6/28/11 – FoxNews.com An Oregon town’s City Council voted down a proposal to say the Pledge of Allegiance before every council meeting, but later passed a compromise that seemed to make no one happy.
It was supposed to be simple, but Councilman Mike Clark soon found out when you’re dealing with God and country, nothing in Eugene is easy.
Clark says all he wanted to do was unite the council and show his more conservative constituents that in this city where diversity is celebrated, their more traditional values also are important.
“It’s a little ironic to see those who have championed the idea of tolerance be less tolerant on this question,” Clark Said. Mayor Kitty Piercy called the Pledge of Allegiance divisive. “If there’s one thing the flag stands for,” Piercy says, “it’s that people don’t have to be compelled to say the Pledge of Allegiance or anything else.”
Under Clark’s proposal, saying the pledge would be voluntary not only for the public at the meetings, but the council members themselves.
Councilman George Brown voted against the compromise, saying the Pledge of Allegiance had no place at City Hall. “People can say it in their front yard or backyard,” Brown says. “It really doesn’t help move the city business forward. It does not unite us.”
Another pledge opponent, Councilwoman Betty Taylor compared saying the Pledge of Allegiance to reading from “The Communist Manifesto.”
The Pledge of Allegiance was written by Francis Bellamy, a Baptist minister, in 1892. It quickly became part of the American fabric. School children said it each day with their hand placed over their hearts. The original pledge did not have the words “under God.”
At the request of the Knights of Columbus and other groups, Congress added one nation “under God” in 1954.