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Letter: Do I see Pledge of Allegiance hypocrisy?

Wehler writes, "I am all for a blending of cultures, but too much has been made about the use of the word "God," whether capitalized or not."

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The Forum published two stories on the same day. One was to its website and the other was in its print edition. The former basically said that the Fargo School Board, by majority voting, put the kibosh on reciting the Pledge of Allegiance before its meetings. The latter was a story of seeming pride whereby new U.S. citizens recited the pledge around the time of a RedHawks game. In reading these stories, I felt a sense of disconnection.

In elementary school in the 1950s, all members of my class were expected to repeat the pledge and I think all 30 of us complied. No one ever complained, no sweat. It took only about 15 seconds to say. After all, we were all post-war children who had heard valiant stories from our parents and others about death, injury, destruction, and ultimate victory.

What are our new American citizens to think in hearing the news of pledge abolition in school? What are our military veterans — disabled and not disabled — to think about such a school board decision? And what do people from outside the U.S. think of us? Has a common recitation of intended unity been thrown out the window?

I am all for a blending of cultures, but too much has been made about the use of the word "God," whether capitalized or not. Personally, I am guided by the words written by retired (now deceased) Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong. "God is not a Christian, God is not a Jew, or a Muslim, or a Hindu, or a Buddhist. All of these are human systems which human beings have created to try to help us walk into the mystery of God." The word "God" seems to have been the big bugaboo in the school board decision.

For me, the Apostle's Creed is antiquated yet it is still said. Maybe the Pledge of Allegiance, though objectionable to some, could stand on a ground of tradition and be recited. Though some might not like the words, it could still be said as a means of intended unity and purpose.

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As a society, we often get too hung up on not putting square pegs in round holes in the so-called "politically correct" way. This seems to be one of the key causes of our divided and
schism-filled America.

For those uncomfortable in having the word "God" in the pledge, perhaps they could, in their own minds, say the words "with created purpose" rather than "under God." I am sure there are other word solutions pleasing to most people. It is time to focus on school board business at hand rather than dancing around picking at words.

Randall Wehler lives in Moorhead.

This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.

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