Thursday, April 29, 2004
AP Wire | 04/29/2004 | Pledge Omission Brings Rare Reprimand: " In an unusual public reprimand, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi chastised Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington on Thursday for omitting the words 'under God' while leading the House in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
'All House Democrats expect the Pledge of Allegiance to be delivered as it is written with the phrase 'under God' and with respect for the pledge,' said Pelosi, adding that she summoned McDermott to her office on Wednesday to express her displeasure privately.
It is unusual for the leader of a political party to publicly chastise a member of their own rank-and-file, but Pelosi spoke bluntly. 'What I am saying to you is, I completely disagree with that presentation. I have made my view and the view of the House Democrats known to Congressman McDermott, and I don't think you will ever see again a presentation on the floor that will exclude the words 'under God,' the California Democrat said.
Lawmakers take turns leading members of the House in the pledge at the beginning of each floor session, and Tuesday was McDermott's turn.
Several hours after he did so, Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, stood on the floor and accused McDermott of 'embarrassing the House and disparaging the majority of Americans who share the values expressed in the pledge.'
'He and those like him stand more for the liberal left than they do for our friends and neighbors,' Sessions said. McDermott, serving his eighth term from the Seattle area, has a solid liberal voting record.
McDermott's spokesman, Mike DeCesare, said the lawmaker had made a mistake. He said the 67-year-old congressman learned the pledge without the phrase 'under God."
The big argument against removing "under God" from the pledge is that nobody is being forced to say it; one can choose not to say the words "under God."
If a sitting US Congressman doesn't have freedom of speech enough to leave out those two words without being publically reprimanded, what choice does a child have?
This is disgusting. Pelosi must go.
posted by lazarus |