On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

Oregon city council votes against Pledge of Allegiance, wars in Afghanistan & Iraq

Councilman Mike Clark

The city council in Eugene, Oregon, has voted down a proposal to say the Pledge of Allegiance before every council meeting.

One council member who voted for the ban said reading the pledge was like reading the Communist Manifesto before every meeting.

Including the Pledge into the opening of every meeting was proposed by Councilman Mike Clark.


It was voted down, but a compromise was passed that seemed to please nobody — an agreement to recite the pledge at Eugene City Council meetings coinciding with the Fourth of July, Veterans Day, Memorial Day and Flag Day.

In the same meeting, council members also voted against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Councilman George Brown voted against the Pledge compromise, saying the Pledge of Allegiance had no place at City Hall. “People can say it in their front yard or backyard,” Brown says. “It does not unite us.”

Councilman Clark, who wanted the Pledge to be recited before each council session, says all he just wanted to do was to unite the council and show that in his city — which brags of celebrating diversity — that the city council values traditional values as a part of that diversity.


“Clark said part of his motivation was to respond to constituents who often cite the fact that some Eugene traditions — namely, the eccentric Eugene Celebration in late summer — do not sit well with some residents but are nonetheless tolerated,” reported Stefan Verbano for the Eugene Register-Guard newspaper.

School children reciting pledge


“Tolerating differences is an important part of the community that we live in,” Clark said. Observing the Pledge, he said has “become an issue of tolerance.”

Brown disagreed.

“This whole notion that we need something for the ‘not-weird’ seems very weird to me,” he said.

The council also voted 7-1 to endorse a resolution “expressing the City Council’s desire that funds to continue the Iraq and Afghanistan wars be directed to domestic priorities, including the pressing needs in the city of Eugene.”

The Pledge issue surfaced several weeks ago when Clark recommended that the pledge be recited at the start of the city’s twice-monthly council meetings — 24 times annually. The compromise will see the Pledge observed four times annually.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mayor Tedd Wallace

    INCREDIBLE ARROGANCE by the city council of Eugene Oregon. You are truely the laughing stock of a our nation for thinking the pledge of alligence has no place at a council meeting. As mayor of South Lyon Michigan I will announce to my community at the June 29 meeting on TV why I will never even give a thought to visiting Eugene Oregon. Frankly you have tainted the image of the whole Northwest area of America. Who in the world do you think you are? Your image is Eumeanie Oregon. INCREDIBLE ARROGANCE

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Christopher Lewis

    I never cease to be amazed by what the children of, and former hippies come up with. First thing that comes to mind is “Whoa, too many bong hits.” Come on guys, for a city that thrives on its diversity, aren’t you being a bit hypicritical toward your average american citizen. Or is being too much like Ward Clever, just a bit too far right for you.
    In a city that is closing eleven schools, sum total between the Eugene and Springfield School districts, putting 580 teachers out of work, you have a state goverment that passes a law giving school districts low interest loans so they can retrofit existing schools to energy efficient green technologies. We have a new school going in at our town and what was going to be 70 million for two schools is now 70 million for one school. Way to go green.
    The real problem is that eugene has a very high unemployment rate and they are now asking that applicants, for the few jobs that are available, to have a BS or ten years experince. For a freaking minimum wage job. What do you expect from a state that won’t let you pump your own gas.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment J Davis

    Well said Mayor of Lyon, MI. The city council of Eugene has no respect!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment disabled proudd veteran

    Great role model for their childfren and the children of the Country! You shoul ALL be so proud! Adolph would be happy
    he taught you so well boys and girls! Where do they get
    these losers from?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Angela

    I think this is such a shame! I would throw that council member off and send that one to Cuba! Guess which state I will not visit!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Tamberland

    NO,NO,NO! This cannot be happening! This country was founded on the basis of GOD-FEARING people (I need to reread my history to get the facts straight as to who got here first-but that’s irrelevant at this point). The point is WE ARE A NATION UNDER GOD. I agree with Mayor Wallace – they are the laughing stock of many. I remember being in grade school. BEFORE we started our class,we stood by the side of our desks, placed our hands over our hearts, & said the Pledge of Allegiance with pride. (I often slipped & said Amen at the end of it). What is happening to this country? I feel we’re all going to “H”, “E”, double hockey sticks in a hand-basket. Why did we ever go to any of the wars? What about our Vets who served with fearceless pride, sacrificing limbs, life, all so we could have the freedom we have today. Sometimes I think our freedom of speach is taken waaaay out of context for which it was originally written. God have mercy on you Eugene, Oregon. You have now been crossed off my list for places to visit before I leave this Earth. Shame on you!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment P. Hebert

    Really sick. All who voted for this should be replaced.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Proud American

    This is truly sad and it concerns me. This country just is not in a good place right now.

  • http://Iamashamedofthiscountriesrepresentatives Jeanne Holl

    Shame on all of you who voted against reciting the Pledge of Allegience. You call yourselves Americans and you are representing the American People.
    You are no better than Hitler himself.
    I had the priviledge recently of going to a movie at the theater on base at NAS Pensacola, Florida. Before the movie started all in attendance stood and recited the Pledge of Allegience. Every young man and woman who were serving in the military, who represent this country and what it stands for stood at attention and proudly Pledged Allegience to our great nation. I for one would like to see this practice done at all public events, out of respect for our nations and for those who have given their lives for our freedom. We are guilty of raising children who will have no respect for our nation and our representatives have taken that right away from us. Please write or talk with your representatives and let them know that under no circumstance are we going to let them tear our Nation apart. Stand up and proudly salute your flag, recite the Pledge of Allegience with honor and pray to God that things will change and we will once again become united as One Nation Under God.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Kathi

    Well said Mayor Wallace and thank you. Any council member who doesn’t want to say the Pledge of Allegiance needs to be replaced by someone who respects our country and our American Flag! Observing the Pledge should be an honor for all Americans not an obligation.

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