Skip to comments.Resident asks school board to remove Pledge of Allegiance from meetings
Posted on 12/24/2009 7:08:04 AM PST by fgoodwin
December 22, 2009 By Chantelle Lusebrink
The Issaquah School Board may consider eliminating the Pledge of Allegiance at its regular business meetings.
At their Dec. 9 meeting, school board members were asked to eliminate the pledge from their meetings by parent Matthew Barry.
The words under God in the pledge are offensive to your atheist residents in this school district, Barry said at the meeting. A study from last year, The American Religious Identification Survey, indicates that 15 percent of Americans arent religious. In Washington, which is one of the most nonreligious states, 25 percent arent religious. So, I think it is safe to assume there are atheist taxpayers, parents, students and maybe even a few teachers in this school district.
School board members couldnt take action or discuss the item since it wasnt on their regular meeting agenda, but they said they would take the item under consideration for a future agenda topic.
It is inappropriate for the school board to ask atheists to stand and proclaim they are under God, said Barry, a self-proclaimed atheist. Atheists dont believe in gods, so they certainly dont think they or the nation are under a god.
Barry said other residents with different religious beliefs might also find the pledge offensive.
If the school board were asking Jews, Hindus and other non-Christians to stand and proclaim that Jesus Christ is the messiah, Im pretty sure wed all agree thats inappropriate, he said.
Its none of the governments business what our private religious beliefs are, if any, and certainly none of the governments business to ask us to stand and publicly proclaim what those beliefs are, he added. Most would agree its even worse if the government asks someone to stand and say something that contradicts their belief system.
If I understand his logic correctly, simply because something is offensive and unnecessary, it should be removed, said Jared Spataro, a parent and Boy Scout Leader whose Scouts presented the colors that night. Im very proud to see us stand up and very proud to see my Scouts lead us in the pledge tonight and talk about God.
We dont necessarily say that everyone needs to believe in the same God, I think he referenced Jews and Hindus and others, but we do teach our boys, especially in the Scout program, that belief in a higher authority is important as an aspect of our community, and as an aspect of who we become in the community and how we contribute there.
Barry said he wouldnt have a problem with board members asking meeting participants to cite the original version of the Pledge of Allegiance, which didnt include the words under God and was recited from 1892-1954. The words under God were added in 1954, Barry said.
Right now, schools within the state are required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and hold flag salute exercises at the beginning of each school day under the states revised code No. 28A.230.140.
However, the law recognizes that students cant be forced to participate: Students not reciting the pledge shall maintain a respectful silence.
School districts arent required to recite the pledge for school board meetings. In fact, the Lake Washington School District doesnt require the pledge at board meetings, Barry said.
Since the pledge is irrelevant to the boards work and is offensive, even if it is voluntary, it should be eliminated from the board meetings, he added.
I understand many things we do are offensive to people, Spataro added. But just because a small group of people, or even a large group of people, are offended it doesnt mean they are right.
Can you ping your Scouting list?
Wow....another ignoramus named Barry.
A study from last year, The American Religious Identification Survey, indicates that 15 percent of Americans arent religious. “
so to hell with the 85% of us that are religious...??!! hell no, go pound sand....
Then exercise your right to free speech by not standing and STFU.
How about “School Board tells atheist to shove his suggestion up his Obama?”
Tell him to go take a pee for a couple of minutes. That should make him feel better.
A man asserting that there is no God, using inalienable rights endowed by God to claim that he shouldn’t be forced to recognize God when pledging allegiance to a republic who derives it’s basis in law from the Bible.
The words under God in the pledge are offensive to your atheist residents in this school district,” Yep all one of them
Anti US jerkwads living in the US have no negative effects when they impinge upon our rights. Used to they would be dealt with in such a way they would keep their mouths shut and do what the majority wished for; now the ACLU bats for the minority to oppress the majority.
I would go ahead and recite the pledge anyway...Who says that any member of that board has to do anything in regards to that issue...
Just someone, before they start the meeting, needs to recite it out loud...And when they are done, start yer damn meeting...
I have a city counselman who starts his meetings in the district with a prayer...No ifs ands or buts...Without fail...They are his meetings with the public, and if you don’t like the way he opens them, tough sh!!te...
Doesn’t sound very Christian-like for me to be this way, but I kinda like to see someone squirm under the officiating nature of prayer...
If you don’t like the pledge of alligience, or a prayer to God to bless the proceeding, then don’t come to the meeting...
If you feel oppressed or discriminated against, fine, live with it...The same could be said of the athiest who want to discriminate against us for wanting to put everyones mind in the right frame to conduct civil business...
Funny thing to note though...I find that Republican and conservative meetings often hold to opening their meetings with prayer and the pledge...On the other hand I find out when I go to Democrat or liberal meetings for the same purpose, they often do not open with anything other than the official getting up and starting...
I am not offended if they do not do it, so therefore if you are an athiest or liberal attending a function by a conservative, seems to me you need to deal with it as well...
If you don’t like it, shove off...
Just show up five minutes late. He’ll miss the pledge but won’t miss a thing of the meeting.
Being "NOT RELIGEOUS" does not necessarily mean being an atheist. There is a difference between atheists, agnostics and secular. Of the 3 only atheism is defined as the belief there is no God. Secularism is the separation of those things religious from those not and agnostics are defined by Webster as : a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (as God) is unknown and probably unknowable; broadly : one who is not committed to believing in either the existence or the nonexistence of God or a god.
I would say less then 5% of the population falls into the category of being atheist.
Sounds like, if 25% are “nonreligious”, then 75% are religious. A clear majority. Keep the Pledge.
One person’s dissatisfaction should have no bearing on a majority opinion. If the majority votes then that vote should stand especially when it comes to values such as religion and patriotism. The Boy Scouts of America is a fine organization and helps build boys into men. I used to be both a Boy Scout and an Explorer Scout and I am proud to have been among their membership. They helped me understand the difference between being a boy and what it means to be a man and I will forever be grateful to them. They taught me about what it means to be independent, how to survive in the wilderness, teamwork, and a sense of morality, justice and duty. I also was a choirboy and an altar boy early in life too and all these things helped transform me into an independent individual, dependent on no one but my own self for my survival. And they also gave me a sense of self worth and pride in accomplishment that can be found in so few places nowadays. The Boy Scouts is like a prerequisite for military training.
How can he be offended by something that doesn’t exist?
Garde la Foi, mes amis! Nous nous sommes les sauveurs de la République! Maintenant et Toujours!
(Keep the Faith, my friends! We are the saviors of the Republic! Now and Forever!)
LonePalm, le Républicain du verre cassé (The Broken Glass Republican)
The pledge was drafted in virtually its present form in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, an unapologetic socialist who had been pushed out of his position as a Baptist minister because his sermons reflected more socialism than Gospel. Francis was cousin to Edward Bellamy, who wrote the 1888 utopian socialist novel Looking Backward, which I had to read in college in a class on utopian thinking. I guess it was valuable to know that to Bellamy utopia meant a highly regimented place where all incomes were equal and men were drafted into the states “industrial army” at age 21 and did whatever the state decided they should do. It helped to cement my distaste for such a system.
After being kicked out of the pulpit Francis Bellamy went to work for a magazine called Youths Companion, and decided to work through the public schools rather than the church to advance his notion of a socialist workers paradise. The Pledge was unquestionably part of this campaign. Bellamy even recommended that the ceremony start with a military salute and “At the words, to my Flag, the right hand is extended gracefully, palm upward, towards the Flag, and remains in this gesture till the end of the affirmation.” For better or worse (and to be fair, long after Bellamys recommendation) the Nazis adopted this same salute. It was quietly dropped from American practice, but the intention was similar to encourage a quasi-religious subordination to government.
In a country founded on “unalienable rights” of individuals, in which the governments job is supposedly to “preserve these rights” and not much else, the government should be pledging allegiance to citizens and their rights, not the other way around.
It is curious that people who call themselves conservatives now consider this overtly socialist inducement to state-worship part of the sacred tradition of liberty and justice.
Fortunately more of us see it as more than what a socialist clown intended it to be.
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