School Board Rejects 'God' from 'Pledge of Allegiance', Country Duo 'Big and Rich' Gets Powerful Response from Fargo Crowd
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The school board in Fargo, North Dakota, has voted to stop saying the Pledge of Allegiance before their bi-weekly meetings because it isn't "inclusive" and doesn't align with the district's diversity code.
The North Dakota newspaper InForum reports in a 7-2 decision Tuesday, the Fargo School Board voted to reject the pledge, a reversal in policy since the board passed a motion on March 22 to start their meetings with it.
Board Vice President Seth Holden explained his reasoning, saying he has a problem with two words – "Under God."
"Given that the word 'God' in the text of the Pledge of Allegiance is capitalized," Holden said.
"The text is clearly referring to the Judeo-Christian God, and therefore, it does not include any other faiths such as Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, all of which are practiced by our staff and students," he argued.
He added it also does not include those who don't believe in God.
Holden said he's not trying to get rid of the pledge, but that it couldn't possibly fit in with the school district's principles of inclusion, InForum reported.
Board member Robin Nelson, who voted to keep the Pledge, said the board's action has caused a "distraction" in the community, right before the start of school.
Four other citizens who attended Tuesday's meeting also told the board they should keep saying the Pledge, including former board member David Paulson. Paulson had made the motion back in March to recite the 31-word pledge, according to InForum.
"We are misinterpreting the Pledge of Allegiance," Paulson told the board. "The pledge isn't a show of our patriotism, it's an affirmation of our commitment and our loyalty to the greater cause, and that greater cause is freedom."
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Board President Dr. Tracie Newman recommended starting the board meetings by having members instead recite a "shared statement of purpose" which she thought was more appropriate for the board to do its work.
"I'm just not sure that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is a useful way to begin every one of our board meetings," Newman said.
Social media reaction to the news of the board's announcement was swift.
One person tweeted, "Disgusting. The Fargo School Board's decision is an insult to the values of our Great Country and to everyone who has given their life to defend our liberties. The School Board's assertion that the Pledge of Allegiance violates their so-called 'diversity rule' is absurd."
Another user wrote, "Hello! Holy Moses! Wokeism In Fargo, North Dakota! So who or what does Fargo North Dakota pledge allegiance to? To themselves?"
Other angry observers resorted to name-calling.
In a video receiving almost 12,000 views as of Friday, the Country music duo Big and Rich, who was performing in West Fargo on Thursday night, had the audience recite the Pledge.
Then they called out the Fargo School Board by calling them a "commie school board." The group also reminded parents and their children's family members to "step up" and take over those local places of leadership.
.@bigandrich in #WestFargo has the audience say The Pledge of Allegiance together and then calls out #Fargo school board by calling them a "commie school board" for stopping the Pledge. pic.twitter.com/QvmE3fotCT— Chris Berg (@chrisbergpov) August 12, 2022
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