presents The Angry Liberal
July 3, 2002
Leave our Pledge of Allegiance Alone!
by The Angry Liberal
So you're outraged by the flap over the Pledge of Allegiance? So you want to see the pledge left alone? Me, too. Just for the record, here it is:
That's right, kids. You just read the Pledge of Allegiance as recited for the first time in 1892. Its author, Francis Bellamy (1855 - 1931), was a Baptist minister who was forced out of his church for preaching socialism. How ironic that the man who was excluded by a religious group would later have his Pledge of Allegiance altered to exclude all non-Judeo-Christian groups. In 1954, the pledge was changed from an oath to a nation to a prayer with the addition of the words "under God." Guess who initiated the change? The PTA? The Republican National Committee? Mothers Against Drunk Driving? Wrong! It was the Knights of Columbus! Yep, the Knights of Columbus, an exclusive fraternal group formed so that Catholics, who were excluded from the Masons¹, could get together and exclude people of other religions themselves², lobbied to get the phrase inserted. In short, the Pledge of Allegiance, a secular national oath for most of its existence, was transformed into a prayer some sixty years after its first recitation. Its author would not have approved. The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court does not approve. The U.S. Constitution does not approve. I do not approve. But, of course, I'm an American first. I don't care to put my religious faith ahead of my country. It's a pity that America is apparently populated by a large number of those who love their country only if it's run by their particular god. George W. Bush, a man who is bound for Hell himself³, promises to pack the nation's courts with such people. In addition to being a lousy Christian, Bush is apparently a lousy American as well.
Here's the deal: If the Knights of Columbus want to go on a crusade, perhaps they should start by stamping out child molestation in their church's parishes. We'll talk about screwing up the Pledge of Allegiance after they get that little task out of the way. In the meantime, let's return the pledge to its original and constitutionally proper form. All decent Americans will support me in this wish. We should no longer approve of an exclusionary religious group changing our Pledge of Allegiance into an exclusionary religious oath. This is America. Believe in God. Don't believe in God. All are welcome here.
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¹ This is denied by the Masons, of course.
² I'm sure this would be denied by the Knights.
Don't believe me? Read Matthew 19:24, Mark 10:25, and Luke 18:25. I don't
think Jesus was joking about this.
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© 2002, The Angry Liberal
otherwise noted, all original