They’re back. All rested-up and ready to enact critical new laws and measures — Michigan legislators are raring to get down to the important business of the people.
Republican Senators opened the session with a vital piece of business with Senate Resolution 108 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the words “under God” being added to the Pledge of Allegiance, and to urge the U.S. Congress to forever keep the words “as a testament to the founding ideals that led our country to prosperity”.
Here’s the one-page text of the resolution (in blue), replete with all the “whereases, herebys and resolveds”. Below that, Democracy Tree has added a few suggested edits (in green).
A resolution celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the words “under God” added to the Pledge of Allegiance and urging Congress to forever keep the words “under God” preserved in our Pledge of Allegiance as a testament to the founding ideals that led our country to prosperity.
Whereas, The United States of America will be celebrating the 60th Anniversary of adding the words “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance; and
Whereas, The joint resolution was introduced by Michigan natives, Congressman Charles Oakman (R-17th) and U.S. Senator Homer Ferguson (R) before being signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on June 14, 1954 (Flag Day); and
Whereas, Reverend George M. Docherty, pastor of New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, delivered the historic sermon on February 7, 1954, before President Eisenhower in Washington, D.C., suggesting the words “under God” be added to the pledge. Congressman Oakman introduced his legislation the following day; and
Whereas, These words were first recited within the Pledge of Allegiance by the Knights of
Columbus in 1951 at the opening of each of their meetings; and
Whereas, Michigan Congressman Louis Charles Rabaut (D-14th) submitted a resolution on April 20, 1953, to amend the Pledge of Allegiance with the words “under God.” He was the first of many to introduce such similar legislation before it became law in 1954; and
Whereas, President Abraham Lincoln first said the phrase “nation, under God,” in the
Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery:
“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us–that
from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they
gave the last full measure of devotion–that we here highly resolve that these dead
shall not have died in vain–that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of
freedom–and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not
perish from the earth.”
Whereas, When the future of the United States was threatened by communism, we reminded our citizens and the world that our country would prosper because of our nation’s fundamental belief in God. President Eisenhower addressed this foundation during his statement at the signing of the amended Pledge of Allegiance:
“From this day forward, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in
every city and town, every village and rural school house, the dedication of our nation
and our people to the Almighty. To anyone who truly loves America, nothing could
be more inspiring than to contemplate this rededication of our youth, on each school
morning, to our country’s true meaning…In this somber setting, this law and its
effects today have profound meaning. In this way we are reaffirming the
transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall
; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate, That we hereby officially recognize and celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the words “under God” added to the Pledge of Allegiance and urge Congress to forever keep these words preserved in our Pledge of Allegiance. We honor the Michigan members of Congress who put forth the legislation that instilled the importance of these words in our great nation; and be it further
Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the members of the Michigan
Whereas, the sponsors of this Senate Resolution are all Republicans; and
Whereas, the authors of this resolution deemed it necessary to include the political affiliation of the above cited historical figures so as to demonstrate that they actually found a Democrat who, in 1954, supported the terminology “under God”; and
Whereas, The Pledge of Allegiance was authored in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, a Socialist, as a sales promotion for the children’s magazine The Youth’s Companion to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the “discovery” of America by Christopher Columbus; and
Whereas, the owner of the children’s magazine, James B. Upham, successfully lobbied Congress, the President and the Department of Education to make his publication “an official program for use in all schools”; and
Whereas, Bellamy was an Baptist Minister, cousin to renowned Utopian Socialist author Edward Bellamy, and in spite of his ministry, he specifically chose not to inject religion in the pledge; and
Whereas, the original pledge was only 22 words in length, meant to be recited in under 15 seconds, written as follows:
I pledge allegiance to the Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate, that we respect the intention and spirit in which the Pledge of Allegiance was conceived, and we urge Congress to honor the 122nd anniversary of the first public school recital by, on Columbus Day of this year, October 13, 2014, returning the pledge to its original form and function.
Blessed be the lawmakers. Welcome Back!
Updated at 6:45 pm 1-8-14: It seems the Senators are not alone — they will be joined by the Michigan House Republicans with a similar resolution. Read more here. Glad they’re all working together — fiddling while Rome burns.