Minnesota City Council Stops Reciting Pledge of Allegiance

 

Is it really a big deal that a small Midwestern city stops reciting the Pledge of Allegiance? My answer is, “yes,” and I’ll tell you why. The city council of St. Louis Park voted unanimously to stop reciting the Pledge. Here were some of their remarks regarding this decision:

Ellen Hertz, a business owner in the city, says she has no problem with the change, but doesn’t think it was necessary.

‘In terms of what would offend people and what offends me, that’s not at the top of the list,’ Hertz said.

Mayor Jake Spano wasn’t at the meeting when this change was approved. He says getting rid of the pledge wasn’t a big priority for him.

Spano told CBS Minnesota via email: ‘I think there are more substantive things we should be working on to make our city more open and welcoming.’

Welcoming to whom? I checked the demographics of the city: The population is just under 50,000; the city is 81% white; 96% have attended high school, 4% have attended college; the median household income is $71,346. In other words, it’s a pretty prosperous, blue-collar, Midwestern community. So who is pushing this agenda?

Even though the vote was unanimous, they are going to revote on the issue July 8.

One Council Member had this to say:

‘I hope it’s not too controversial,’ [Tim] Brausen said. ‘Our community tends to be a very welcoming and increasingly diverse community, and we believe our citizens will understand … Unfortunately, some of us feel like patriotism has been so politicized that it’s almost used as a weapon against people.’

His comment makes me wonder about a few things: Who originally proposed this change? Why would his citizens “understand?” What makes him think their community is “increasingly diverse” when it’s not? And why does he think that’s important?

Why do so many council members seem indifferent to this decision?

(I couldn’t find a tally of other city councils that don’t recite the pledge.)

It’s too bad when patriotism is seen as a highly politicized issue.

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There are 135 comments.

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  1. Miffed White Male Member

    I despise the Pledge of Allegiance. It’s rooted in Fascism. 

    • #1
    • June 30, 2019, at 8:19 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    I despise the Pledge of Allegiance. It’s rooted in Fascism.

    Tell me more, @miffedwhitemale. One could say a lot of things are rooted in Fascism, couldn’t we? Or is the timing of creating the pledge?

    • #2
    • June 30, 2019, at 8:21 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  3. Arahant Member

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    I despise the Pledge of Allegiance. It’s rooted in Fascism.

    Progressivism and Socialism, certainly, and Fascism is a flavor of those.

    • #3
    • June 30, 2019, at 8:22 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  4. Arahant Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Or is the timing of creating the pledge?

    The Pledge predates Fascism as it was written in 1892. However, the writer was a socialist.

    • #4
    • June 30, 2019, at 8:26 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  5. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    For the record, the pledge goes back a long time, although it has changed:

    The Pledge of Allegiance has been used in the United States for over 100 years, yet the 31-word oath recited today differs significantly from the original draft. The idea of a verbal vow to the American flag first gained traction in 1885, when a Civil War veteran named Colonel George Balch devised a version that read, “We give our heads and our hearts to God and our country; one country, one language, one flag.”

    There are some who say fascism emerged from WWI

    • #5
    • June 30, 2019, at 8:26 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Or is the timing of creating the pledge?

    The Pledge predates Fascism as it was written in 1892. However, the writer was a socialist.

    Does it sound like a socialist statement to you, @arahant? I expect that socialists can write things that aren’t necessarily socialist.

    • #6
    • June 30, 2019, at 8:30 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    No matter the origins for the moment, does anyone else find the Pledge offensive?

    • #7
    • June 30, 2019, at 8:31 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  8. Arahant Member

    It certainly sounds a bit more statist than I like.

    • #8
    • June 30, 2019, at 8:33 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  9. JudithannCampbell Coolidge

    Conservatives who object to the pledge of allegiance are over thinking it; the progressives who voted to stop reciting the pledge are not over thinking it: they voted the way they did because they find patriotism offensive. Next, they will vote to stop flying the American flag. Wait for it.

    • #9
    • June 30, 2019, at 8:50 AM PDT
    • 21 likes
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Arahant (View Comment):

    It certainly sounds a bit more statist than I like.

    I can understand that. But I think especially in these times, I feel more drawn to say it as a statement I can make to people who choose to denigrate this country and who support globalism.

    • #10
    • June 30, 2019, at 8:50 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  11. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    JudithannCampbell (View Comment):

    Conservatives who object to the pledge of allegiance are over thinking it; the progressives who voted to stop reciting the pledge are not over thinking it: they voted the way they did because they find patriotism offensive. Next, they will vote to stop flying the American flag. Wait for it.

    That’s where I’m coming from, @judithanncampbell. You’ve explained it well!

    • #11
    • June 30, 2019, at 8:51 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  12. KentForrester Coolidge

    I just recited the Pledge in my mind. It sounds a bit nationalistic and patriotic — but certainly not Fascistic.

    Arahant, I think you’re just being contrary this morning. We conservatives like words that sound nationalistic and patriotic, don’t we? It’s the other side, our evil twins, that is oftentimes offended by nationalism and patriotism.

    I don’t think Susan was expecting blowback on her post.

    You’re on a roll this morning, Susan. Two posts in a row.

    • #12
    • June 30, 2019, at 8:55 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    I just recited the Pledge in my mind. It sounds a bit nationalistic and patriotic — but certainly not Fascistic.

    Arahant, I think you’re just being contrary this morning. We conservatives like words that sound nationalistic and patriotic, don’t we? It’s the other side, our evil twins, that is oftentimes offended by nationalism and patriotism.

    I don’t think Susan was expecting blowback on her post.

    I wasn’t expecting blowback (and I wouldn’t call it that), but I also find it interesting! I agree with your comment I marked in bold. If push came to shove, though, wouldn’t most of us back up the pledge as it’s written?

    • #13
    • June 30, 2019, at 9:00 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  14. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    I’d also add that appears to be easy to push over government employees to meet an agenda. Interesting, isn’t it?

    • #14
    • June 30, 2019, at 9:05 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  15. Arahant Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    We conservatives like words that sound nationalistic and patriotic, don’t we? It’s the other side, our evil twins, that is oftentimes offended by nationalism and patriotism.

    First, I’m not a conservative. I’m a classical liberal who has great suspicion of anything done by governments and governmental bodies.

    Second, I’m not offended by patriotism, but I am also suspicious of it, since calls to patriotism have so often been used to evil and collectivist ends.

    • #15
    • June 30, 2019, at 9:06 AM PDT
    • 10 likes
  16. Bob Thompson Member

    I care much more about the oath taken by federal officials and new permanent residents to support and defend the U.S. Constitution than a pledge focused on the flag and its symbolism. When I say I care about that what I mean is those taking the oath should mean it and be held to what they say.

    • #16
    • June 30, 2019, at 9:09 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  17. Arahant Member

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    I care much more about the oath taken by federal officials and new permanent residents to support and defend the U.S. Constitution than a pledge focused on the flag and its symbolism. When I say I care about that what I mean is those taking the oath should mean and be held to what they say.

    Amen, brother!

    • #17
    • June 30, 2019, at 9:10 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  18. Paul Erickson Member

    I think the better question is, why are school children required to recite it? Can they really even understand it before high school level of maturity? I am not a fan of mouthing rote words, especially those I don’t understand.

    Sidebar – do Beto and Booker recite the pledge in Spanish?

    • #18
    • June 30, 2019, at 9:13 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    Paul Erickson (View Comment):
    I think the better question is, why are school children required to recite it? Can they really even understand it before high school level of maturity? I am not a fan of mouthing rote words, especially those I don’t understand.

    I agree, @paulerickson. They should be explaining it! But nowadays no Leftists teacher will do that fairly.

    • #19
    • June 30, 2019, at 9:21 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. KentForrester Coolidge

    Arahant (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    We conservatives like words that sound nationalistic and patriotic, don’t we? It’s the other side, our evil twins, that is oftentimes offended by nationalism and patriotism.

    First, I’m not a conservative. I’m a classical liberal who has great suspicion of anything done by governments and governmental bodies.

    Second, I’m not offended by patriotism, but I am also suspicious of it, since calls to patriotism have so often been used to evil and collectivist ends.

    People who call themselves “classic liberals” know far more about politics than I do. I barely understand what a “republic” is. Darn, there I go bragging about my ignorance again. That’s an odd thing to brag about. But that’s what we warm and fuzzies do. We brag about how politically ignorant we are.

    Arahant, you’re OK in my book, even if you are a “classic liberal,” whatever that means. I’ll have to Google it. No, forget that. I don’t want to know. I’ll only get confused. I used to look up “Zen Buddhism,” and I never failed to come away more confused than when I began. 

    Carry on. 

    • #20
    • June 30, 2019, at 9:25 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  21. GFHandle Member

    JudithannCampbell (View Comment):
    Next, they will vote to stop flying the American flag. Wait for it.

    It sorta already happened when students were told they could not wear the flag on tee shirts lest they offend.

    • #21
    • June 30, 2019, at 9:26 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  22. Bob Thompson Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Paul Erickson (View Comment):
    I think the better question is, why are school children required to recite it? Can they really even understand it before high school level of maturity? I am not a fan of mouthing rote words, especially those I don’t understand.

    I agree, @paulerickson. They should be explaining it! But nowadays no Leftists teacher will do that fairly.

    The public education process should explain the founding of the nation and the original meaning behind the provisions of the Constitution. This is absent now.

    • #22
    • June 30, 2019, at 9:27 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  23. Bob Thompson Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):
    We conservatives like words that sound nationalistic and patriotic, don’t we? It’s the other side, our evil twins, that is oftentimes offended by nationalism and patriotism.

    First, I’m not a conservative. I’m a classical liberal who has great suspicion of anything done by governments and governmental bodies.

    Second, I’m not offended by patriotism, but I am also suspicious of it, since calls to patriotism have so often been used to evil and collectivist ends.

    People who call themselves “classic liberals” know far more about politics than I do. I barely understand what a “republic” is. Darn, there I go bragging about my ignorance again. That’s an odd thing to brag about. But that’s what we warm and fuzzies do. We brag about how politically ignorant we are.

    Arahant, you’re OK in my book, even if you are a “classic liberal,” whatever that means. I’ll have to Google it. No, forget that. I don’t want to know. I’ll only get confused. I used to look up “Zen Buddhism,” and I never failed to come away more confused than when I began.

    Carry on.

    I usually use ‘individual liberty and limited government’ to help me get it right. We originally had a ‘republic’ but, as Mr. Franklin feared and warned us, we haven’t kept it.

    • #23
    • June 30, 2019, at 9:32 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  24. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Coerced oaths produce false positives. 

    So I’m not a fan of the Pledge, particularly regarding children who are in no position to make such promises, and as @bobthompson points out, not necessarily capable of understanding. 

    But adults who have agreed to take the pledge on a regular basis deciding to stop taking the pledge because allegience to the country might bother members of that country is simply bizarre. One wonders if they would feel comfortable pledging allegience to St. Louis Park. 

    • #24
    • June 30, 2019, at 9:35 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  25. KentForrester Coolidge

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    I usually use ‘individual liberty and limited government’ to help me get it right. We originally had a ‘republic’ but, as Mr. Franklin feared and warned us, we haven’t kept it.

    Arahant, I like the sound of that. So finally, after 80 years, I know what I am: a classic liberal. Individual liberty and limited government. That’s the ticket. That’ll at least confuse my wife. She knows even less than I do about the political spectrum.

    Wait, those two phrases sound exactly what I’ve always thought was “classic conservatism.” Whatever. 

    If challenged by my liberal friends, I’ll just repeat those two phrases that you’ve taught me: “limited government” and “individual liberty.” That’ll gob-smack ‘em.

    • #25
    • June 30, 2019, at 10:00 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  26. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn Post author

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    I usually use ‘individual liberty and limited government’ to help me get it right. We originally had a ‘republic’ but, as Mr. Franklin feared and warned us, we haven’t kept it.

    Arahant, I like the sound of that. So finally, after 80 years, I know what I am: a classic liberal. Individual liberty and limited government. That’s the ticket. That’ll at least confuse my wife. She knows even less than I do about the political spectrum.

    Wait, those two phrases sound exactly what I’ve always thought was “classic conservatism.” Whatever.

    If challenged by my liberal friends, I’ll just repeat those two phrases that you’ve taught me: “limited government” and “individual liberty.” That’ll gob-smack ‘em.

    For the record, that comment was by @bobthompson, but @arahant might agree. I think many of us would have called ourselves classical liberals at one time, but we’ve so betrayed those values that it’s gone out of fashion. I’ve no doubt that @arahant is one; I’d have to think if it’s true for me anymore.

    • #26
    • June 30, 2019, at 10:05 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  27. KentForrester Coolidge

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    I usually use ‘individual liberty and limited government’ to help me get it right. We originally had a ‘republic’ but, as Mr. Franklin feared and warned us, we haven’t kept it.

    Arahant, I like the sound of that. So finally, after 80 years, I know what I am: a classic liberal. Individual liberty and limited government. That’s the ticket. That’ll at least confuse my wife. She knows even less than I do about the political spectrum.

    Wait, those two phrases sound exactly what I’ve always thought was “classic conservatism.” Whatever.

    If challenged by my liberal friends, I’ll just repeat those two phrases that you’ve taught me: “limited government” and “individual liberty.” That’ll gob-smack ‘em.

    For the record, that comment was by @bobthompson, but @arahant might agree. I think many of us would have called ourselves classical liberals at one time, but we’ve so betrayed those values that it’s gone out of fashion. I’ve no doubt that @arahant is one; I’d have to think if it’s true for me anymore.

    Susan, I think I got confused by the multiple responses, but it was Arahant who made the original “classic liberal” comment.

    • #27
    • June 30, 2019, at 10:08 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  28. Bob Thompson Member

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    I usually use ‘individual liberty and limited government’ to help me get it right. We originally had a ‘republic’ but, as Mr. Franklin feared and warned us, we haven’t kept it.

    Arahant, I like the sound of that. So finally, after 80 years, I know what I am: a classic liberal. Individual liberty and limited government. That’s the ticket. That’ll at least confuse my wife. She knows even less than I do about the political spectrum.

    Wait, those two phrases sound exactly what I’ve always thought was “classic conservatism.” Whatever.

    If challenged by my liberal friends, I’ll just repeat those two phrases that you’ve taught me: “limited government” and “individual liberty.” That’ll gob-smack ‘em.

    For the record, that comment was by @bobthompson, but @arahant might agree. I think many of us would have called ourselves classical liberals at one time, but we’ve so betrayed those values that it’s gone out of fashion. I’ve no doubt that @arahant is one; I’d have to think if it’s true for me anymore.

    Susan, I think I got by the multiple responses, but it was Arahant who made the original “classic liberal” comment.

    I look to @arahant for erudite authority on matters like ‘classical liberal’. I found out I was maybe one, a classical liberal, in a raw American colonial sense, rather late in life. But this did not come through any formal institution learning but strictly autodidact mode. So I’m more like @kentforrester in this regard.

    @arahant has not yet endorsed this exchange.

    • #28
    • June 30, 2019, at 10:21 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  29. Arahant Member

    I would certainly agree with Bob’s (Bob the Human, not Bob the Dog) characterization and synopsis.

    • #29
    • June 30, 2019, at 10:25 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  30. aardo vozz Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    I would certainly agree with Bob’s (Bob the Human, not Bob the Dog) characterization and synopsis.

    Still, it might be interesting to get Bob the Dog’s opinion on this.

    • #30
    • June 30, 2019, at 10:58 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
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