Saturday, April 23, 2011

Socialist Roots of The Pledge of Allegiance


Is nothing sacred anymore?  Dirty socialists trying to corrupt all that is good in our Godly nation!  How could the Pledge of Allegiance possibly be socialist?  For goodness sake, it says "Under God" just like the Founding Fathers intended!
Ok, you asked for it!  First things first.  Let's take a look at the Pledge as it was originally written.  Conservatives talk a lot about the founder's intent when it comes to the Constitution, let's look at the original text and work from there.
"I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands:
one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all."
Simple, direct and to the point.  Who wrote this little pledge?  It was a man named Francis Bellamy in 1892.  Bellamy, a Baptist minister, was a Christian socialist and cousin to the famous utopian socialist Edward Bellamy.  It was published on September 8th as part of as part of the National Public School Celebration of Columbus Day. 1892 marked the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus's arrival in the Americas.

So what happened to Bellamy's simple, direct prose?  Well, the pledge was modified a couple of times until it settled again in 1924 with the following text:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands; one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all."
A bit longer, but still retains the core intent of the guy who wrote it.  But wait, the final modification is coming that will move the Pledge out of the realm of national allegiance and into the realm of Christian Fundamentalism and anti-Communism.

Under God? Really???
In 1948, citing the published text (though not, perhaps, in the original manuscript) of the Gettysburg Address, Louis A. Bowman suggested that the phrase "Under God" be added to the pledge.  Bowman was later recognized by the Daughters of the American Revolution (or, as Phil Ochs so aptly named them, The Dykes of the American Revolution) for his idea.

On February 7, 1954, Pastor George MacPherson Docherty, delivered a sermon, with President Eisenhower in attendance, based on the Gettysburg Address titled A New Birth of Freedom. He advocated adding the phrase "UNDER GOD" to the Pledge.  Here are excerpts from Docherty's original manuscript:

Invocation of Lincoln and the phrase "UNDER GOD"
Linking "UNDER GOD" to the Pledge
In June of 1954, by a joint resolution of Congress, the phrase "UNDER GOD" was added to the Pledge of Allegiance and Francis Bellamy's original, secular intent, was wiped off the map and we now have this:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
Personally, I prefer this version

You can order this shirt from the awesome guy who draws the always awesome Calamities of Nature comic strip.  I'm wearing mine right now!
STFU already!!!!

3 comments:

  1. Most. Hilariously unexpected picture at the end. xD

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  2. "...the Daughters of the American Revolution (or, as Phil Ochs so aptly named them, The Dykes of the American Revolution..."

    Aptly? Is there a more heterosexual organization than the Daughter of the American Revolution? I'm not certain whether the original aside by Ochs was just his own casual homophobia or a [too] subtle joke on the same by the liberals he's skewering...maybe you're doing something similar here?

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