Video: Congresswoman omits “under God” on House floor while leading Pledge of Allegiance

posted at 1:15 pm on October 25, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Aaaaaand it’s not just any Congresswoman, but Minnesota’s own Betty McCollum, who’s defending the seat against a strong challenge from Republican Teresa Collett in the 4th CD this year.  Normally, I’d let this slide, but in this case McCollum wanted to lead the chamber in saying the Pledge of Allegiance. If she objects to the “under God” portion of the pledge, then why volunteer for the job? But this is from quite a while ago as well:

This took place on April 17, 2002, according to C-SPAN’s archives, which makes it fair game but not as trenchant as if it had occurred in this session of Congress. A voter in McCollum’s district dug up the incident, thanks again to C-SPAN’s searchable library. I’m not sure I’ve heard of this being an issue in McCollum’s earlier races, but then again, she hasn’t found herself in a competitive race in any of her re-election campaigns. The closest race she had was a 58-33 squeaker over Patrice Bataglia in 2004.

It’s up on the front page of Fox Nation today, so obviously some people think this is a big deal. Do you agree? Take the poll:


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

Einstein said,”atheists are enslaved by the chains of their own minds.” While he didn’t believe in a personal God, he felt that those who placed their existence above all powers in nature were not worthy of the unlimited possibilities the world presents. Not saying “Under God” is forgivable, but to lie about it reinforces what Einstein was trying to say.

volsense on October 25, 2010 at 4:44 PM

I’ve read that the author of the original version of the Pledge (that didn’t include ‘under God’) was a Christian Socialist. Do you know if there’s any truth to that?

DarkCurrent on October 25, 2010 at 3:03 PM

Yes, Bellamy was 13 miles of bad road, just like his cousin.

DrSteve on October 25, 2010 at 4:45 PM

The way the pledge is worded makes it easy to stand on ceremony and pretend it doesn’t exclude a significant percentage of the population. If he thinks the words mean absolutely nothing — they almost do thanks to elementary school principals everywhere — then, sure, I can understand him standing on ceremony and asking everybody to just get through the whole thing. If he thinks the words don’t mean anything, then I take it all back. I’m assuming he doesn’t, though.

RightOFLeft on October 25, 2010 at 3:24 PM

I’m not sure how it excludes anyone considering, as I’ve already said, the large number of non theists who are completely fine with it and are more annoyed by those who would try to remove the words. Clearly those people don’t feel excluded and have found meaning for the words that don’t include automatically making them Christians.

It’s not a hill I’d die on, either way, but I think you’re really over reacting to Ed here.

Esthier on October 25, 2010 at 4:46 PM

those who placed their existence above all powers in nature

How does it follow logically that atheists do this? Just because a person doesn’t believe in God doesn’t mean they don’t know the universe can squash them like a bug.

DrSteve on October 25, 2010 at 4:47 PM

Time to fire another Democrat…

MINNESOTA: DO YOUR DUTY!! You STILL owe us for Al Franken (big time)…

Khun Joe on October 25, 2010 at 4:47 PM

How?

Count to 10 on October 25, 2010 at 3:30 PM

The “Under God” quote showed acceptance that many people of faith live in the US, and that our rights are not derived from our government. It contrasts with the murderous communists who have no respect for God or man.

theCork on October 25, 2010 at 4:47 PM

So what does godless & proud + ‘R’ equal?

MadisonConservative on October 25, 2010 at 2:27 PM

godless + proud + ‘R’ = MadisonConservative?

tom on October 25, 2010 at 4:49 PM

She’ll get hers when she’s dead….

theaddora on October 25, 2010 at 4:51 PM

Yes.

theCork on October 25, 2010 at 4:42 PM

Relying on what his granddaughter says she thinks his reaction would have been? That’s pretty thin.

But bottom line, the Pledge was originally written by a socialist who rejected Christianity a year before he wrote it. Is that right?

DarkCurrent on October 25, 2010 at 4:52 PM

What would your response be if someone insisted that you to mix an affirmation that “Santa Clause exists and hands out presents on the night of December 24″ every time you wanted to make an official interaction with the government?

Count to 10 on October 25, 2010 at 4:18 PM

Can you truly imagine anyone getting up in arms over it?

Esthier on October 25, 2010 at 4:53 PM

I’m not sure how it excludes anyone considering, as I’ve already said, the large number of non theists who are completely fine with it and are more annoyed by those who would try to remove the words.

Maybe a conservative website doesn’t offer the most representative sample of atheist opinion.

RightOFLeft on October 25, 2010 at 4:55 PM

godless + proud + ‘R’ = MadisonConservative?

tom on October 25, 2010 at 4:49 PM

That would be an ‘I’, sir. I’ll vote for the conservative, and they may not be the Republican.

MadisonConservative on October 25, 2010 at 4:56 PM

Sorry…I guess I missed the part where you became the arbiter of what is relevant.

Dopenstrange on October 25, 2010 at 4:41 PM

I can’t have an opinion on what’s relevant to my argument (which you said yourself you didn’t even read)?

RightOFLeft on October 25, 2010 at 4:57 PM

Einstein said,”atheists are enslaved by the chains of their own minds.”

Strange thing for Einstein (an atheist) to have said. Interesting how a search for that phrase only turns up a comment made by you, on this site. Also interesting to me how you seem to value the opinion of an eminent scientist on the concept of gods. 93% of eminent scientists in the United States are atheistic. You’re fishing in the wrong pond for people to support your position.

Mark Jaquith on October 25, 2010 at 4:58 PM

How does it follow logically that atheists do this? Just because a person doesn’t believe in God doesn’t mean they don’t know the universe can squash them like a bug.

DrSteve on October 25, 2010 at 4:47 PM

If so, why wouldn’t those atheists just assume that “God” in this case is the big thing that can squash them? I’d assume that’s a definition many use.

Esthier on October 25, 2010 at 5:00 PM

volsense on October 25, 2010 at 4:44 PM

This is the Einstein quote which I believe you’re referring to:

“The fanatical atheists are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who–in their grudge against traditional religion as the ‘opium of the masses’– cannot hear the music of the spheres.”

It’s certainly not complimentary to atheists, but it means something quite different from your paraphrasing of the quote.

RightOFLeft on October 25, 2010 at 5:04 PM

Mark Jaquith on October 25, 2010 at 4:58 PM

Survey: 1 in 3 Scientists Believe in God

That figure is strikingly lower than the proportion of the general American public that say they believe in God (83 percent), according to the report by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

However, a Christian biochemist after examining the report said the comparably small number of scientists who believe in God is nothing to be alarmed over.

Dr. Fazale Rana, vice president of research and apologetics at Reasons to Believe ministry, said the percentage of American scientists who believe in God has remained constant for more than three-quarters of a century.

kingsjester on October 25, 2010 at 5:06 PM

But bottom line, the Pledge was originally written by a socialist who rejected Christianity a year before he wrote it. Is that right?

DarkCurrent on October 25, 2010 at 4:52 PM

Wrong. I didn’t write that. I didn’t think that. He was religious to the day he died as far as I know. For much of his life he was also was a racist, a eugenecist and a supporter of National Socialism (Nazism). I can prove that easily, as can you with some easy searches.

theCork on October 25, 2010 at 5:06 PM

Del Dolemonte on October 25, 2010 at 4:20 PM

So if someone decides not to lead a group in the pledge of allegiance, then they should be punished for their insolence by having it recited at them. But if someone decides to compromise and recite it in a form that they can say in good conscience — and they even pause to let everyone else say it their way — they’re still being disrespectful. We can’t win. Nothing short of a public religious declaration makes you people happy.

RightOFLeft on October 25, 2010 at 4:31 PM

LOL, read my post again. And as Dopen says,

Sorry…I guess I missed the part where you became the arbiter of what is relevant.

Dopenstrange on October 25, 2010 at 4:41 PM

Del Dolemonte on October 25, 2010 at 5:07 PM

Maybe a conservative website doesn’t offer the most representative sample of atheist opinion.

RightOFLeft on October 25, 2010 at 4:55 PM

Because atheists are generally liberal? Maybe. The atheists here are generally more of the live and let live type than the more vocal atheists.

But it does still prove that the words themselves don’t necessarily exclude atheists.

Esthier on October 25, 2010 at 5:08 PM

Strange thing for Einstein (an atheist) to have said.

Mark Jaquith on October 25, 2010 at 4:58 PM

That’s debatable. He didn’t appear to believe in a personal god or a specific dogma, but there’s still plenty of evidence that he believed in a more generic and less interested god.

I believe in Spinoza’s God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings.
-Albert Einstein

Esthier on October 25, 2010 at 5:12 PM

For much of his life he was also was a racist, a eugenecist and a supporter of National Socialism (Nazism). I can prove that easily, as can you with some easy searches.

theCork on October 25, 2010 at 5:06 PM

Ok, so the Pledge of Allegiance was originally written by a Nazi supporter.

Is that what you’re saying?

DarkCurrent on October 25, 2010 at 5:12 PM

If so, why wouldn’t those atheists just assume that “God” in this case is the big thing that can squash them? I’d assume that’s a definition many use.

Esthier on October 25, 2010 at 5:00 PM

Maybe it’s funny to hear it from an economist like me, but I don’t go out of my way to make assumptions about anything… And that’s a mighty big assumption.

Here’s my point. I’m an agnostic, I know plenty of atheists, and none of us has elevated himself or herself to Godhood, or made our egos the Prime Mover in some way or another.

DrSteve on October 25, 2010 at 5:13 PM

Ok, so the Pledge of Allegiance was originally written by a Nazi supporter.

Is that what you’re saying?

DarkCurrent on October 25, 2010 at 5:12 PM

I’d certainly go so far as to say it was written by someone you really wouldn’t want running a country, who believed in war-footing economic regimentation and significant curtailments in what we consider very basic economic freedoms, with a major dose of economic nationalism, motivated by religious belief. I break out in hives just thinking about it. Don’t you?

DrSteve on October 25, 2010 at 5:16 PM

Because atheists are generally liberal? Maybe. The atheists here are generally more of the live and let live type than the more vocal atheists.

But it does still prove that the words themselves don’t necessarily exclude atheists.

Esthier on October 25, 2010 at 5:08 PM

The pledge (is oath too strong a word?) requires an atheist to profess something that by definition he doesn’t believe. It’s probably true that many atheists (or Christians, for that matter) don’t mind having to recite some jumble of words that barely mean anything to anyone anymore, but in that case I have to wonder why removing the words should matter anyway.

As a matter of demographics, I think most atheists identify as liberal. As a matter of political philosophy, many conservatives find atheism intolerable (e.g., see Ann Coulter’s Godless). I like it here. I appreciate that one of the bloggers here is an atheist. I find it comfortable and enjoy reading even the perspectives that make my blood boil a little. I don’t see it being a real popular hangout for atheists because of the two factors I mentioned, though.

RightOFLeft on October 25, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Seems like being needlessly provocative.
Since the fifth grade, I just say the pledge as it was originally intended: without the “under God”.

Count to 10 on October 25, 2010 at 4:20 PM

I think you misunderstood me. I said that I do the same as you, except when pushed.

MJBrutus on October 25, 2010 at 5:19 PM

And that’s a mighty big assumption.

I don’t agree, simply because the god isn’t named in the pledge. If the author had wanted to pick one, he could have inserted Jesus’ name instead. As it is, there’s no reason all who believe a higher power exists can’t admit that as Americans, we live under that power.

Here’s my point. I’m an agnostic, I know plenty of atheists, and none of us has elevated himself or herself to Godhood, or made our egos the Prime Mover in some way or another.

DrSteve on October 25, 2010 at 5:13 PM

So why object to the statement that you’re under a Prime Mover?

Esthier on October 25, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Mark Jaquith on October 25, 2010 at 4:58 PM

IIRC, Einstein was something like a pantheist. From what I’ve read of him speaking directly about his religion, he seemed to have doubts himself about what he truly believed. There’s not a whole lot of difference between pantheism, agnosticism, and atheism, but the little distinctions matter I guess.

RightOFLeft on October 25, 2010 at 5:22 PM

The pledge (is oath too strong a word?) requires an atheist to profess something that by definition he doesn’t believe.

Except it doesn’t do any such thing. It doesn’t require anyone to believe in God, just state that this is a nation ‘under God’ which is true.

It’s probably true that many atheists (or Christians, for that matter) don’t mind having to recite some jumble of words that barely mean anything to anyone anymore, but in that case I have to wonder why removing the words should matter anyway.

RightOFLeft on October 25, 2010 at 5:19 PM

The words do mean a great deal, and If they are as meaningless as you claim then why are you so upset about it?

sharrukin on October 25, 2010 at 5:26 PM

So why object to the statement that you’re under a Prime Mover?

Esthier on October 25, 2010 at 5:19 PM

I would think for an atheist the problem would be that they don’t believe in one. My objections lie elsewhere, as noted.

DrSteve on October 25, 2010 at 5:27 PM

The pledge (is oath too strong a word?) requires an atheist to profess something that by definition he doesn’t believe.

Doesn’t make it any less true. I’m sure many believe that while Bush was president we no longer had “justice for all,” but it would still seem a bit ridiculous to push for it to be removed from the pledge.

And if you believe in anything higher than yourself, I don’t see why you shouldn’t be able to say the words honestly.

As a matter of demographics, I think most atheists identify as liberal. As a matter of political philosophy, many conservatives find atheism intolerable.

RightOFLeft on October 25, 2010 at 5:19 PM

To be fair, the same is true of many atheists in regards to Christianity. And it’s the believers who have continued to lose ground in our government, not the atheists.

We’re citizens of a country whose Declaration includes a reference to our Creator. Acknowledging that the country is under said Creator from whom our rights come, seems wholly in keeping with their standards. Even as an atheist, this seems like a beneficial thing as it is acknowledgment from our government that they cannot remove from us what was given from above them.

Esthier on October 25, 2010 at 5:29 PM

Except it doesn’t do any such thing. It doesn’t require anyone to believe in God, just state that this is a nation ‘under God’ which is true.

It’s not true to a person who doesn’t believe in God.

DrSteve on October 25, 2010 at 5:30 PM

It’s not true to a person who doesn’t believe in God.

DrSteve on October 25, 2010 at 5:30 PM

The truth isn’t relative the way you’re suggesting. Christians largely don’t believe in evolution, but their disbelief doesn’t make the theory false, and Christians are forced to put their own feelings on the subject behind them and fall in line at school.

Esthier on October 25, 2010 at 5:33 PM

If this was an isolated incident, then it wouldn’t be a big deal. But since MSNBC and Obama have taken to leaving “our Creator” out of the Declaration of Independence, to me it seems to be a trend that may signify something.

I’d love to hear the devout Nancy Pelosi’s opinion on this.

hawksruleva on October 25, 2010 at 5:40 PM

It’s not true to a person who doesn’t believe in God.

DrSteve on October 25, 2010 at 5:30 PM

Well I don’t believe in God and strikes me as true. The US is a Republic under God and was designed that way. I don’t have a problem with it.

We hold these truths to be self-evident,

They are not self evident. Let’s remove that phrase.

that all men are created equal,

Well obviously all men are not created, so lets remove that too. They obviously aren’t equal either in the physical sense, mental, or indeed any sense. Out it goes!

that they are endowed by their Creator

Obviously that’s gotta go!

with certain unalienable Rights,

Unalienable in what sense might I ask? This is very questionable!

that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Sounds like we are going to have to gut the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence.

sharrukin on October 25, 2010 at 5:41 PM

This goes back to a fundamental question about our rights. If they did not derive from God, then where did they come from?

And if they’re just made up, how can they be universal?

hawksruleva on October 25, 2010 at 5:42 PM

The US is a Republic under God and was designed that way.

sharrukin on October 25, 2010 at 5:41 PM

I think this is a key point. The Republic itself was designed to be under God, allowing that man’s rights come from a Creator rather than from a politician or a king. There’s nothing dishonest about acknowledging that in a pledge as an atheist.

It’s the Republic itself that has set itself under God. If our Declaration had stated that our rights came from Santa, not believing in Santa wouldn’t make the statement that the nation is under Santa any less true.

Esthier on October 25, 2010 at 5:48 PM

And if they’re just made up, how can they be universal?

hawksruleva on October 25, 2010 at 5:42 PM

The same way gravity is universal – acknowledge it or not, it’s there.

(/devil’s advocate)

Dark-Star on October 25, 2010 at 5:48 PM

Except it doesn’t do any such thing. It doesn’t require anyone to believe in God, just state that this is a nation ‘under God’ which is true.

If there’s no God for the nation to be under, than it can’t be true.

The words do mean a great deal, and If they are as meaningless as you claim then why are you so upset about it?

I don’t claim they’re meaningless. My whole argument is based on looking at what the words mean. I’m just saying that’s how other people must see it — including you, apparently — to think that it isn’t a strong profession of belief in God.

RightOFLeft on October 25, 2010 at 5:50 PM

Sounds like we are going to have to gut the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence.

sharrukin on October 25, 2010 at 5:41 PM

God is endowing men, not the government. In Europe rights flowed from God through the government to the people. The American Revolution changed the arrangement.

dedalus on October 25, 2010 at 5:51 PM

This goes back to a fundamental question about our rights. If they did not derive from God, then where did they come from?

And if they’re just made up, how can they be universal?

hawksruleva on October 25, 2010 at 5:42 PM

Our rights are what we declared them to be and then fought to obtain for ourselves. As much as I revere Jefferson,
his truths are not self-evident. Consider that for over 1700 years those truths were undiscovered by Christian theologians. It was not until Jefferson claimed them for us that they became in any sense evident.

The DoI was our claim to rights and equal standing that set us apart from the Christian monarchy against whom we rebelled.

MJBrutus on October 25, 2010 at 5:53 PM

MJBrutus on October 25, 2010 at 5:53 PM

Well put.

DarkCurrent on October 25, 2010 at 6:04 PM

If there’s no God for the nation to be under, than it can’t be true.

RightOFLeft on October 25, 2010 at 5:50 PM

But there is, so it can be.

Esthier on October 25, 2010 at 6:08 PM

If there’s no God for the nation to be under, than it can’t be true.

RightOFLeft on October 25, 2010 at 5:50 PM

You want to show us your re-write of the Bill of Rights, Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence?

This is the problem with what you want. It ends with atheism being the dominant political thought in those documents and having seen the bloody results of that sort of government, I don’t wanna!

sharrukin on October 25, 2010 at 6:12 PM

The Pledge was modified to have its modern phrasing with “under God” in the same year (1954) that McCollum was born. As a person born a couple of years earlier than her, I’ve never heard the Pledge recited with any alternate wording, such as the one McCollum used. For McCollum to do so is a statement of her own principles and beliefs, and her constituents will judge her via their own measure, which may or may not include the missing words “under God”.

I’m betting more rulers will be “under God” than not. Doesn’t look like I’d make much off the bet, given the attached unofficial poll in which 89% find the omission bothersome. The sample might be skewed to the right, given the audience here, but I’m betting this one resonates similarly with her own electorate.

unclesmrgol on October 25, 2010 at 6:18 PM

Ok, so the Pledge of Allegiance was originally written by a Nazi supporter.

Is that what you’re saying?

DarkCurrent on October 25, 2010 at 5:12 PM

The Bellamy brothers were the original source of National Socialist thought. NAZI-ism was the German wing. They preceded NAZI-ism. The filter keeps eating my links.

theCork on October 25, 2010 at 6:22 PM

I’ll try just one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellamy_salute

theCork on October 25, 2010 at 6:24 PM

sharrukin on October 25, 2010 at 6:12 PM

I would say the only the DoI would need rework if one were to try to make it consistent with our governing principles. Remember, the DoI was not written to be our basis of law. Rather it was a statement of principle and justification for our rebellion from the Christian monarch. When it came down to actually structuring our own form of government over a decade later, our founders wisely chose to erect a a wall of separation between church and state (and yes, the concept is embodied in our 1st Amendment even though that specific phrasing is not present).

MJBrutus on October 25, 2010 at 6:28 PM

If there’s no God for the nation to be under, than it can’t be true.

RightOFLeft on October 25, 2010 at 5:50 PM

Well then there is no schools, or certainly higher education, no hospitals…it would be pretty bleak without that which you won’t acknowledge, but you certainly have enjoyed the fruits of the faithful.
You’re welcome…but like most beggars you won’t acknowledge what has been graciously given to you.

right2bright on October 25, 2010 at 6:30 PM

The truth isn’t relative the way you’re suggesting.
Esthier on October 25, 2010 at 5:33 PM

Whether it’s true or not is beside the point. If that were the issue, I’d have an even better reason to omit “under God” because there’s no way you can possibly prove that god had anything to do with our nation’s government (for the simple reason that god didn’t).

Do you think that maybe my beliefs are important to me, and that I might get a little nervous that, out of all the possible beliefs, only mine are currently officially discouraged by the government?

I would think this wouldn’t even progress to a political argument, that just out of common courtesy people would say, “well, I disagree, but it doesn’t hurt me and people are entitled to their beliefs, after all.” If you’re offended that someone else doesn’t profess your beliefs in their capacity as a public official, why should I trust that your party will will respect the first amendment?

I’m starting to get anxious. about what kind of treatment I can expect from the government after conservatives take over, probably in 2012. American history has more than its share of Christians using the government as an instrument for evangelism. Are you guys looking to go back to the old days of sending the military after heretics (that’s happened before, to the Mormons), taking kids from families to be raised in Christian orphanages (that’s happened, too, to the American Indians), barring atheists from holding state offices (that’s still on the books in at least one place), giving Christians preferential treatment in the justice system (still happens, but not as much), and worse to come?

Christians largely don’t believe in evolution, but their disbelief doesn’t make the theory false, and Christians are forced to put their own feelings on the subject behind them and fall in line at school.

No they’re not. They’re not required to get in front of the class and pledge allegiance to Darwin. They learn what scientists believe in science class. The horror.

RightOFLeft on October 25, 2010 at 6:33 PM

Consider that for over 1700 years those truths were undiscovered by Christian theologians. It was not until Jefferson claimed them for us that they became in any sense evident.

MJBrutus on October 25, 2010 at 5:53 PM

I think you misunderstand greatly what was discovered by Christian theologians and what was discovered by Jefferson.

Indeed, freedom of religious worship was first articulated on an international basis in the Treaty of Westphalia concluded in October 1648. Given that the treaty was less than 100 years old at the time of Jefferson, it’s not a stretch to assume that he would incorporate its provisions into his own ethos. Given the religious implications of the Treaty, I would expect that theologians on both sides of the Catholic/Lutheran divide had input into its statutes.

Indeed, Catholic theologians such as Francisco De Vitoria and Fransisco Suarez were instrumental in outlining the difference between ius intra gentes and ius inter gentes — how peoples should rule themselves versus how they should behave toward foreign nations. De Vitoria expounded upon the Just Warfare theology of Augustine through Aquinas.

This is a rather amusing piece:

Chapter 4 concludes by suggesting that liberalism, as a pseudoreligion, remains blind to its own capacity for violence – seen as rational, calculative, necessary – by contrasting it with religious violence – deemed passionate, irrational, exuberant.

C. shows that the Enlightenment myth about the wars of religion has not merely been articulated by extreme secularists or anti-Christians; moderates and even self-effacing Christians have largely adopted these arguments. Not only Sam Harris and Christopher Hitchens come under Cs fire, but also more moderate and even purportedly proreligious voices such as Scott Appleby and Martin Marty. When reading Cs argument, we recognize how profoundly mistaken Hans Kiing’s most noted dictum is: “no world peace without religious peace” (Global Responsibility [1993] 76). C. might lead his readers to conclude: there will be peace only when liberalism is honest about its origins, history, and inclination to violence.

unclesmrgol on October 25, 2010 at 6:39 PM

Here’s one of Bellamy’s speeches:

http://www.archive.org/details/PrinciplesAndPurposesOfNationalismEdwardBellamysAddressAtTremont

You can find more about Bellamy in the book “Liberal Fascism”.

Sorry about all the filter-clogging Allahpundit, I hadn’t looked closely enough, one of the links was from an objectionable source.

theCork on October 25, 2010 at 6:40 PM

Well then there is no schools, or certainly higher education, no hospitals…

They have all those things in non-Christian countries. You know why? Because god didn’t build them, people did.

RightOFLeft on October 25, 2010 at 6:42 PM

Will she volunteer to burn a burka?

SouthernGent on October 25, 2010 at 6:56 PM

http://www.c-spanarchives.org/program/169635-1

swimcoachmike on October 25, 2010 at 7:06 PM

I find it comfortable and enjoy reading even the perspectives that make my blood boil a little.

What about the perspectives that make you blood boil A LOT?

They have all those things in non-Christian countries. You know why? Because god didn’t build them, people did.

Most countries and cultures, Christian or non-Christian, have had a transcendent purpose which drove them to strive towards the future. The non-material life of a nation is not trivial – it might be the key aspect to a nation’s existence.

aengus on October 25, 2010 at 7:09 PM

It’s probably true that many atheists (or Christians, for that matter) don’t mind having to recite some jumble of words that barely mean anything to anyone anymore, but in that case I have to wonder why removing the words should matter anyway.

RightOFLeft on October 25, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Projection.

CWforFreedom on October 25, 2010 at 7:18 PM

The horror.

RightOFLeft on October 25, 2010 at 6:33 PM

You are an ass hole. I suspect you know that. Rant on idiot.

CWforFreedom on October 25, 2010 at 7:23 PM

I would think this wouldn’t even progress to a political argument, that just out of common courtesy people would say, “well, I disagree, but it doesn’t hurt me and people are entitled to their beliefs, after all.” If you’re offended that someone else doesn’t profess your beliefs in their capacity as a public official, why should I trust that your party will will respect the first amendment?

RightOFLeft on October 25, 2010 at 6:33 PM

Even as a born-again Christian, I don’t mind if a professing atheist refuses to say “under God”. I’m not thrilled, but they have a right to omit it.

Here’s the thing, though: doesn’t Betsy McCollum claim to be Roman Catholic? Why would a Catholic refuse to say “under God”? And if she’s pandering to secularist leftists…well, that’s incredibly cheap to sell your religious beliefs (or lack thereof) down the river for political gain, isn’t it?

Oh, and Ann Coulter’s “Godless” is NOT about atheism. Instead, it details how liberalism has become its own religion, complete with doctrine, rites and rituals, and heroes of the “faith”. Did you read it?

Grace_is_sufficient on October 25, 2010 at 7:26 PM

unclesmrgol on October 25, 2010 at 6:39 PM

I was going well beyond the freedom to worship. Jefferson declared the equality of all men and our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I’m sorry, but you will find nothing like that in the Peace of Westphalia, which was essentially about ending the fighting (unsuccessfully) between Catholics and Protestants. So unsuccessful, that it drove many to abandon Europe and make the terrifying journey to America! A lesson in religious involvement in government that our founders frequently referenced and sought to prevent here.

MJBrutus on October 25, 2010 at 7:35 PM

They have all those things in non-Christian countries. You know why? Because god didn’t build them, people did.

RightOFLeft on October 25, 2010 at 6:42 PM

You don’t know much about history…the schools in the other countries were also built by the faithful, as were the hospitals. And I see you have a problem with reading, I never stated “Christians”, I stated the faithful. Mormons, Jews, have greatly contributed to the education and health of our country…tell me the name of that hospital built by atheists? Tell me the home for abused run by atheists? You are a beggar…
Luther was the first to bring education to the public…it was never for the public until the bible was actually printed and distributed to the “common”.
Education was only for the chosen…until the bible was given to the people.
You should learn a little history before firing off your foolish posts.
Like I said, beggars never acknowledge where they receive their alms…they just have their hands out and expect them.

right2bright on October 25, 2010 at 9:06 PM

Calm down with all the atheist bashing.

I’m one and I’m offended at what she did. It’s not her right to take something like the pledge and fiddle with it to suit herself. If she felt she couldn’t mouth those words, then don’t volunteer to read it.

She did so not out of any love of country, but a narcism that comes with “watch how brave I’ll be in fighting convention.”

And even it you don’t believe in God, you can say the pledge, and when you do utter those words, you do so in a secular sense, a respect for the vast majority of your fellow countrymen who do believe in God.

I mean by saying them, who are you going to anger? Is thegreat Anti-God (not to be confused with that AntiChrist) going to smite you for saying something about someone that doesn’t exist?

No, it’s all about the ego and arrogance of leftists far more than the gardern variety atheist.

TiminPhx on October 25, 2010 at 9:19 PM

Forget arguments over the pledge: The bottom line is McCollum portrays herself as something she isn’t: Christian. She portrays herself as Catholic, and she’s not even Christian. Christians in general are very weary of being pandered to by pols who scorn their beliefs and hate them, who regard them as “bitter clingers”. Frankly, who wouldn’t resent that sort of duplicity?

theCork on October 25, 2010 at 9:33 PM

It’s probably true that many atheists (or Christians, for that matter) don’t mind having to recite some jumble of words that barely mean anything to anyone anymore… RightOFLeft on October 25, 2010 at 5:19 PM

Well, there you have it, folks. Move along. Nothing worth wasting your time on here.

And CW said it best…

Projection.

CWforFreedom on October 25, 2010 at 7:18 PM

RightOFLeft on October 25, 2010 at 6:33 PM
You are an ass hole. I suspect you know that. Rant on idiot.

CWforFreedom on October 25, 2010 at 7:23 PM

Dopenstrange on October 25, 2010 at 9:47 PM

Survey: 1 in 3 Scientists Believe in God

Note that I said “eminent scientists.” You’ll find that 7% is the correct number in that case. Yes, the number is higher for all scientists, although much lower than the general population.

there’s still plenty of evidence that he believed in a more generic and less interested god.

“Less interested” doesn’t capture it. He didn’t believe in a God who was an intelligence, or had any interest in human activities. He could be described as pantheistic. Nature = God. The difference between a pantheist and an atheist is fairly semantic. Einstein put it well:

From the viewpoint of a Jesuit priest I am, of course, and have always been an atheist.

That is, the distinction is for non-believers to make. Compared to theists, both positions are equally non-theistic.

Mark Jaquith on October 25, 2010 at 11:35 PM

The Pledge was modified to have its modern phrasing with “under God” in the same year (1954) that McCollum was born. As a person born a couple of years earlier than her, I’ve never heard the Pledge recited with any alternate wording, such as the one McCollum used.

I was born in 1961, and heard it recited both ways during my time in elementary school.

JFS61 on October 26, 2010 at 2:21 AM

Personally, I have no problem if an individual omits the “under God” in reciting the Pledge as a matter of conscience. They have every right to their own beliefs or lack thereof, and I respect it.

I do have a problem with someone pretending to be something they are not for political gain. No Catholic is going to have to think about “under God” in the Pledge.

Adjoran on October 26, 2010 at 6:45 AM

No Catholic is going to have to think about “under God” in the Pledge.

Adjoran on October 26, 2010 at 6:45 AM

Though Catholics look to a different government on matters of morals. Perhaps it is better for the Vatican to be under God and the congress to be under the Constitution.

dedalus on October 26, 2010 at 9:30 AM

Though Catholics look to a different government on matters of morals. Perhaps it is better for the Vatican to be under God and the congress to be under the Constitution.

dedalus on October 26, 2010 at 9:30 AM

That doesn’t address this:

I do have a problem with someone pretending to be something they are not for political gain.

Adjoran on October 26, 2010 at 6:45 AM

…Unless you’re OK with dishonesty.

theCork on October 26, 2010 at 9:40 AM

That doesn’t address this:

theCork on October 26, 2010 at 9:40 AM

That’s correct. I didn’t address that point. I don’t know anything about the congresswoman. She could very well be dishonest. Based on her chosen profession, it seems probable.

However, it would be consistent, perhaps necessary, to believe that the Pope was God’s representative on earth while the congress operated based on the “consent of the governed” not divine appointment.

dedalus on October 26, 2010 at 10:01 AM

Typical liberal/socialist/progressive/communist/democrat. Their god is government. Period.

abcurtis on October 26, 2010 at 10:44 AM

When we’re not under God, then we’ve gone under. I believe Reagan said that.

abcurtis on October 26, 2010 at 10:45 AM

I wonder if she would approve of this version of the Pledge: ‘I pledge aalegiance …… one nation, under Gaiia, Constitutionally divisible (I like this part, btw), with liberty and justice for everyone – except white men, especially Southern white men.’

JimP on October 26, 2010 at 2:08 PM

Einstein seems to have been conflicted as to whether or not he was really an atheist:

“There are the fanatical atheists whose intplerance is the same as that of the religious fanatics, and it springs from the same source…They are creatures who can’t ear the music of the spheres.”

“In the view of such harmony in the cosmos which I, with my limited human mind, am able to recognise, there are yet people who say there is no God. But what makes me reaslly angry is that they quote me for support of such views.”

What separates me from most so-called atheists is a feeling of utter humility toward the unattainable secrets of the harmony of the cosmos.”

“When the answer is simple, God is speaking.”

Source: The Expanded Quotable Einstein, Princeton University Press.

My favorite quote of his, which I’m unable to source, was in reply to someone marvelling at his amazing brain power:

“God made the dots…I just draw the lines that connect them.”

GGMac on October 26, 2010 at 3:47 PM

RightOFLeft, 6:42 PM, Oct. 25

You said: “They have all those things in non-Christian countries. You know why? Because god didn’t build them, people did.”

Not having read all the comments, I don’t know the context of yours – so please consider this as just an aside -

Most non-Christian countries that have schools, higher education, and hospitals have those facilities because of the dedication, over many centuries, of Christian missionaries. People built them – but they built them “…in God’s name”.

GGMac on October 26, 2010 at 4:05 PM

Check out that poll. AP has voted 377 times!

Laura in Maryland on October 26, 2010 at 5:56 PM

if ya gonna do it, keep with tradition. If she had/has a problem with that, why do it?

Greed on October 27, 2010 at 12:17 PM

if ya gonna do it, keep with tradition.

Greed on October 27, 2010 at 12:17 PM

There’s plenty of tradition that doesn’t involve those two words, which were basically added as “witch words”.

“One nation, ung…erg…ack…I…I can’t say it! Darn you evil capitalistic pigs!”

Dark-Star on October 27, 2010 at 12:41 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3