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The Pledge Still Ought to Be Scrapped

“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.”

A Fargo, North Dakota, school board has decided that the Pledge of Allegiance has to go because of inclusivism and diversity.

Said the school board’s vice president Seth Holden:

The word ‘God’ in the text of the Pledge of Allegiance is capitalized. The text is clearly referring to the Judeo-Christian god and therefore, it does not include any other faith such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, all of which are practiced by our staff and students.

The pledge is a “non-inclusionary act” that “doesn’t align with the district’s diversity, equity, and inclusion values.”

The state Republican Party called the decision “laughable.” North Dakota Republican senator Kevin Cramer tweeted: “Please don’t judge North Dakota on the actions of a few cultural & intellectual outliers on the Fargo School Board. Join me in our beautiful state and I will introduce you to the best of the best across the fruited plains.”

Now, I know that the progressives on the school board in North Dakota want to do away with the Pledge because they are stupid and evil, but the Pledge still ought to be scrapped.

Many Americans no doubt think that the Pledge is in the Constitution, that the Founding Fathers recited the Pledge, that it is against the law for students in school to refuse to recite the Pledge, that the wording of the Pledge has never been changed, or that reciting the Pledge is patriotic.

They know nothing about the origin of the Pledge and its author, Francis Bellamy (1855-1931), or the subsequent history of the Pledge.

How many Americans know that the author of the Pledge was a socialist minister forced to resign from his pastorate who believed in an indivisible union for which the Civil War was fought?

How many Americans know that the author of the Pledge sought to use public schools as a tool to indoctrinate children into his socialist vision of patriotism?

How many Americans know that the Pledge was not recited in a public school until 1892?

How many Americans know that Congress did not officially recognize the Pledge until 1942?

How many Americans know that the original salute to the flag was the outstretched-arm salute later adopted by the Nazis?

How many Americans know that the Supreme Court ruled in 1943 that students cannot be required to recite the Pledge?

How many Americans know that the phrase “under God” in the Pledge was not added until 1954?

How many Americans know that the Supreme Court ruled in 2004 that students cannot be required to stand for the Pledge?

How many Americans know that most other countries don’t have an equivalent of the Pledge. In fact, it has been said that countries that do either emulate the United States or are totalitarian regimes.

I was surprised to see the truth about the Pledge in a new book, Pete Hegseth & David Goodwin’s Battle for the American Mind: Uprooting a Century of Miseducation (Broadside Books, 2022, pp. 77, 78):

In 1892, Bellamy, an early Progressive, authored the precursor to the pledge of allegiance, called the Bellamy Salute, which would come to be used in schools across the United States. Curiously, Bellamy’s pledge included the Roman salute with outstretched arm—very similar to what would later be known as the Nazi salute. It was nearly identical to what would become our current pledge, except that it made no mention of God. Bellamy’s salute had a purpose: to unite and elevate the American people with reference only to America, not to Christ. The WCP [Western Christian Paideia] no longer bound America together; the new pledge was designed to supplant the creeds of Christianity. The public school classroom would become a shrine of sorts to progressive ideas.

The Bellamy Salute was intentionally part of that liturgy, as were American flags. By the early 1900s, there were portraits of John Dewey and Horace Mann in the classroom, alongside George Washington. In 1942, the original salute, with hands outstretched, was replaced for its obvious connection with the Nazi salute. In the 1950s, Bellamy’s original pledge was amended to add “under God” by Congress amid fears of another form of Marxism—atheistic communism.

The Bellamy Salute served its purpose as nationalism slowly replaced Christianity over a period of decades. This form of nationalism, married to what has been called Manifest Destiny, became a sort of civil religion in its own right in America. Nationalism has its place—no doubt—but this form of American “democracy” was intentionally disordered. It was an early placement of “nation” above “Christ”—and executed intentionally.

And yet, every conservative Christian school that I know of requires its students to recite the Pledge. And to their shame, some conservative churches recite the Pledge during the Sunday morning church service on the Sunday before Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Veterans Day (the three military appreciation days). “My brethren, these things ought not so to be.” ~ James 3:10.