Matthew R. Perry

Red Skelton’s Lessons on “The Pledge of Allegiance”

In Uncategorized on November 8, 2007 at 2:39 pm

Red Skelton was an incredibly funny comic from days gone by — but we as Americans would do well to heed to lessons from our Pledge of Allegiance. Very moving! May we remember the foundations upon which this country was set.

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  1. Matt,

    Want to read an interesting counterargument from a conservative Reformed Christian? Check out Michael Butler’s “I Pledge Allegiance?

    Agree or not, I found it to be a thought-provoking piece.

  2. Hi Martha,
    As far as Red Skelton’s quote, he got it wrong, no one is accusing the Pledge of Allegiance of being a prayer.

    It has always been accused as being government promotion of a specific religious view: the belief in monotheism.

    History: Back in 1954, there was a concerted effort on the part of various overtly sectarian organizations, primarily the Knights of Columbus, to exploit Cold War paranoia and use McCarthyism to get “under God” inserted in the Pledge in order to push the country in a theocratic direction. A threatened Congress jumped right on board. Ironically, if anyone had indeed been serious about emphasizing what has, from the time of our Founding, made America unique among nations, then Congress would have changed the Pledge to say, “one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all – regardless of belief”.

    The Constitution: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” When Congress does exactly that, as it did in 1954 with the sectarian bill that added “under God” to the Pledge and the national motto to money, it is nothing more than strict interpretation of the Constitution that says the courts must then declare it void. That is their job description. Nothing activist about it. No personal belief involved. On the contrary, if Congress paid more attention to the Constitution (as should the people who elect the members), judges wouldn’t have the nearly workload in rulings over unconstitutional laws and practices.

    The whole point of the Pledge is national unity and allegiance. Any division along religious lines makes a joke of it.

    Better to leave the Pledge neutral about religion, in support of the harmonious pluralism this country has always stood for, don’t you think? Let’s remember, that these are just little kids involved in the Plege ritual.. Is it right to put them on the front lines of the culture war? Do we really need to be pounding into them the divisions in our society rather than enforcing the commonalities, the brotherhood?

    — More at:

  3. >” The whole point of the Pledge is national unity and allegiance.”

    Hifi is correct. Francis Bellamy intended for children of all nations to use his commemorative flag salute in patriotic exercises in their respective nations. We should be teaching Iraqi children to honor their nation and national flag be reciting an Arabic form of Bellamy’s flag salute. Ditto in Afghanistan.

    Unfortunately, the mutilation of Bellamy’s work has caused generations to not understand Bellamy’s intent. I currently refuse to stand and recite U.S. Code 4.1.4, but will gladly stand to join others to recite Bellamy’s beautiful salute entitled “The Pledge of Allegiance” as written.

    BTW, if Congress has the power to edit and change works of authorship, why could Congress not also decide to edit the Bible? Congress could just decide Luther was right and delete Jude from the NT.

  4. I appreciate everyone’s comments regarding this matter.

    HiFi — it is my understanding that the phrase “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion…” means that we shall have no national religion/denomination which is tied to the seat of power, such as England’s state church head also being the head of state. Interesting that there are four references to God in the Declaration of Independence, which is our foundational document. And even Thomas Jefferson, when talking to Danbury Baptists while President in 1801 noted that there is a separation between church and state, but that wall is one-directional — the state cannot influence the church, but the Scriptures must influence the state. All the founders, and even John Jay (the first Supreme Court Justice) understood the nature of this.

    Say what you will, the Founders intended for God to be in the picture — not to establish a religion, but just as an undeniable fact that He is the one who bestows our inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

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