Columbia City Council votes to recite pledge before each meeting

Monday, January 3, 2011 | 10:41 p.m. CST; updated 10:37 a.m. CST, Tuesday, January 4, 2011

COLUMBIA — The Pledge of Allegiance will be recited before each City Council meeting and work session. The council voted Monday to amend Chapter 2 of the city code to require the recitation of the pledge.

The motion, proposed by Fourth Ward Chairman Daryl Dudley, passed by a 5-2 vote after a brief discussion among the council.

Paul Sturtz, First Ward, and Barbara Hoppe, Sixth Ward, both opposed the amendment. 

"I think the pledge is a bit problematic," Sturtz said, speaking of the "under God" portion. "It's divisive. It puts people in an uncomfortable position at the beginning of our meeting."

Hoppe argued that reciting the pledge would be redundant because of council members' oath of office to serve the citizens. She used Abraham Lincoln as an example of someone who never recited the pledge, then quoted his Gettysburg Address pointing out that the council is "a government of the people, by the people, for the people."

The others on the council did not comment before voting. 

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Linda Dunne January 4, 2011 | 7:13 a.m.

My goodness, for the people who are against saying The Pledge of Allegiance because of the "under God" part, how did you all make it through your school years with having to hear it? Man the scarring must be so deep! (sarcasm). It was never a big deal til some sensitive kid from our day grew up and wanted to start picking things apart and then the rest of the sheep followed. America..home of the weak, land of the sheep.

(Report Comment)
Monty Harris January 4, 2011 | 7:33 a.m.

Mrs. Hoppe

The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy and modified four times since then. The words "under God" were added in 1954. Abraham Lincoln died in 1865. Why you invoked Abraham Lincoln in this argument makes me wonder. It is really sad to have elected officials acting this way.


(Report Comment)
Gregg Johnston January 4, 2011 | 7:34 a.m.

Good to know this is the most pressing issue facing Columbia

(Report Comment)
Kevin Gamble January 4, 2011 | 8:08 a.m.

Good grief, these are the people running our city? Thank goodness we're not paying them for nonsensical, empty gestures like this one.

The point isn't to question the inherent value of things like the pledge, rather to question the motives of someone doing something like this. My take is that after years of some council members being accused of being "activists", we turn over council membership and one of the first things that happens is a completely arbitrary forcing of a certain agenda onto the institution. Its smacks of opportunism, followed closely by dopiness.

Dudley and the other four who voted for this should turn their attention to actual issues facing the city - not duck from other controversies currently facing them by using patriotism as a cheap smokescreen. In that light, doing something like this cheapens both the council and the pledge.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith January 4, 2011 | 8:56 a.m.

I agree with Gregg Johnston. It's ritual for the National Anthem do be played (and sort of sung) at sports contests. Who gets upset when that happens? We are talking about rituals, not situations of earth-shattering importance.

See "ritual" in a dictionary.

(Report Comment)
Paul Allaire January 4, 2011 | 1:47 p.m.

"America..home of the weak, land of the sheep."

Not everyone is like you, Linda.

But for a minute I'll pretend to be the sheep. How does your desire to conform make you strong or intelligent?

(Report Comment)

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