Note from doug: As many of you have heard, in a 2-1 decision, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals of the United States said the phrase “one nation under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance amounts to a government endorsement of religion and is in violation of the separation of church and state as set forth by the U.S. Constitution. There has been wide spread public outcry to this ruling. Today, the United States Supreme Court is hearing this case. Therefore, I thought I would resend this piece by Red Skelton.
In 1969, Red Skelton gave his personal view of the Pledge of Allegiance. The statement he made at the end, I think, tells it all.
From THE RED SKELTON HOUR, CBS TV, January 14, 1969
COPYRIGHT 1969 RICHARD RED SKELTON
Red Skelton, one of America’s best loved Comedians and star of Motion Pictures, Radio and Television, was also a true Patriot. A man who loved his Country, its Flag and the Freedom America stood for. On January 14, 1969, Red touched the hearts of millions of Americans with his “Pledge Of Allegiance,” in which he explained the meaning of each and every word. Red’s “Pledge” was twice read into the Congressional Record of the United States and received numerous awards.
RED SKELTON: “I remember this one teacher. To me, he was the greatest teacher, a real sage of my time. He had such wisdom. We were all reciting the Pledge Of Allegiance and he walked over. Mr. Lasswell was his name…He said, ‘I’ve been listening to you boys and girls recite the Pledge Of Allegiance all semester and it seems as though it is becoming monotonous to you. If I may, may I recite it and try to explain to you the meaning of each word:
I – me, an individual, a committee of one.
Pledge – dedicate all my worldly goods to give without self-pity.
Allegiance – My love and my devotion.
To the Flag – our standard, Old Glory, a symbol of freedom. Wherever she waves, there is respect because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts freedom is everybody’s job.
Of the United – that means that we have all come together.
States – individual communities that have united into 48 great states. 48 individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose, all divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that’s love for country.
Of America. And to the Republic – a state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people and it’s from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.
For which is stands. One nation – meaning, so blessed by God.
Indivisible – incapable of being divided.
With Liberty – which is freedom and the right of power to live one’s own life without threats or fear or some sort of retaliation.
And Justice – The principle or quality of dealing fairly with others.
For all – which means it’s as much your country as it is mine.’
“Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country and two words have been added to the Pledge Of Allegiance – ‘under God.’ Wouldn’t it be a pity if someone said, ‘That’s a prayer’ and that would be eliminated from schools too?”
— Red Skelton