Pa. lawmaker refuses to say Pledge of Allegiance at House meeting

25

A state lawmaker is coming under fire after refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance at a recent house committee meeting. 


Democratic Rep. Babette Josephs said the words “under God” in the Pledge make it a prayer, and she refused to say it. 

When Republican Chairman Darryl Metcalfe, who represents Butler, asked Josephs to lead the pledge, she refused. 

As everyone was standing to say the pledge, Josephs said, “Based on my First Amendment rights and based on the fact that I really think it’s a prayer, I don’t pray in public.” 

Written By: WXPI.com
continue to source article at wpxi.com

25 COMMENTS

  1. I think her problem was with how the pledge is termed in the way of a Christian prayer (is there any other kind?)
    And under their own constitutional law, that the religious claim was devised under god, the appeal in that pledge is  patently illegal!

  2. I understand the words ‘under god’ have only been included since 1954.
    Eisenhower was president at this time and raised in a strict religious home and was enthusiastic about the change.  The original author was a baptist minister.

    It looks like they got along fine without doG all the way up to 1954.

    She’s right to refuse.

  3. Well, the “under God” part of the pledge was added many years after the pledge itself was established.  If the pledge actually started out, “Oh God…” I’d say it was structured like a prayer, but it isn’t.

  4.  Ok maybe in that case a secular pledge to the country has been usurped into a religious appeal…you cannot really have it both ways…the mention of god should not be there it is illegal under the constitution!

  5. Can’t blame her for only doing this in the last days before retirement. Voters will not take this thing kindly, even though it’s perfectly reasonable to object to the ‘under God’ part. 

  6. I like it. Perhaps instead of trying to get it fixed at the Supreme Court, we should just start a social media effort asking people to refuse to say the Pledge until it is fixed. As the portion of the public who are non-believers increases, and the believers who want to keep the government out of their religion join in, it could be a way so show our political presence.

  7. Which is a perfect example of how religion oozes between the cracks and insinuates itself in a position it did not earn and does not deserve.
    And why is it there?…I rather suspect it is a severe lack of confidence and self worth…seems they need it in sight at all times it pacifies them, makes them feel not so isolated in la la land!
    There is no other logical explanation, they like to pretend the words are true…so much do they wish they were they are prepared to blatantly break the spirit of the law in order to feel vindicated in their mewling for a figment of a stunted imagination.

    And society stands back and gives them a nod and a wink then looks the other way to let them get away with it under the bastardized term of respect for ‘faith’
    They are in short taking you all for a ride.

    At least there are some with enough integrity to make a stand at their personal expense…I salute her!

  8. There wasn’t much more to it, Tom, but here’s the full thing:

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — A state lawmaker is coming under fire after refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance at a recent house committee meeting.

    Democratic Rep. Babette Josephs said the words “under God” in the Pledge make it a prayer, and she refused to say it.

    When Republican Chairman Darryl Metcalfe, who represents Butler, asked Josephs to lead the pledge, she refused.

    As everyone was standing to say the pledge, Josephs said, “Based on my First Amendment rights and based on the fact that I really think it’s a prayer, I don’t pray in public.”

    After the incident, Metcalfe told reporters, “I think it is shocking that any elected official would not pledge allegiance to the flag. It’s a person’s right to not say the pledge, but I don’t believe anybody should be in elected office that holds that position, and I think a majority of Americans wouldn’t elect somebody if they held that position.”

    Josephs, who represents the Philadelphia area, is retiring in a few days.

     http://www.wpxi.com/news/news/

  9. Quine–You’re idea’s interesting—It’s kind of like getting people to take a pledge NOT to say the pledge!!!!

    Doesn’t the act of saying ANY  “Pledge of Allegiance” by ANY MEMBER OF ANY NATION’S  CITIZENRY
    to ANY NATIONAL FLAG seem more and more like a hackneyed reminder of life on this planet during and before the last century???? I maintain that it’s becoming more and more an “UNGLOBAL ACT” every day,
    in a world where technology is bringing global inhabitants socioculturally together like never before.

    I once heard it said that any National Pledge of Allegiance really amounts to little more than a
    coffee break for kids.

    As long as humans exist on planet earth, colored pieces of cloth called “flags” will exist.

    Real progress is now quite obviously about what current and future technology will do to eventually   eliminate Global Citizenry’s  need for what inevitably will become the outmoded concept of “Nationhood”, and NOT about occupational reverence to what those little colored bits of cloth will  have once represented.   

  10.  
    godzillatemple
    Couldn’t she just omit the words “under God” when reciting it? People could blast her as an atheist, but at least she’d be showing proper respect to the flag.

    I agree.

    Well, the “under God” part of the pledge was added many years after the pledge itself was established.  If the pledge actually started out, “Oh God…” I’d say it was structured like a prayer, but it isn’t.

    I’m not a US citizen so I am not involved, but if I was I would be inclined to say the original version without the added “god bit” – and argue about it afterwards – stating that I had said the constitutional version.

  11. I’ll start working on it by writing to the U.S. vbloggers who have the high traffic sites and see if I can get any support. Others who read this should do the same. Some written bloggers might have some useful numbers of readers but usually not as much as the videos (I don’t expect many to see it at my blog).  If we can get a strong YouTube and Twitter thing going, it might go somewhere. 

    I agree in principle about the issues of the problems with nationalism, and the connection between patriotism and the emotional attachment to symbols. It is something we need to learn more about by listening to the anthropologists. Those issues have to be on the plate to consider as we construct norms without religion in the future. However, at this point I think it is very important not to take on the patriots while they are so connected to the religious. Instead, those of us in this country should indicate that we want very much to be patriotic, but the Pledge has been dishonored by turning it into a religious prayer (a fact). This action acts to weaken the connection between the patriots and the religious, which is a potential win on its own.

  12. She could have just mumbled the words. She could have said them not meaning them. But that is not her goal, to get past the hurdle. The state has no business forcing this Christian crap down people’s throats.  It is unconstitutional.  She is making a point.  If she prevails it will be a fulcrum to get rid of much worse government-imposed Christianity.

    She could win the right to avoid the oath, say a non-god one, or have the offending language from the oath for everyone removed

    It is a minor Rosa Parks moment.

    I watched a movie last night. I made be nauseous to the point my stomach was flipping threatening to throw up. It was called Cure for Love. It was about the Christan ex-gay movement twisting gays to suicide, marrying when they had no sexual attraction to females and feeling smug about it, and emitting an endless stream of cruel, meaningless religious drivel. It reminded me how much I hate Christianity and why I see it as the root of most evil in Canada and the USA.

  13.  

    Agarnier
    In this world money is god and apparently, in today’s economy, we can’t trust in money any more than we can trust in god.

    Having had finance run by politicians who worked on the basis of : -  “In God we trust” and “In bankers we trust” (having dismantled the safeguards which were put in place after the 1929 crash), we can now see the “benefits” of such strategies! 
    The voters, however still seem very slow to learn!

  14. That’s my point, I don’t think so. She would get the message through, but probably at the cost of handing over her seat to a Republican. This strategy works for me, she did her thing and was able to squeeze in this bit of defiance at the end. 

  15. It strikes me that it is a very paranoid polity that insists it’s legislators affirm that they are not traitors to the flag/(constitution). I believe that most other western democracies do not insist on such an incontinent display of “the last refuge of a scoundrel” and when I last looked they have not been overtaken by some sort of armageddon.

  16. I’m a relatively new (naturalized) citizen and an atheist.   I have mixed feelings about this issue.   The pledge was designed to be an affirmation of civic values that should shared by all Americans.   The addition of the phrase ‘under God’ has diminished the unifying power of the pledge, but I continue to recite it with pride.  I simply choose to omit the offending words.

    The requirement to recite the pledge is schools is more problematic.   I’m proud of my the accomplishments of my 8- and 5-year old girls, but they are certainly not mature enough to understand the complex ideas contained in the pledge.   Nevertheless, they have been required to recite it every day since they were 4-years old.    To them, the words are already stale and meaningless.

    We need to take a page from the religious playbook – reciting the pledge for the first time should be a rite of passage for a maturing citizen, in the style of a First Communion, preceded by a course of study in civics.  Under the current system, students stop reciting the pledge regularly just as they are becoming mature enough to understand it!

Leave a Reply