Sunday, November 30, 2008

Insert Diety Here

February 7, 1954, Rep. Charles G. Oakman (R-MI) introduced a bill to add the phrase 'under God' to the Pledge of Allegiance - it was signed into law by Dwight Eisenhower on Flag Day that year.

The pastor who initiated the movement, Rev. George M. Docherty, was born in Glasgow and had not heard the pledge until his 7-year-old son recited it to him. His reaction, predictably, was that God wasn't in there at all.

In fact, the path of its creation twists round Christian Socialists, the KKK and Catholicism. This article detailing its history is well worth reading. Here's an excerpt:

In 1891, Upham had the idea of using the celebration of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' discovery of America to promote the use of the flag in the public schools. The same year, the magazine hired Daniel Ford's radical young friend, Baptist minister, Nationalist, and Christian Socialist leader, Francis Bellamy, to help Upham in his public relations work. Bellamy was the first cousin of the famous American socialist, Edward Bellamy. Edward Bellamy's futuristic novel, *Looking**Backward*, published in 1888, described a utopian Boston in the year 2000. The book spawned an elitist socialist movement in Boston known as
"Nationalism," whose members wanted the federal government to national most of the American economy. Francis Bellamy was a member of this movement and a vice president of its auxiliary group, the Society of Christian Socialists(2). He was a baptist minister and he lectured and preached on the virtues of socialism and the evils of capitalism. He gave a speech on "Jesus the Socialist" and a series of sermons on "The Socialism of the Primitive Church." In 1891, he was forced to resign from his Boston church, the Bethany Baptist church, because of his socialist activities. He then joined the staff of the *Youth's* *Companion*(3).
Golly gee Wally, imagine that. Our Pledge of Allegiance... penned by a Socialist. I would never have imagined.

Also, odd how Bellamy's book was oddly prophetic of our current economic situation.

(cups ear and listens for howls and tooth-gnashing)

3 comments:

Kaye Fissinger said...

There are probably as many definitions of "socialism" as there have been groups, and people, using the term. Did those who label themselves "conservative" expect that it would devolve into a movement towards "totalitarianism"? Attaching "neo" in front of term not only fails to define it's meaning, it conceals it.

Doogman said...

Precisley. It's why I have to admire the GOP for turning so many words into epithets - seems to be an art form for them.

R. Anthony Lee said...

I was in high school when the "under God" clause was added, and an atheist friend of mine, without making the slightest fuss or protest, simply took a deep breath during those words when the Pledge was recited in class.