The Fargo, North Dakota school board has put an end to the recitation of the pledge of allegiance prior to the body’s meetings over the words “under God,” which were deemed to comprise a “non-inclusionary act.”
“Given that the word ‘God’ in the text of the Pledge of Allegiance is capitalized,” board member Seth Holden said during a July 28 meeting, InForum reported. “The text is clearly referring to the Judeo-Christian god and therefore, it does not include any other face such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, all of which are practiced by our staff and students at FPS.”
On Tuesday, August 9, the board voted 7-2 to rescind a March motion which had put in place the practice of reciting the pledge at every board meeting.
Holden argued that doing so did not align with the board’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
The move was met with controversy in an era when patriotic practices are often being halted in the name of “diversity” and “inclusion,” a reasoning which many argue disgraces the collective purpose of our country in the first place.
“We are misinterpreting the Pledge of Allegiance,” said former school board member David Paulson, who proposed the original measure and voiced his support to the board on August 9. “The pledge isn’t a show of our patriotism, it’s an affirmation of our commitment and our loyalty to the greater cause, and that greater cause is freedom.”
Yet avoiding division seemed to be the primary motivation in the board’s decision to do away with the pledge, as explained by School Board President Dr. Tracie Newman.
“I’m just not sure that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is a useful way to begin every one of our board meetings,” she said of what she described as a “divisive” practice. “I would much prefer that we open our meetings with a shared statement of purpose that would bring us all together to do the work of the board.”
The Blaze noted that schools in Fargo are still allowed to recite the pledge.
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