I was having dinner with my 82-year old mom last night and we got to talking politics. Tis the season, after all. I don't remember exactly how this came up, but I think it was in the context of the Republican apoplexy over Democrats dropping reference to God in their party platform and Romney pledging to keep the word God on our coins ('cause I guess that's a key element of his Jobs Program, or something). My mom said she remembered that as a young girl, the Pledge of Allegiance they recited everyday in school was simply, "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." No mention of God anywhere.
My mom my be old, but she's not senile, so I assumed her memory was accurate. Still I decided to Fact Check this morning (it's all the rage these days). A simple search of the tubes confirmed that the words "under God" weren't added to the Pledge until June, 1954 by a Joint Resolution of Congress.
But just as interesting, if not more so, was the Pledge of Allegiance was originally written back in 1892 by an avowed Christian Socialist who thought Capitalism was "idolatrous and rooted in greed". That's right, our nation's Pledge was written by a stinkin' Socialist. How's that for insidious? I don't suppose too many of our Republican friends know this, or I think we'd be seeing a mass epidemic of spontaneous cranial implosions on the streets by now.
Do you think we should tell them and enjoy the ensuing meltdown, or just smile with smug satisfaction every time we see a Republican reciting the Pledge?