Democrat lawmaker Babette Josephs (D-Philadelphia) was asked to lead the House committee in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. She refused.
Her reasoning? The words ‘under God’ were inserted into the Pledge, making it a prayer in her eyes – and she doesn’t pray in public.
Of course, this is Philadelphia, where the liberals are willing to compare a Mitt Romney t-shirt to a KKK sheet, but are unwilling to utter the phrase ‘under God’ in public.
Politicians are often criticized for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time that’s taken the wrong way. But state Representative Babette Josephs (D-Philadelphia) is being criticized for what she refused to say.
The drama unfolded at what was billed as a non-controversial House State Government Committee meeting Wednesday morning. Republican Chairman Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler) asked Josephs to lead the group in the Pledge of Allegiance; a rather routine request that became anything but when Josephs refused.
“Based on my First Amendment rights and based on the fact that I really think it’s a prayer. I don’t pray in public,” she said as lawmakers were standing to recite the Pledge.
After an awkward moment, Metcalfe quickly called on another member to lead the group.
Afterward, Josephs was unapologetic. She said she was about 14 years old when Congress inserted the words ‘under God’ into the Pledge. She insists that makes it a prayer.
“How many years ago was 1954? I have not said the Pledge of Allegiance since and I will not say it into the future unless they take those words out and make it less of a prayer,” Josephs said.
Metcalfe concedes it is Josephs’ right to not say the Pledge. He just thinks it’s wrong.
Metcalf later added, “I’m glad she’s retiring.”
Some hope for our future, but expect the ACLU to file a lawsuit any minute now.
About a year ago, Hannah VanWie was watching a segment on the news about the Vietnam War and talking with her grandmother.
Her grandmother told her about some of the criticism aimed at troops coming back from war.
The topic evolved into patriotism.
“I told my nanny we don’t even say the pledge in the morning at school,” Hannah said.
The 16-year-old Clarksville resident and Bethlehem Central High School student said she wanted to do something about bringing back the Pledge of Allegiance. But she wasn’t sure what, so her grandmother suggested starting a petition.
So Hannah typed up her petition, and hundreds of other students joined her efforts.
A few weeks later, more than 400 of Hannah’s classmates had signed the petition. She sat down with the school’s principal during the spring semester, and school officials agreed to reinstate the daily recitation in September.
Why was the practice of reciting the Pledge abandoned in the first place?
Hannah said Principal Charles Abba told her the reason the practice was discontinued at the high school had something to do with the phrase “one nation under God” in the pledge.
Nice work Hannah!
Photo: Times Union