Amendment. (Sanders, 202)
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit held that the word under "God" violates the First Amendment guarantee against the establishment of religion. The ruling was a major change because it banished God from public assembly and in a patriotic salute. On public outcry the Supreme Court reversed the court of appeals. The jurisdiction of the appellant was questioned and the issue left unsettled. While the outcome of the case is not the issue, the Pledge case brings to light the role of the media in creating controversies and then switching out of the issue as it becomes inconvenient. (Sanders, 202)
The media thus changes the perception of people by taking different stand in issues at different times. The final argument is that the Citizens should never be compelled to show their allegiance to a flag or to a government let alone god. (Buckner, 17) and to make school children do so especially pledge allegiance to a religious idea is abuse of minority rights and such incursions into the rights of minorities must be thwarted. Another identical issue that could be observed and with the same conclusion reached is the Ten Commandments controversy at Alabama.
II. C. The Posting of the Ten Commandments in Alabama
The banning of religious display energizes the groups that support the zeal. The Ten Commandments are issue thus raked up a religious right question. There were differences if the Ten Commandments ought to be displayed n public spaces and in Alabama there was public backing for its display including the stand by Judge Moore, and the controversy further caused the United States House of Representatives to resolve to display of the Ten Commandments in every public schoolroom and courtroom in the nation. The opposition have cited cases like the Stone v. Graham arguing that the display violate the separation of the state from religion. The question then is if the posting of the Ten Commandments is a religious act of state and if one set of religion seem to be favored. Thus displaying the Ten Commandments on a courtroom wall occasions the religious rivalry and this has caused the disputes of religion between Catholics and Protestants and others to surface. (Lubet, 471)
In the general world view, this the Jewish Decalogue is also displayed at synagogues and there are versions of the same that is suited to Catholic and Protestant groups which are mounted on the walls of their church. However it is still religion and the government ought to stay clear of it. Thus it was right that the Judge Moore was ordered to take down the plaque. It is argued that posting the Ten Commandments in public schools and other public facilities will ultimately breed religious intolerance in the modern context where terrorism has polarized the society after September eleven. Today Americans also belong to religions that do not follow the Bible at all. The only sect that would consider the Ten Commandments as part of their faith is the Christians and Jews. (Davis, 221)
There are millions of Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and others. These people do not follow the commandments. Thus the display of Ten Commandments on government property may intimidate them and make them question the neutrality of the state. Another argument is that the Government property is public property and thus it ought to be held secular and without favoring any single religion. (Davis, 221) Thus there must be clear distinction between the state and the religious establishments. The media as it is seen has played a key role in all the examined controversies and the media also has been responsible for some degeneration in society as it will be shown in the examination of the media in the arts.
III. The Transformation of Media and Arts:
The media has thus become mindless and the involvement of youth in the civic and political affairs of the state has gone down to be replaced by other interests and this has caused a decline in awareness of the social and political affairs. Consequently electoral turnout has also dropped. (Mcchesney, 44) the modern age has ushered in revolution in the communication and information technology. Aptly it is called the Information Age. The media today has been set free, in other words there is no government control, and has a willing audience with the American public spending 11.8 hours of media per day and more so with the coming of the internet which is becoming the only media that people spend time more as compared to others.
It also has evoked more interest in other media. Thus the importance of the media in creating responsibility and better communication must necessarily lead to an introspection of how the media are to be controlled, and what must be its structure and how ethics and media ideology is now a pressing need. So is the need for improving the standards of journalism and creating responsibilities for the media worker. There is a concentration of media power with a few conglomerates and this creates the tendency of the media to become profit-driven, based on the advertising-supported media system. In other words the commercialism has caused the decay of journalism and public service. For the revival of the polity and democracy, the media system must be revamped. (Mcchesney, 45)
There is a competition between religion and television and in both cases each of these; the media and the religious bodies have made themselves the defender of the Christian faith. There thus is the portrayal of the television, as one of the major threat to Christianity. On the other hand the issue of the use of television in today's society however is not concerned with religion as such. There is also the contention that the programs on television take the traditional religion and transform it to such an extent that it offends religious leaders. The nature of television as a form of technology is generally meant for entertainment but the amusement and pleasure but also contradicts established values. (Newman, 10)
Thus media and the arts promote violence. It is categorically proved that on-screen violence produce distinct audience reactions. Violent program and soap on TV promote violence and the coverage of events even of news that show violent incidents and glorify the perpetrator seems to have a great effect. Thus even news coverage can distort audience perceptions. (Gunter; Harrison; Wykes, 105)
The youth who succumb to the media often hail from under privileged societies. There is a division between the nature of the families that cause violent disposition in the youth and this need not be on account of provocation by the media. Strict child-rearing practices and instructions to be morally good and to obey authority springs from well bred families, while on the other hand the Street families in bad financial situation and the children of single mothers and also drug addicts, lead a disorganized lives themselves teach the same method to their children and these children often grow up as violent persons. That is innate and is not triggered by any art. (Moeller, 156) Generally the media tends to set the pace of social change and unfortunately degeneration.
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