c. 2011 Religion News Service

WASHINGTON (RNS) NBC’s decision to edit the word “God” from the Pledge of Allegiance during last weekend’s coverage of the U.S. Open golf tournament has teed off an Ohio congressman, who wants the U.S. Golf Association to reconsider its relationship with the television network.

“When we silence the name of God, we dim the light of freedom that defines us,” Rep. Jim Renacci wrote in a letter sent Tuesday (June 21) to association Executive Director Mike Davis. “That is why this matters.”

The words “under God” were edited out of a patriotic montage that featured children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance; announcer Dan Hicks later apologized to viewers, saying, “It was not done to upset anyone, and we’d like to apologize to those of you who were offended by it.”

“Although I was pleased to see that NBC has apologized for its role in this unfortunate incident, as an avid fan of the sport and as an American, I would ask that USGA consider reviewing its relationship with NBC in advance of any future events,” Renacci’s letter continued.

The freshman Republican said that if the USGA chooses to partner with NBC again, it should “remain mindful of its role in controlling creative content and work to ensure” that similar incidents don’t happen again.

Golf Digest magazine recently ranked Renacci as one of the best golfers among Washington political operatives — tied for 39th place. House Speaker John Boehner, a fellow Ohioan who played golf with President Obama last weekend, was ranked 43rd.

(Sabrina Eaton writes for The Plain Dealer in Cleveland.)

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