Nuadha's Tale

Ignorance can be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it. -Thomas Jefferson

Saturday, June 29, 2002

The Pledge of Allegiance
I posted this months ago and felt, since its been in the news again, that I should pull it out of my archives and post it again.
A friend's blog mentioned how Dr. Pepper is getting blasted by the religious groups for ommiting "under god" from the Pledge of Allegiance", which they are printing on their cans. It seems to me that Dr. Pepper understands the seperation of church and state better than the people running our country.
Historical facts about the pledge:

  • Written in 1892 as part of a ceremony honoring Columbus Day
  • Written by the Rev. Francis Bellamy, a prominent socialist who had been kicked out of the Baptist church for giving speeches like "Jesus the Socialist."
  • originally read, "I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." Originally, the pledge was supposed to be recited while giving a "stiff, uplifted, right-hand salute."
  • The salute was dropped from the pledge in the 40's for obvious reasons and the words were changed from "to my flag" to "to the flag of the United States of America."
  • The line "under god" was added in 1954 by Congress and President Eisenhower under pressure from the Knights of Columbus.
  • Jehovah's Witnesses who objected to state-ordered oaths were beaten in the 30's and 40's for refusing to take the pledge. The Supreme Court ruled in 1940 that they could be required to take the pledge but reversed their decision three years later when harrassment of the church increased.


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