Tuesday, June 21, 2011

MSNBC removes God from the Pledge of Allegiance

So MSNBC played a special patriotic production of the Pledge of Allegiance for the opening of the U.S. Open. The only issue with this was that they omitted God and the indivisible with Liberty part. This has caused quite a stir and was even featured on Glenn Beck and a few other prime time talk shows. MSNBC Chief executive Phil Griffin released an apology to this later but also said, "MSNBC stands for something and MSNBC is really the place to go for progressives."

Glenn Beck and other right wing talking heads attacked this action as a pointed attempt to remove God from everyday life. I would agree with him on this except that "God" was never originally part of the Pledge of Allegiance. I know some people will not take kindly to my pointing this fact out, but I feel I must. Mr. Beck went out of his way to make this seem like an egregious action without even talking about the history of the pledge. This is especially troubling because Mr. Beck has always stood for and emphasized the importance of learning our genuine history.

So what is our genuine history on the Pledge of Allegiance. It's not as cheery as you might think. The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by the minister Francis Bellamy. He was known to be a Christian Socialist who had hoped that the pledge would be used by citizens in any country. The original protocol, called for a military style salute with the right arm fully extended towards the flag. (Nazi salute style) This practice was changed to hand over heart for obvious reasons.

The original

"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

In 1923, the words, "the Flag of the United States of America" were added.

"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

God wasn't added until 1954 when President Eisenhower encouraged Congress to add the words "under God,"

Now I'm not saying that God being removed from the Pledge is good thing, but it's hardly fair to point at this as some sort attack at American Historical Tradition.



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