Pledge of Allegiance Removed?

Capitol Hill Elementary principal Pam Wilson recently axed the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance from the school’s promotion ceremony this year because it has the words “under God” in it. According to Wilson, “so out of respect for the diversity of religious faiths practiced by our school community (parents and families) we decided that this year the students would memorize and sing the Preamble to the Constitution.”

Not only is this patently silly, as no one is required to join in the recitation, but it makes me wonder if this principal is in violation of Chapter 339 of the Oregon Revised Statutes, which states:

339.875 Procurement, display and salute of flags. (1) Each district school board shall:
(a) Procure a United States flag and an Oregon State flag of suitable sizes and shall cause such flags to be displayed upon or near each public school building during school hours, except in unsuitable weather, and at such other times as the board deems proper.
(b) Provide students with the opportunity to salute the United States flag at least once each week of the school year by reciting: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
(2) Students who do not participate in the salute provided for by this section must maintain a respectful silence during the salute. [Formerly 332.100 and then 336.045 and then 336.630; 1999 c.137 §1]

I hope parents and students at Capitol Hill will take the time to check and see if these statutes are being followed. In light of her ridiculous removal of the pledge from the end-of-year ceremony, it is certainly worth checking.

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Posted by at 04:31 | Posted in Measure 37 | 19 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Grant

    A nation where children are forced to recite some pledge is a nation in decline — one that will not last much longer, guaranteed.

  • CRAWDUDE

    A country whose citizens (especially the adults) , refuse to pledge allegiance to, is a nation in decline. One that will slowly wither into a dark abyss from which none will rise from.

    All great empires rot from within, due to corruption in their governments and apathy of its people. Being the last great empire, it was inevitable that we were going to decline. The tale-tell sign is when the citizens no longer have respect for themselves or pride in their country. We’ve reached that point, the future isn’t bleak, its non-existent as we know it.

    • [email protected]

      I hear ya, reciting the Preamble to the United States Constitution is as disrespectful and Un-American as you can get.

      If they ever try to make my kids recite “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” I will have their jobs. It is a sure sign that we are a rotten , unpatriotic bunch of rabble who do not deserve the blessings of liberty.

      Actually, did you know that the pledge was written by a Socialist, a Christian Socialist and even he did not reference god in the original. Your thinking is so confused that it is almost ludicrous. Our country may be in trouble but it is because of people who refuse to stop and reflect on what it is to be “American”. People I would argue, like you. Here is some information for you from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance

      The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy (1855-1931), a Baptist minister, a Christian Socialist, and the cousin of Socialist Utopian novelist Edward Bellamy (1850-1898). Bellamy’s original “Pledge of Allegiance” was published in the September 8th issue of the popular children’s magazine The Youth’s Companion as part of the National Public-School Celebration of Columbus Day, a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s discovery of America, conceived by James B. Upham.

      Bellamy’s original Pledge read, “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. America”

  • John Fairplay

    Contrast this article with this story http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/baseball/mlb/06/11/ortiz.citizenship.ap/index.html

    It’s ironic that legal immigrants to this country appreciate and understand this nation’s beauty and strengths better than folks like Grant who were born here.

  • Teri

    I am a Capitol Hill parent and support Pam in her effort to make a positive change to the ceremony. I have talked with other parents about the use of the word God in other ceremonies (not the Pledge) and one did express that she did not like her child having to say it. Our school flies the flag every day and our children are proud to be Americans… part of which means to celebrate our diversity. While other religions have a “God” too… the use of the word in the pledge and in general by our politicians, etc. is referencing the Christian God historically. Eisenhower added the word in the fifties. Perhaps it is time to make the Pledge about our country and not religion by going back to the original version. Another Portland elementary sang the Star Spangled Banner in their ceremony and while it did not include God, it was affirming that they were Americans. I never saw a handbook that said we need to include a Pledge of Alligence before all events… not at sporting events or school events. You should get all your facts before you just fire off on something you know not about.

    • Chris McMullen

      “…celebrate our diversity..”

      Ooh that was original. Did it ever occur to you that “celebrating” diversity just stigmatizes minorities even more than if the subject wasn’t CONSTANTLY brought to everyone’s attention?

      Good lord, why does diversity have to be forced down everyone’s throat by the schools? Maybe if they didn’t continually point out that everyone’s different, it wouldn’t be an issue.

      • Martha

        Hear hear. The celebrating diversity thing is driving me nuts. Why can’t we tolerate diversity and celebrate individuality for a while. Maybe it would help refocus our culture from skin colors and cultural groups onto the worth of each person by virtue of the fact they are a HUMAN BEING first.

        That said, I think reciting any part of the Constitution is a much better use of brain space than the pledge. It is interesting to learn from dave23’s comment that the pledge was written by a socialist! The first thing I thought was how very fitting. The pledge is very socialist by itself, using a lot of words that inspire nationalism without requiring that anyone really ever know what any of it means other than you just pledged yourself to serve your country. *sigh*

      • dean

        Chris…you are suggesing the US adopt the national policy of France? I’m shocked…..shocked.

        But it clearly works well there. The French have no idea who is French-Arab, French-African, French-European, and so forth. They are all just French, some a little lighter or darker skinned than others. Of course…the Euro-French might not want to live next or hire a French-Arab….but hey. That’s just individual choice.

        • Chris McMullen

          Newsflash Marxist: Americans are free to discriminate no matter how much this diversity crap is forced on us.

          All that public school-mandated “diversity” nonsense sure helped this poor woman on the Max yesterday, huh?

          http://www.portlandtribune.com/news/story.php?story_id=121323490809325300

          • dean

            Chris…are you sure about that confident statement? If you own a cafe, can you refuse to seat a dark skinned person and serve them? Can you refuse to hire them if they are otherwise qualified? To rent them an apartment? Amercans are “free to discriminate?” I don’t think so. Maybe you prefer that, but it ain’t so.

    • Jerry

      Please re-read the above article and show me where it says anything about requiring the pledge for school events. Perhaps you are the one who needs to get all your facts straight….

  • profrando

    Yeah for Pam Wilson – she is an american hero.

    I am a patriot and an atheist. The words “under god” are insulting to a me and to other american atheists. Pressuring american kids into saying this in school is an insult to the proposition our country was founded on – that the minority has fundamental rights that shall not be abridged.

  • Eric Foy

    Some good points on both sides. The sad part (for me, in reflection of my deepest convictions) is that we, as a society, are nowadays so embarrassed by the mere mention of the most generic name of God. God – the one to whom we owe every blessing received, every freedom enjoyed – is now reckoned as irrelevant to our rise to greatness, as though He had no part in it. So we remove one tradition and replace it with something seemingly more acceptable. Acceptable to whom? Just who are we trying to please – God, or men? If we had to choose between the two, who would we please? Who should we please? Who is more deserving?

    History has it that the development of our constitution was stuck in a deadlock until after the wisdom of God was sought in prayer, anyway. So to whom do we owe humble thanks for our constitution and all that IT has provided? Is it not God Almighty, as our founding fathers referred to Him? And we’re too embarrassed to mention His name. Shame on us!

    (Side note): Has any kid ever been forced to recite the pledge? Has any kid ever been forced to say anything regarding his faith or non-faith? Atheists are too thin-skinned if the mere mention of God insults them. Whence comes this insult? The pledge starts with the word “I.” It is a statement of personal conviction. If you say, “God does not exist,” I may think you’re wrong, but I am not insulted. What does your conviction have to do with mine? Atheists: get over it. Your “I’m insulted” argument only displays your personal immaturity. Grow out of it.

    -Eric Foy

    • Jerry

      Thanks for the best comment so far!

    • dean

      Eric….the point you seem to miss is that our founding fathers gave us a clear seperation of church and state, making no requirement to believe in any paticular version of God, or even in the existence of a god or gods. If we live in a free country, why should anyone be required to recite a pledge of any kind, let alone one to a God one may or may not worship?

      Every nation…every king or minor despot who ruled over people throughout history has claimed “God” was on his side. For evidence, all one needed was to look at the fact of existence of said nation or kingdom. The Saudis believe God is on their side, as do the Iraqu Shiites and Iraqi Sunnis. Osama bin Laden believes that surely God is on his side, a belief that sustains him through long dark winters in his cave. Every poor tribe of Amazonian Indians believes their God is better than the one of the tribe over the ridge. You believe God is on America’s side. But all the evidence of history suggests that if there is a God, he, she, or it does not choose sides in human affairs (see Hitler, Stalin, Ghengis Kahn, Mao, Trail of Tears, etc) perhaps being too busy keeping the galaxies spinning, stars burning, black holes forming and so forth.

    • Wendy Gavin

      I agree with you on no child has been forced to say the pledge but, can we say the same about all our children being taugt evolution? I feel that that is an infringement on my rights a an american and against my moral values. The more people strive to take away God from every aspect of life in america the more it makes me say what about the rights of the christan? You can wear a malcom x tshirt but don’t say God! You can wear a shirt with a cuss word in front of my children but I can not wear one that say God without offending someone. GET over it people we are all different and should be able to express equally what we want.

      Some people are willing to sue over the pleadge then why don’t christians sue over evolution or darwinism being taught to our children?!?

      You do not wan to say under Gd in the pledge then don’t just MOVE ON!

  • Lib

    Goodness, who knew this would cause such a stir? My niece was one of those fifth graders that spent the YEAR learning about the CONSTITUTION!
    She has recited the pledge of allegiance a billion times in school, could we just drop this garbage about getting huffy over them reciting something different for a change?
    Ugh, the Principal did this NOT to offend and look at all the panties that are in a bunch now.

  • Chris

    Jerry, “Provide students with the opportunity to salute the United States flag at least once each week” is not violated be her removing the pledge from a ceremony.

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