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McCollum taking fire over omitting ‘under God’ in 2002 Pledge of Allegiance

WASHINGTON — An eight-year-old video of Rep. Betty McCollum omitting the words “under God” while reciting the Pledge of Allegiance went viral today, injecting a last-minute firestorm into what had so far been a fairly quiet 4th District race.

The year was 2002, and McCollum was leading the House of Reporesentatives in the pledge. From the video, she appears to pause between the words “one nation” and “indivisible”.

Yet apart from a brief stir at the time, the issue had largely died down, even after a local blogger found the clip and republished it in July. On Monday however, another blogger picked it up, crediting the original and saying it was “obvious” that McCollum “intentionally omitted the words ‘under God’ from the Pledge of Allegiance.” A day later, prominent conservative blogger Ed Morrissey posted it on Hot Air and conservative news site World Net Daily followed with its own story hours later. And that’s about when my RSS feed blew up.

GOP challenger Teresa Collett quickly released a statement this morning blasting McCollum for the omission.

“Our founding fathers clearly recognized that our most basic rights come from our Creator. The Pledge of Allegiance merely continues to recognize this fact. Minnesotans in the 4th district deeply respect our heritage of Judeo-Christian values, and it is troubling to think that their Congressional representative does not.”

Staffers said McCollum’s office has been inundated with outraged phone calls and e-mails today, and they responded with a statement on her website.

“Congresswoman Betty McCollum honors and respects the Pledge of Allegiance and believes the United States is one Nation under God,” the statement read. It was an inadvertent slip, her spokeswoman Maria Reppas told MinnPost, pointing to three videos of McCollum leading the pledge after this 2002 incident. They’re linked to here; in each one she clearly says the pledge with the words “under God.”

McCollum’s office also reported several profanity-laced phone calls and at least one profanity-laced death-threat letter — containing disturbing imagery and rhetoric — so far today, following the re-emergence of the video.

“Conservatives are using an eight year old video clip to incite hate, racism, and intolerance among Tea Party Republicans,” the statement from McCollum’s office continued. “This right-wing effort to call into question Congresswoman McCollum’s Christian faith, her belief in God, and her patriotism is blatantly anti-American and all too similar to the extremists who earlier this year mailed a soiled American flag to her Congressional office and threatened the Congresswoman with violence. Congresswoman McCollum rejects this radical agenda and condemns the extremist tactics behind this poisonous political exploitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.”

Some historical context

The words “under God” were not a part of the original pledge, it should be noted, but were inserted by act of Congress in 1954. Some who backed it at the time said they wanted to set America apart from “godless communists.”

The phrase has been challenged in court several times, most notably by San Francisco attorney and atheist Michael Newdow, who had a suit dismissed by the Supreme Court on a technicality — for lacking standing to file it. After re-filing his suit with new petitioners, the case made its way to the 9th Circuit Court, which in March ruled 2-1 that the phrase could stay.

Writing for the majority, Judge Carlos Bea said the pledge “serves to unite our vast nation through the proud recitation of some of the ideals upon which our Republic was founded” and that the words “under God” constitute “a recognition of our founders’ political philosophy that a power greater than the government gives the people their inalienable rights.

In dissent, Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote that “under no sound legal analysis adhering to binding Supreme Court precedent could this court uphold state-directed, teacher-led, daily recitation of the ‘under God’ version of the Pledge of Allegiance by children in public schools.”

Comments (55)

  1. Submitted by James Hamilton on 10/26/2010 - 04:03 pm.

    I haven’t been able to say the pledge in good conscience for years, ever since I stopped believing in god or that liberty and justice are available to all in this country.

  2. Submitted by Paul Scott on 10/26/2010 - 04:06 pm.

    I think they should throw her in the lake, and if she doesn’t drown, they will know that she is a witch.

  3. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 10/26/2010 - 04:11 pm.

    This is old news. There is a tweeter – MadVoterInMN – who has been verbigeratively tweeting about this for at least two months.

    Given that the DFL/GOP ratio in CD4 is 2/1 and that there are two loonies running against McCollum to split the vote, this kind of juvenile stuff – an eight year old video – is absolutely to be expected.

    If anyone is tempted to vote for McCollum, I’d suggest looking into the background and qualifications of the other two candidates. One is out of the mainstream of Minnesotans on social issues (Collet) and the other is a self-described independent and tea party candidate (Carlson). I guess when a seat is as well nailed down as McCollum’s it is hard to get good candidates.

    But I wouldn’t call this crackpot video campaign a last minute development. It is hateful and has been around for quite some time now. I hope that MadVoterInMN is being paid by the tweet. Should be a millionaire by now.

  4. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 10/26/2010 - 04:31 pm.

    Just think if Juan Williams was caught acting like Betty – he would still be employed at NPR.

  5. Submitted by Rosalind Kohls on 10/26/2010 - 04:40 pm.

    It does appear McCollum deliberately left out the words “under God,” and it’s not a slip. It is odd, though, that if she couldn’t say “under God” in good conscience, why didn’t she just decline to lead the pledge?
    On the other hand, she almost mispronounces the word “allegiance.” I wonder if she had a slight case of stage fright at the time.

  6. Submitted by Stephan Flister on 10/26/2010 - 04:59 pm.

    I heard she once took two steps forward even though it wasn’t a “Simon says”. It was a while ago though, probably doesn’t count.

  7. Submitted by Henk Tobias on 10/26/2010 - 05:13 pm.

    Wow Ron, I hope you didn’t pull anything making that stretch.

  8. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/26/2010 - 05:13 pm.

    I don’t really believe that Betty(!) hates God, or America; I sincerely don’t think she’s smart enough to have an opinion either way.

    She was merely aping the leftist cause du jour of 8 years ago.

    Some might remember that at the time, hatin’ on the pledge and the flag was all the rage among McCollum’s ilk; get it out of the schools; out of the public hospitals; off police and fire vehicles…Betty(!) was merely doing what she always does; grab the belt-loop in front of her and follow.

    This won’t hurt her re-election, heck most of the 4th CD was right on board with the anti-flag/pledge campaign. I will say, however, that I think her shaming in the larger public stage is long overdue.

    I just wish she was bright enough to realize she’s being ridiculed…fat chance, I know.

  9. Submitted by Hénock Gugsa on 10/26/2010 - 06:05 pm.

    Is it alright to speculate if there was thunder and lightening inside the Congress’ chamber when Ms. McCollum slipped up lo those eight years ago?

    Does Ms. McCollum have to do a public mea culpa now? And will it serve any purpose?

    Are there any other crimes she has committed that have been overlooked for a long time?!

  10. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 10/26/2010 - 07:57 pm.

    Apparently Mr. Swift is setting himself up to decide who is smart and who is not.

    Consider the source.

    “Her shaming in the larger public stage is long overdue.”

    Did you drink too much of the milk of human kindness with your cheerios this morning, Tom?

    If Mrs. McCollum is such a weak candidate why is it that the opposition has but up not one by TWO loonies in opposition to her? One is an admitted tea drinker. The other is an anti-choice lawyer who likes drink stronger than tea.

    People who live in glass houses should not throw God’s name around.

  11. Submitted by Alec Timmerman on 10/26/2010 - 08:19 pm.

    Beieving in the 1st amendment is not “hatin’ on the pledge”. I realize the only amendment you care about is the 2nd, and probably have not even read the constitution, but it guarantees free speech, even as repugnant as yours. People who believe in the constitution were against a flag burning ban because we believed in the things our fore-fathers died for, like the first amendment.

    Our forefathers also believed in a wall of separation between church and state. John Adams once wrote in a treaty that we were in no way founded on Christian principles. It got unanimous consent from the Senate, many of them founders.

    Most of us on the left believe in the rule of law Swiftee. We know you don’t, but some day we just hope you will actually read the constitution before you try and speak about it. Oh yeah, I think the founders knew what the founders meant a little more than you.

  12. Submitted by Kenneth Johnson on 10/26/2010 - 09:22 pm.

    If the issue wasn’t news eight years ago, then it can hardly qualify as news today.

  13. Submitted by Mike Kluznik on 10/26/2010 - 09:42 pm.

    OMG. The reason Betty turned her head during the pledge of allegiance was because somewhere during the pledge, she realized that her back was facing the flag. At that point, she turned and faced the flag. Ever since then, rules in House of Reps have explained how to lead the pledge.
    The right-wingers somehow got hold of Betty’s video.

  14. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 10/26/2010 - 11:26 pm.

    A bit of history: The Pledge was written in 1892 by a self-avowed, Christian Socialist Baptist Minister named Francis Bellamy (Baptists have changed a bit over the past 120 years). He was attempting to express the ideals of the American version of Utopian Socialism. The original has no reference to God.

    The Pledge went through a few edits over the intervening years. Among those edits was the last, in 1954, during the red scare brought about by red baiting demagogue Joe McCarthy and his “House Un-American Activities Committee.”

    This was the addition of the words “under God” largely pushed by the Catholic Knights of Columbus as a reaction to those Godless, atheistic Communists.

    Of course it would be nice if those who are so upset about the omission of the words “under God” would take the God they claim they are seeking to serve a bit more seriously. The ninth: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor,” comes to mind, especially in the way this is being used to try to gain political advantage far beyond its actual significance.

    Of course if we took the tenth seriously, “you shall not covet… anything that belongs to your neighbor,” (your neighbor’s elective office for instance?), our entire consumer economy, not to mention the entire advertising industry and the media it supports would likely collapse, especially if we add that little rule from the Levitical Code which prohibits collecting interest on money you lend to someone else.

  15. Submitted by karl karlson on 10/26/2010 - 11:58 pm.

    yadha yadha yadha ..and so on

  16. Submitted by Kathy Coulter on 10/27/2010 - 07:30 am.

    Well, Ken Johnson, you are so right about all the many interesting things that Democrats do, that for a VERY long time, didn’t qualify as “news” with the illustrious old-time main-stream media. So, Rupert Murdoch had to create “Fox News” and now we’re all much more up to speed on the embarrassing and arrogant peccadilloes of your party. It’s been fun. We look forward to much more.

    And Greg, really!…this Congressional seat “belongs” to Rep. McCollum?

  17. Submitted by JoAnn Evans on 10/27/2010 - 08:31 am.

    Betty is a divorced Catholic… . I wonder what the Pope would say to Betty?

  18. Submitted by Joe Schweigert on 10/27/2010 - 08:46 am.

    soiled flag? ewwwwww gross.

  19. Submitted by JoAnn Evans on 10/27/2010 - 08:53 am.


    Maybe it is old news that Betty didn’t say Under GOD in the pledge. It is news now. I hope they play it everyday till election day. It is time we put God first and not Betty!

  20. Submitted by Joe Schweigert on 10/27/2010 - 08:58 am.

    wait, we can vote for god in this race? where’s his campaign ads?

  21. Submitted by Beryl John-Knudson on 10/27/2010 - 09:01 am.

    We were all in our faces with bright shiny places, pre-1954; second graders pledging away with no God in the allegiance back then.

    No hand in the air either (over the heart alternative) back when….was it Roosevelt that exchanged that still earlier body language because it looked too much like Hitler’s youth?

    I rattle off the pledge in my mind this stormy morning, and realize, I have no “god’ in my version either.

    Political…actually no; just a time warp and I like it that way. God has never been a nationalist partisan in my way of thinking. Others may think otherwise…

    We are starting another time here in this land of 1000 lakes and how many lousy campaign ads…where fear and hate is the hallmark and rises like the essence of burning garbage from some ancient, unorthodox landfill.

    Faces like thumbs (Minnesota Gothic?) have wrinkled like prunes; the curse, it could be, by so many hate gods?

    I do wonder which of the many gods are we pledging our allegiance to..war gods, money gods, power gods?

    What god is before us when we pledge? Good suggestion maybe, to check this fellow out carefully before we weld ourselves and him to the state…even ‘HE’ may not like it also,eh?

  22. Submitted by JoAnn Evans on 10/27/2010 - 09:13 am.

    Joe what a loser you are… come on..maybe you need God in your life too.

  23. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/27/2010 - 09:22 am.

    “OMG. The reason Betty turned her head during the pledge of allegiance was because somewhere during the pledge, she realized that her back was facing the flag.”

    It’s an understatement to say I’m not impressed with Betty(!)’s intellectual gifts, but even I give her credit for brains enough to know where she is. Sheesh.

    JoAnn, considering the fact that McCollum unabashedly supports infanticide; somehow I don’t think she cares much what the Pope might have to say about her marital status.

    Alec, article 11 of the Treaty of Tripoli assures that the United States does not subscribe to a Christian sharia law. Anyone who knows anything of American history (which, I aver probably leaves out many recent public school graduates) would immediately realize it in no way denies the principal faith of the nation.

  24. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 10/27/2010 - 09:32 am.

    Old news, new news – it really should be no news at all. Ms. McCollum’s religious expression, or the lack thereof, ought to be no one’s business but her own, and as Mr. Kapphahn has pointed out above, there’s nothing especially sacred about either The Pledge or its most recent modification.

    Those who wonder what it might be like to live with “Christian Conservatives” in charge have been provided with a fair example by this incident, specifically including name-calling, threats and “soiled flags.” Theocracy is ugly in form and application, and it eats its own. Fanatical “Christians” behave just as malevolently as fanatical Muslims, Jews, or fanatics in any other religion. Many thousands of pious and gentle people have been ruined, tortured and/or put to death over the centuries by theocrats, convinced of their own righteousness, imposing their particular view of “God’s truth” on others. Religious fundamentalists are not tolerant people, as both history and the news illustrate with depressing regularity.

    The Founders – having either had direct experience with, or being close observers of, religion-based hatred – purposely tried to minimize the role of religion in both society and public office. Both the First Amendment’s “Establishment clause” and the final clause of Article VI of the Constitution itself suggest that distrust of religion was among their guiding principles.

  25. Submitted by JoAnn Evans on 10/27/2010 - 09:44 am.

    Joe, Sounds like you need to have God in your life too Smarty pants.

  26. Submitted by Dan Hintz on 10/27/2010 - 09:47 am.

    JoAnn, is #19 a serious comment or are you being sarcastic? I honestly can’t tell.

  27. Submitted by r batnes on 10/27/2010 - 09:51 am.

    Kathy Coulter says:

    “So, Rupert Murdoch had to create “Fox News” ”

    I’m not surprised that you would fail to see the irony in that statement.

  28. Submitted by Tucker Wayan on 10/27/2010 - 09:52 am.

    Two things:

    1. Betty’s office said that bringing this up incites racism. Racism? How does this incite racism? Did her office just rattle out as many ‘powder keg’ type words to appear to have a strong reaction to this?

    2. She obviously did omit the words. Why are they covering it up? If Betty wanted to make a statement at the time by leaving out the words, so be it, but be brave enough to admit that she did that. Honesty is much more convincing to me than a paper thin excuse.

  29. Submitted by Joe Schweigert on 10/27/2010 - 11:24 am.

    Sorry, a bit testy in the mornings!

    It just makes me a little upset when people’s rationality and ability to govern are judged by a mere suspicion that they don’t believe that “under god” should be in the pledge.

  30. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 10/27/2010 - 11:52 am.

    From the Gospel According to Kathy:

    “And on the seventh day, Rupert Murdoch created Fox News.”

    And the Gospel According to JoAnn:

    “Hey loser, maybe you need God in your life?”

    “You need to have God in your life, too, Mr. Smartypants.”

    MinnPost: A thoughtful approach to news.

    Most of the time.

  31. Submitted by Hénock Gugsa on 10/27/2010 - 12:29 pm.

    @# 28 – “She obviously did omit the words….but be brave enough to admit that ….”
    First, may I respectfully suggest that there is nothing obvious about this. In this day and age, there is technology out there to produce what you may think is “obvious.” I would rather say that “it appears” rather than “it is obvious.”

    Second, even if an admission is made, what would you demand of Ms. McCollum? A pound of flesh?! Like Shylock, would you be crying, “[She] hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million, laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies ….”?

  32. Submitted by Grace McGarvie on 10/27/2010 - 01:04 pm.

    Some good, thoughtful quotes on this subject:
    The American flag stands for the fact that cloth can be very important. It is against the law to let the flag touch the ground or to leave the flag flying when the weather is bad. The flag has to be treated with respect. You can tell just how important this cloth is because when you compare it to people, it gets much better treatment. Nobody cares if a homeless person touches the ground. A homeless person can lie all over the ground all night long without anyone picking him up, folding him neatly and sheltering him from the rain. School children have to pledge loyalty to this piece of cloth every morning. No one has to pledge loyalty to justice and equality and human decency. No one has to promise that people will get a fair wage, or enough food to eat, or affordable medicine, or clean water, or air free of harmful chemicals. But we all have to promise to love a rectangle of red, white, and blue cloth. Betsy Ross would be quite surprised to see how successful her creation has become. But Thomas Jefferson would be disappointed to see how little of the flag’s real meaning remains. Charlotte Aldebron

    The original pledge
    I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. (1892, he was a socialist and an atheist) Francis Bellamy

    It began as an intensive communing with salient points of our national history, from the Declaration of Independence onwards; with the makings of the Constitution . . . with the meaning of the Civil War; with the aspiration of the people . . . The true reason for allegiance to the Flag is the ‘republic for which it stands.’ . . . And what does that vast thing, the Republic mean? It is the concise political word for the Nation – the One Nation which the Civil War was fought to prove. To make that One Nation idea clear, we must specify that it is indivisible, as Webster and Lincoln used to repeat in their great speeches. And its future? Just here arose the temptation of the historic slogan of the French Revolution which meant so much to Jefferson and his friends, ‘Liberty, equality, fraternity.’ No, that would be too fanciful, too many thousands of years off in realization. But we as a nation do stand square on the doctrine of liberty and justice for all. (the thoughts that went through his mind in August, 1892, as he picked the words of his Pledge) Francis Bellamy

    I have a great respect for the flag, (but) if the government . . . passed a law saying that I had to pledge allegiance to the flag, I don’t think I would do it. I’ve always felt that I lived in a country . . . where if I wanted to worship God as a Baptist I could do so. If I were an atheist, I could be one. If I wanted to be a Catholic but was born a Jew, there’s no condemnation . . . from a government authority. James Earl “Jimmy” Carter, Jr.

  33. Submitted by Kathy Coulter on 10/27/2010 - 01:10 pm.

    ron barnes…can you give me some compelling evidence that Fox News makes it up, as you folks so often like to insinuate?

  34. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/27/2010 - 01:55 pm.

    “MinnPost: A thoughtful approach to news.

    Most of the time.”

    Evidently Mr. Gleason considers himself equipped to detect a thoughtful approach for others.

    I must disagree, although it’s true I’m not familiar with his social circle.

  35. Submitted by Hénock Gugsa on 10/27/2010 - 02:09 pm.

    @# 33- ” …some compelling evidence that Fox News makes it up …”
    There may not be concrete evidence that they make it up, but they have been known to play fast and loose with the truth.

    Recent examples … frequent showing of wrong video footage to back up their stories, and the lax news research as in the Shirley Sherrod fiasco.

    I am sure no news organization can claim the mantle of Truth. But Fox News has the hubris to claim it is the anointed one.

  36. Submitted by Steve Carlson on 10/27/2010 - 02:37 pm.

    Here’s the reality, Derek. You are a McCollum supporter and have been very quiet. If you were a real journalist you would have covered at least one of the lively debates involving myself, Betty McCollum and Teresa Collett. For instance I brought up on MPR’s Midday that McCollum’s failure to correctly recite the Pledge of Allegiance while leading the Congress in it, is a lack of oratorical skill. No “orator” would go with a single whacko California district court decision without even allowing the appellate court to look at it.

    Your friend Betty doesn’t say she relied on the district court, she CLAIMS she forgot it. But look in her eyes on the video. Do you see forgetfulness there? Or waiting for the others to say it and then rejoining them after the omission? So this implicates her basic honesty, she is dishonestly claiming she forgot. She was a schoolteacher too, wasn’t she? Don’t we usually expect that the teachers know the Pledge of Allegiance?

    Are you crazy? Get real. It should go viral and I hope it prompts people to look at

  37. Submitted by Grace McGarvie on 10/27/2010 - 03:20 pm.

    to the evidence that Faux Gnus (Fox news) lies:

    From Media Matters:

    “More recently, Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade made the clearly false claim – twice – that “all terrorists” are Muslim. Following outrage over his remarks, Bill Shine, Fox News’ senior vice president of looking the other way, said Kilmeade would “clarify” his comments and claimed that Kilmeade actually meant to say that “all terrorists” involved in the 9-11 attacks were Muslim. Of course, this explanation was completely bogus, as Kilmeade referenced non-9-11 targets when he made the same comment on his Fox News Radio program later that day.

    This wasn’t the first time Kilmeade has gotten in trouble for remarks on race and religion. Kilmeade issued an apology over his remark that “we keep marrying other species and other ethnics and … the Swedes have pure genes, because they marry other Swedes.” Kilmeade has also repeatedly made inflammatory remarks about Islam and Muslims.

    Additionally, Kilmeade’s Fox & Friends program was forced to retract the false assertion that Obama “was educated in a madrassa” – one part of the web of internet conspiracy theories claiming Obama is a secret Muslim with a fake birth certificate. In May 2008, Fox & Friends was forced to issue an apology after it repeated as fact an online parody news report of a school prank that included fabricated quotes.

    And during a July 2008 show, Fox & Friends altered photos of New York Times reporters they disliked — the journalists’ teeth had been yellowed, their facial features exaggerated, and one journalist’s hair was moved further back on his head.

    The fallout? The hosts of Fox & Friends, Kilmeade included, are still standing. In response to the Times incident, Fox News’ vice president of shrugging, John Moody, reportedly “said the incident will not result in any official standards adjustments.” Why? “Moody told the assembled press that the morning program is ‘an entertainment show that does some news.'”

  38. Submitted by Fred Haeusler on 10/27/2010 - 03:25 pm.

    Really? This is the issue that riles up the masses, that gets everyone’s gander? Really? With all the significant issues out there, from banks to wall street to those struggling without jobs, this is the “that’s all I can stand and I can’t stand no more” moment? This is a non-issue of Biblical proportions.

  39. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 10/27/2010 - 03:45 pm.

    I’m not the only one to point out the thoughtlessness of JoAnne and Kathy, Mr. Swift.

    And you know this.

    But that’s just your MO, as pointed out elsewhere.

    If you ever want anyone to take you seriously, you are going to have to do a lot better job than you have been doing lately. Insults don’t really get you very far in the persuasion department.

    Perhaps you would have better success at the Pioneer-Planet? The commenters there are more your style.

  40. Submitted by Jim M McGowan on 10/27/2010 - 05:20 pm.

    I recited the Pledge without “under god” all the way through high school, and not once did God, or any of Her minions strike me down. When some pious fundamentalist politician decided in ’54 that those words were necessary to survive the communist hoard, I threw it in, thinking “big deal.” So far it hasn’t affected my loyalty or my faith one way or another.

  41. Submitted by Kathy Coulter on 10/27/2010 - 05:58 pm.

    I don’t believe I’ve ever heard that claim from Fox News but perhaps I missed it. Please send verifying link.

    “Thoughtless”? In what way? I believe the unwarranted characterizations…such as this…are on YOUR part….

  42. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 10/27/2010 - 07:33 pm.

    “Joe, Sounds like you need to have God in your life too Smarty pants.”

    Ms. Coulter – this is what you said.

    And yes, I consider it to be thoughtless. I haven’t heard the phrase, Mr. Smarty pants, since third grade. Perhaps you need to grow up, just a little?

    Maybe Joe doesn’t feel a NEED to have God in his life? That is his own business and none of yours.

    Such comments are, indeed, thoughtless and actually rude.

  43. Submitted by Hénock Gugsa on 10/27/2010 - 08:03 pm.

    Ms. Coulter:

    If you’ll pardon a little lecture, I’m sure you have heard of the term, “allegory,” … it is a kind of a literary technique one uses to drive a point across. Now, one does not take allegories literally and question or dismiss the reality of what they attempt to symbolize. Allegories are used in satires to point out human foibles of irony, inconsistency, hypocrisy, and in extreme situations lies.

    My use of the term, “anointed one”, is an allegory. Literally, I was trying to point to the constant claim by Fox News that they are “Fair and Balanced.” Now, obviously, it is for others to judge whether or not that title is deserved. But Fox News, to their shame, have even been known to attempt to trade mark this moniker.

    You ask for proof … here’s one:

    Perhaps others can also pitch in; but then, we will be veering further and further away from the original topic of this post.

  44. Submitted by NIcole Masika on 10/27/2010 - 09:02 pm.

    I wish she had done it on purpose. I leave those 2 words out, this is not a theocracy and they should never have been added

  45. Submitted by Steve Carlson on 10/27/2010 - 10:44 pm.

    Does anyone think there is a way this nation will continue for say, 100 years, to be one nation, except under God. Didn’t Washington himself say we could never have become independent of Britain without the Christian God? I’ll give you some more history. Under the Christian God supported a “king” in England, there was no King of England, there were many smaller kings with limited tenure.

    It’s not about you personally, it’s a matter of the history and foundations of this country. And it was the same in Europe.

    I don’t hear anyone buying McCollum’s line that she “forgot”. By the way I have had the video posted at my website, too, ever since I saw it.

  46. Submitted by Steve Carlson on 10/27/2010 - 10:48 pm.

    Well, Hamilton, and there very definitely CANNOT be liberty and justice for all without being under God. The popes have been saying that for centuries now. And they’re right.

    Look at our families disintegrating, all the lost generations of aborted kids while so-called “liberated” women and their free sex socially re-engineer America so they can have credit cards until the nation goes bankrupt. That is not liberty and justice for all, they know it, and that’s probably why they can’t stand to hear the Pledge of Allegiance. And of course, you have divorce and what have you, a great deal for the legal profession. I do believe in liberty, but you can’t take it for granted, and you must understand where it comes from.

  47. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 10/27/2010 - 11:55 pm.

    “To the evidence that Faux Gnus (Fox news) lies:

    From Media Matters:”


  48. Submitted by r batnes on 10/28/2010 - 12:15 am.

    Kathy, I think the quote from Dorothy Sayers that was printed in Monday’s Star Tribune, sums up what a lot of us on the left find troubling about Fox News.

    “The heaviest restriction upon the freedom of public opinion is not the official censorship of the press, but the unofficial censorship by a press which exists not so much to express opinion as to manufacture it.”

  49. Submitted by Beryl John-Knudson on 10/28/2010 - 08:51 am.

    In reading “America Votes, the World Waits” by Kotsev on ‘Asia Times Online’ this morning, reference is made to the controversial “loyalty oath” now demanded of all Israeli citizens, Jew and Palestinian living within the questionable boundaries Israel has established.

    So can’t help relating that to the controversy here…and the wee possibility of the far right demanding such strict adherence; the ultra conservatives who just may succeed in taking over congress if the polls’ predictions hold?

    Worst case scenario, yes…but can one assume, a Republican congress could next, be following Israel in their demands (we follow them a lot lately)…demanding loyalty-without-question; such as loyalty to all the misdeeds actuated in our past foreign policies and present extensions of same…the Bush/Cheney doctrine that still clings; even now, as we can’t seem to end all its empirical exploitations?

    If conservative fundamentalists rule congress, be it god or foreign policy, will they soon be asking for a pledge that demands such an oath to preempt the right to vote?

    No way? But isn’t it a question worth wondering about as we head down one scary path.

    It’s tricks or treats time folks at the voting booth this time around…

  50. Submitted by Steve Carlson on 10/28/2010 - 10:26 am.

    I’m sorry to hear that Betty has received such threats. That is something that should never be done.

    I disagree with dropping “under God” from the Pledge, and don’t understand why a politician would do that. But threats on her or efforts to intimidate her actually run contrary to the faith many of us have. These are hard times for the country, and I think I could greatly improve on the leadership she is providing or I wouldn’t run against her, she’s getting this country in trouble.

    I continue to pray for the future of this country. We should not, must not impose any religion on Americans, but we should recognize how blessed we are and how necessary it is for each of us as individual Americans to follow our faith and our conscience as we make these critical decisions.

  51. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 10/28/2010 - 04:55 pm.

    One of the things about MinnPost that I love is that people have to post under their own names.

    So Steve Carlson, are you not a candidate for the McCollum seat along with Ms Collett? And also, are you not a tea party pledger who plans to run for president in the next election?

    “I disagree with dropping “under God” from the Pledge, and don’t understand why a politician would do that.”

    Really? Let us suppose, hypothetically, that the politician in question did not believe in God? Would that be an acceptable reason, in your opinion? What, exactly, is the penalty for omitting “under God” from the pledge. Is this a hanging offense? Should it be?

    And further we read:

    “Well, Hamilton, and there very definitely CANNOT be liberty and justice for all without being under God. The popes have been saying that for centuries now. And they’re right.”

    Oh, really? I’m afraid that most sane people will disagree with you on this. The popes? Excuse me, but Martin Luther and a lot of other folks didn’t exactly go along with the Popes… It was called the Reformation. You could look it up.

    I don’t even know where to start, but perhaps separation of church and state would be a good place to start… Or are you of the O’Donnell persuasion?

    I expect to see that Betty clobbers both you and Ms. Collett in the next week. At least Professor Collet has a job at St. Thomas Law School to return to.

  52. Submitted by Steve Carlson on 10/28/2010 - 09:09 pm.

    Okay, Bill Gleason, why do you think people should vote for Betty ahead of me? Have you seen any of the debates? For instance, do you agree with Betty that “Al-Quaeda no longer poses a threat” and so we should withdraw from Afghanistan? Do think ObamaCare is a “wonderful bill”? Do you have any substantive reasons, or is it just because I think “under God” should be in the Pledge? I wish McCollum and the Democrats had the integrity to debate this truthfully in the campaign as an issue, but of course they don’t.

    While Luther did not agree with the Catholic Church, it is also a fact that there is an established church in several of the northern European countries, only they’re Lutheran. Does this really need to concern us?

    All I’m saying to you is that “under God” was put there because that is, in fact, how we became “one Nation” at our inception. It’s not a hanging offense to omit it, but it’s not great oratory either. But I for one would take it into account when I vote. Of course, she claims she accidentally omitted it. Why doesn’t she come right out like you and say people who listen to the Popes are crazy if that’s what she believes? If you’re saying I owe allegiance to some secularism of abortion and decadence, no, that does not command my allegiance, because I know my country.

    I plan to challenge Obama because I feel a duty to my country to show a way to take our country forward. I see the Republicans in the House plan to go back to business as usually, and throw Tea Party people under the bus. I have started a show “Where is Washington? Taking Our Country Back” on cable TV. I will lay out my reasons for opposing Obama’s action and for his being defeated in 2012.

  53. Submitted by JoAnn Evans on 10/29/2010 - 06:08 am.

    If Betty is a Catholic:
    Matthew 10:32-33 (New International Version)
    32″Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.
    Luke 12:8-9 (New International Version)
    8″I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God. 9But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God.

  54. Submitted by Cecil North on 10/29/2010 - 09:07 am.

    Thank you, Christian brothers and sisters, for telling us all (Christians included) how to live our faith. I have no doubt that your god (certainly not a Christian god) will reward you amply for casting the first stone.

  55. Submitted by Steve Carlson on 10/29/2010 - 09:17 pm.

    Sure you’re right, JoAnn Evans. Someone asked me what was the most powerful thing in the world when I was a student leader at the University. I answered “Love” and cited I Corinthians 13. Without “under God” Betty thinks and speaks as a tinkling cymbal or a sounding brass.

    We must turn this country to God, and the Pledge is wonderful with that phrase in it. Without it, Betty lacks oratorial skills.

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