Letter to the Editor: Pledge’s ‘under God’ does not belong in government meetings

To the Editor,

Reciting the “Pledge of Allegiance” at School Committee meetings has been suggested.  Supporting the measure, Mayor Fuller was quoted, “People can always opt out, but in this time period, when democracy feels a little bit shakier than usual, reminding ourselves of our citizenship feels appropriate.”

I am a fully patriotic American citizen, and I can be “reminded of my citizenship” in ways that do not include religion. I oppose being expected to say a pledge that includes the extra phrase “under God”, added in 1954, in response to the paranoia about “communism” rampant at the time. Democracy indeed feels shakier to me when one of the most troubling aspects of today’s “shakiness” involves blurring the separation between religion and the state, and the proliferation of quasi-religious practices such as Louisiana’s new mandate to prominently post the 10 Commandments in all public schools. “Opting out” of saying those words is a false choice – one should never have to opt out of something that shouldn’t be in the pledge to begin with.

I oppose the School Committee (and other groups) beginning their meetings with the pledge.
Janice Darling

West Newton