Pledge Protection Act in effect after vote
Published 6:31 am Monday, July 24, 2006
Last week, by a vote of 260-167, the House passed H.R. 2389, the Pledge Protection Act, which will protect the right of Americans to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
Every time I see the words, “In God We Trust” above the speaker's chair in the House chamber, I am reminded of the significance those words hold for our great nation.
From the unalienable rights that Thomas Jefferson penned in the Declaration of Independence to the money that is minted just blocks from the Capitol, our nation has and will continue to publicly recognize God's providence and guidance.
Unfortunately, the recognition of God, contained within the Pledge of Allegiance, has provided leverage for some courts to claim that reciting our Pledge is unconstitutional.
First written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy for the Boston magazine “The Youth's Companion,” the Pledge was printed on leaflets and sent to schools throughout the country. For decades, it has been a morning ritual in most schools throughout the country, and at the beginning of each daily session, we in Congress recite the Pledge to remind us of our devotion to this great country.
In 1954, Congress recognized the need to add the phrase “under God” to our Pledge of Allegiance. When President Eisenhower signed the bill into law on Flag Day (June 14, 1954), he said, “These words (‘under God') will remind Americans that despite our great physical strength we must remain humble. They will help us to keep constantly in our minds and hearts the spiritual and moral principles which alone give dignity to man, and upon which our way of life is founded.
For 46 years, the phrase “under God” was hailed by Americans and remained uncontested as both a patriotic oath and a public prayer. Yet in 2002, courts ruled these two words were unconstitutional for the Pledge of Allegiance to remain a part of American life.
Congress acted swiftly to reverse the damage caused by such a ruling and preserve the patriotic act of reciting the Pledge. In 2002, both houses of Congress overwhelmingly supported resolutions rebuking the court and upholding the Pledge of Allegiance; however, Congress failed to invoke our authority to prevent activist courts from destroying the American institution that is the Pledge of Allegiance.
So, the House acted last week to protect America