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Congressional Time Management

Andrew Sullivan notes the Christianist organization Concerned Women for America's backing of a proposed law to ensure the words "under God" remain in the Pledge of Allegiance:

Concerned Women for America's (CWA's) Director of Government Relations Lanier Swann will join other conservative leaders in speaking at a press conference tomorrow in support of Sen. Jon Kyle's (R-Arizona) and Rep. Todd Akin's (R-Missouri) Pledge Protection Act. This legislation would ensure the protection of the phrase "under God" in the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance. The press conference will be held on Flag Day, which marks the day in 1777 when John Adams proposed the stars and stripes as the official United States flag.

Swann said, "As Americans commemorate Flag Day, it is also appropriate to remember the importance of keeping God in our Pledge. CWA strongly supports the mention of God in our nation's oath in keeping with our constitutional freedoms. We are free from an established religion and free to worship as we choose. Our country's founding fathers were men of faith who intentionally included the phrase 'under God' in an oath that serves as a symbol of loyalty and patriotism to our great country.

Sullivan goes on to document how the CWA's version of history is staggeringly inaccurate (the Pledge was written in 1892 and the words "under God" added in 1954).

I'm of two minds about this. Part of me thinks that Congress is so spectacularly inept that if they want to occupy themselves with debating gay marriage, flag burning, and the Pledge of Allegiance, let them. Their amendments won't pass (I hope), and a new law on the Pledge will have little or no effect. And meanwhile, they're not off making even stupider laws. But in the end, I can't help but think that surely there must be something more worthwhile on which Congress can spend its time than this sort of claptrap. And I can't help but think of how pathetic this is. With all the problems in the world, the Republicans are convinced that if they can show their concern over the grave threat to society posed by gays marrying, flags being burned (which hasn't happened in how long again?), and leaving God out of the Pledge of Allegiance, they'll energize their base of supporters to help them win the elections this Fall. It's as simple as that. And the only thing more pathetic would be if it were to work.


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