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://Thisisdisgraceful!!! Mary C.

    This is a disgrace!!! First prayer is taken out of our schools and now the city council of this community does not want The Pledge Of Allegiance said at the beginnning of their meetings!! They need to remember, before it is too late that our Country is still the greatest Country in the world….by votng against The Pledge being said they are voting agaist our country and more importantly, against God.

  • http://PledgeofAllegience Jenny Ritenour

    Shame on all who voted against reciting the Pledge of Allegience.We are America’s why would you vote to take One Nation under God away from the Pledge of Allegience.I can remember saying the Pledge of Allegienice,and we said One Nation Under God,this is how we said it in school.God be with us i Pray rigth now that the Pledge of Allegience will get back the way it was,and that is One Nation Under God.In the Name Of Jesus i Pray Amen

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Maria

    It is really sad what this world has come to. Now is when we need GOD in our lives and they want to take him out publicly. I pray it does not happen anywhere else. God bless America and forgive those who are making these poor choices.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment romney

    Jenny: who was your history teacher: Michelle Bachmann? Sarah Palin?
    the ORIGINAL version – written by a Baptist minister, no less- did
    NOT contain the phrase “under God”. It was added much later, in 1954!

    • Rob Kerby, Senior Editor

      It was adopted by Congress in 1942 and “under God” added 12 years later in 1954 — so, as our nation’s official pledge, it has had “under God” for 58 years and lacked it for 12.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Janice

    While we celebrate the diversity of religions and cultures in our country, the one thing that unites us as a nation is the Pledge of Allegiance. What a slap in the face to those soldiers who are fighting overseas!! What are they sacrificing for, if not for their country?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Rita

    To those who think the Pledge is like a communist manifesto, or you can say it in your back yard, well folks, you are here because of our Constitution, our Pledge, our Flag & if you are so against our Country GET OUT!!! It is people like you that live under the communist rule, God forsaken countries who treat the people like crap. YOU do not belong on the city council, you are a bad example for the children of Oregon, an embarrasment to the city of Eugene.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Marnie

    If it were not for God there would be no Nation. If The United States Do Not Function as A Nation of togetherness and a Democracy it might as well be Communist. I agree with Maria and I will add Forgive them Father For They Know Not What They Do. How many have lost their lives for this Country and how many still fight and when they do, is it for separatism or do they not do it together? Think about it. Thank You God for loving me so much that you allowed me to be born in this United States!

    In Jesus Name I Pray That You Continue To Bless This Nation Under God!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    Eugene City Councilman, Mike Clark, voted to include the Pledge of Allegiance before every meeting. The majority didn’t. Now they haul it out only four times a year if the dates are near to their meetings, if not just forget we’re Americans. Come on Eugene, Oregon you are better than that! We are a country of immigrants and my Dad was one. He was always proud to repeat the Pledge, and in the 68 yrs. he lived here never became so sophisticated he thought of our Pledge of Alligance as a communist manifesto. Put your hands over your hearts, and repeat……..before every meeting, just so you don’t forget who you are and why you have the job you do.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Merlyn

    Our Navy group was looking at Eugene, Oregon as a reunion site,
    “NO MORE”. If that’s the way the city feels about our Country there are a lot of other places to have our reunion.

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