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Posted on Fri, Sep 14, 2012 : 4:30 p.m.

Michigan House passes Pledge of Allegiance bill; Saline schools to reconsider local policy - again

By Danielle Arndt


Flags fly in Ann Arbor for Veteran's Day last year. Two bills pertaining to patriotism and the American flag in schools passed in the Michigan House of Representatives Wednesday.

Melanie Maxwell |

School board members may have jumped the gun Tuesday when they decided to re-engage in a discussion to mandate the Pledge of Allegiance at Saline Area Schools.

On Wednesday, the Michigan House of Representatives passed a bill requiring all classrooms in the state’s public schools to recite the Pledge of Allegiance each day.

The bill cleared the floor in a 103-5 vote. Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, was one of the five “no” votes. Other local legislators, Rep. Rick Olson, R-Saline; Rep. Mark Ouimet, R-Scio Township; and Rep. David Rutledge, D-Ypsilanti; all voted in favor of the bill.

Saline schools’ Policy Committee, comprised of school board trustees Todd Carter, David Holden and Chuck Lesch, met Wednesday night and discussed potential changes to the district’s “ceremonies and observances” policy.

Committee members agreed on changing the word “may” in the current policy to “shall.” The action, if approved by the full board, would require classrooms in Saline to participate in “patriotic exercises,” including the Pledge of Allegiance, at the start of each day — “or at another time designated by the building principal.”

It was not clear Friday what direction the Saline school board would elect to take — whether it would continue to pursue a local policy or wait and allow the state legislation to mandate the pledge.

The district’s attorney was expected to review the revised policy before the board potentially would vote on it at a meeting in October.

Holden, who has been the primary advocate for mandating the Pledge of Allegiance, brought up the issue at Tuesday’s regular school board meeting.

“In my recent conversations with legislators, I've been told the current legislation — what's been proposed — most likely is not going to be enacted this year,” Holden said Tuesday. “So I would like for us to take a look at that policy again.”

Holden said in an interview Friday he was “very surprised” to hear the legislation had passed. He joked maybe the board’s actions in Saline triggered Lansing’s speedy response. His recommendation, given the news, will be to “slow down and see how things unfold instead of putting time, resources and probably money, with the legal opinion, toward doing this on our own.”

The bill passed by the House Wednesday differs from the version that passed in the Senate in November, so the pledge bill will need to return to the Senate for a vote before it could be signed into law.

The House version still would prohibit schools from “compelling” a student to recite the pledge. The House entertained an amendment to the bill that would have required districts to notify parents and children annually of their right to object to saying the Pledge of Allegiance in class. That amendment failed by a voice vote, however, according to

Another bill related to patriotism in schools will be headed to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk soon for a signature.

This legislation requires all Michigan public schools to have an American flag displayed in each classroom and flown outside of the building. It passed in the House 102-6.

Danielle Arndt covers K-12 education for Follow her on Twitter @DanielleArndt or email her at



Wed, Jan 23, 2013 : 5:12 a.m.

Irwin's "No" vote is what all who know him, expected.


Tue, Sep 18, 2012 : 1 p.m.

More time wasting measures from the Big Govt is evil folks in Lansing. Where's those jobs Mr. Snyder...your peers in the MI. house are destroying Michigan

A Friend

Mon, Sep 17, 2012 : 6:51 p.m.

A word like "mandate" does stimulate uncomfortable feelings I can understand, though I don't really view saying the Pledge as "brainwashing". I am more worried about corporations being recognized as people. Tip of the iceberg?? Droning out the pledge every am like we did as kids certainly won't hurt them... but it won't help them either unless they spend some quality time understanding what it means. I don't think it necessary to recite every day, but I think it's important for kids to know their history, be proud of where they live and show a certain amount of respect for how we got here... (gee, except for the slavery part...and... well guess I'd better stop while I'm ahead....) I'd also urge them to challenge the system when we don't live up to our own ideals. Maybe that's now. I think a history unit on it in every grade might be more appropriate... We could say it on national holidays, school assemblies... I'm not worried about the "God" part because luckily in America, God can mean anything to anyone. Or mean nothing. We get to choose to say it or not say it, that part sticks... for now... I don't think we needed a law to remind us of the pledge. We need good teachers to remind us of our history and warn us that "history" often repeats if we're not careful....


Mon, Sep 17, 2012 : 2:15 p.m.

..."and to the Republic for which it stands" What republic is that - The Peoples Republic of China? The pledge doesn't exactly specify. So now Lansing wants all the American public school kids (5 year olds and teenagers alike) to somehow split their lifelong allegiance beween a colorful piece of cloth and undefined republic (not that anyone in Lansing sells themselves to China). Traitorous bozos.


Mon, Sep 17, 2012 : 1:16 p.m.

I pledge allegiance to the flag ... According to the Wikipedia definition: "Allegiance is the tie which binds the subject to the Sovereign in return for that protection which the Sovereign affords the subject." The 'sovereign' in this case is the flag. Technically by law what Lansing has done is require people to subject themselves to a colorful piece of cloth instead of to their own COUNTRY The United States of America. Basically forcing the public to betray their homeland and worship a flag instead. The patriotic oath to the country is: "... pledge allegiance to The United States of America...." Not the flag. Bunch of traitorous bozos.

Anne Young

Mon, Sep 17, 2012 : 11:31 a.m.

This is great! I loved having my classroom of students recite the pledge each day when I used to teach school. If we were in another country, we would be obliged to follow their rules, as we know, so it's nice to finally see our patriotic rules being followed. If we want to continue having a country that is great and blessed by God, we need to remember Him each day so He will continue to bless this great country. God bless America is a two-way thing. We can't kick Him out of everything and then expect Him to bless us whenever we need Him to. We are "one nation under God" so God bless America!


Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 8:23 p.m.

I'm so glad the black stallion is finally back to the comment sections. Not sure if he's a clever troll or actually believes in all the ridiculous stuff he says, but it provides some serious entertainment either way. But then I remember he gets to vote this fall, and that's terrifying. We should have an IQ test for everyone before allowing them to vote.


Tue, Sep 18, 2012 : 1:01 p.m.

Black Stallion...Michigan in the same? Another paid blogger by the Koch Bros


Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 7:33 p.m.

It's a sign of the times and a shame that something so obvious needs to become a law. It does point out that, just like this board, many Americans - teachers included - are liberals with little understanding or respect for the founding principals that made the United States the greatest nation in the history of the world. Many selfish, navel gazing, obama sycophants think this is about them and what they think about the country when it's quite the contrary. All Americans should be scrambling to look back into history and discover what made this nation great before this generation of fools grinds all that to a screaming stop one wasted trillion after another. The answer? Hard work and sacrifice in hopes that future generations of Americans will be better off.


Mon, Sep 17, 2012 : 6:46 p.m.

shep your back! you finally won me over. Your absolutly right the country is doomed due to the liberals and the end is near. My friend, im getting my guns and supplies together today. not much time left. let me know if you need a fortified shelter to stay in im building it this week.


Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 4:36 p.m.

Respect can't be legislated or demanded it is given as it is errand. Demanding it is against OUR constitution.


Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 1:14 p.m.

Empty Suit Empty Chair Empty Promises Time for a change

The Black Stallion3

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 11:04 p.m.

Barry has failed for real change in November.


Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 2:25 p.m.

You can just stay home and hope.


Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 2:06 p.m.

I can't vote for change - it says "In God We Trust" on it.

Jon Saalberg

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 10:30 p.m.

As long as our kids are made to recite the Pledge and motorcycle riders can go helmet-less, the GOP is happy. I guess things like education, jobs and the state economy are not that important.


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 10:14 p.m.

We're paying our reps to do this nonsense?


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 6:23 p.m.

Good thing the GOP keeps government out of our daily lives, eh? Did they say how schools are supposed to pay for these new flags? Are the new flags going to be made in MI or China? The whole thing reeks of North Korea.

A Friend

Tue, Sep 18, 2012 : 5:48 p.m.

Black Stallion3, you're not impressing Clown with your grammar, that's for sure. It's"you're"... contraction of you and are. :)

The Black Stallion3

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 10:01 p.m.

2 liberals trying to impress the crowd without one ounce of patriotism between them....amazing.

The Black Stallion3

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 9:56 p.m.

Clown.........your dreaming again.


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 7:06 p.m.

Sure, they increased the Education Funding just enough to pay for flags in every classroom! Nothing left over for teaching or education, but hey .... what do you expect (of Republicans) ?

James MacDougall

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 4:51 p.m.



Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 3:50 p.m.

That which is not mandatory... is forbidden.

Sandra Samons

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 2:31 p.m.

From its inception and until 1954 the Pledge did not include the words "under God". I wonder if adding these words took the Pledge from patriotic to religious for some people. Since I grew up reciting "the old pledge" proudly every day in elementary school (Did we stop because WW II ended?), I feel nostalgic for what seems to me like the right way to say it.


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 1:54 p.m.

In the 1943 decision written by Hugo Black and William Douglass - "Words uttered under coercion are proof of loyalty to nothing but self-interest. Love of country must spring from willing hearts and free minds, inspired by a fair administration of wise laws enacted by the people's elected representatives within the bounds of express constitutional prohibitions. These laws must, to be consistent with the First Amendment, permit the widest toleration of conflicting viewpoints consistent with a society of free men. Neither our domestic tranquillity in peace nor our martial effort in war depend on compelling little children to participate in a ceremony which ends in nothing for them but a fear of spiritual condemnation. If, as we think, their fears are groundless, time and reason are the proper antidotes for their errors. The ceremonial, when enforced against conscientious objectors, more likely to defeat than to serve its high purpose, is a handy implement for disguised religious persecution. As such, it is inconsistent with our Constitution's plan and purpose." I do wish that those claiming patriotism and accusing objectors of a lack thereof could see that it is in fact patriotism in the truest sense that motivates us to object to something we feel so strongly violates the very principles we feel our country is founded on.

Boo Radley

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 12:41 p.m.

Much is always made of the presence of the word "God" in the pledge allegiance. In these discussions I never see any mention of the fact that the official motto of the United States is "In God We Trust". That phrase appears on our national currency, both coins and paper. But anyway, I do not support requiring school children to recite the pledge of allegiance. It is much more beneficial to make a class on American history mandatory that includes and emphasizes all of the sacrifices made to make this a great country.


Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 9:24 p.m.

some coins not all, it wasn't on all of them until 1957. And it was only put on because some pastor during the civil war accused the Treasury Secretary of not being a good christain that it was even put on at all.

Boo Radley

Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 12:44 p.m.

The phrase has been on U.S. coins since 1864. On paper currency since 1957.


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 7:33 p.m.

And "God" was not in our currency OR our pledge until the mid-1900's.


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 3:30 p.m.

The motto is shortened for convenience. The actual, full motto is, "In god we trust, all others pay cash."

UofM Alum

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 11:33 a.m.

Once again, ignorance and the inability to ELEVATE AS LEADERS has landed the majority members of the Saline School Board in hot water. What's especially sad is that they don't even know what an embarrassment they are! The Saline community deserves so much better.

The Black Stallion3

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 11:27 a.m.

"Fathom the hypocrisy of a government that requires every citizen to prove they are insured... but not everyone must prove they are a citizen." Now add this, "Many of those who refuse, or are unable, to prove they are citizens will receive free insurance paid for by those who are forced to buy insurance because they are citizens." Think about it when you vote in November !


Mon, Sep 17, 2012 : 6:38 p.m.

again no backing up of your assertions. you really are terrible at supporting your arguments, but who cares since you are a paid poster. one tactic of paid posters is to post talking points in discussions that are totally unrelated to said discusiion in order to take the discussion of course. nice try but the discussion is about the pledge of alligence in schools not the health care. save your talking points for an article written about that.

The Black Stallion3

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 10:58 p.m.

It really is hard to face the truth.....wouldn't you agree clown?


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 6:28 p.m.

So much fallacy. Illegal aliens are excluded from the new insurance law, they will NOT be getting free insurance. Think when you vote, ignorance is no way to run a republic, spreading false information is even worse.


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 10:49 a.m.

Just ONE more reason to consider your November vote for the Michigan House carefully - VOTE DEMOCRAT to bring some balance to Lansing and stop the madness!


Mon, Sep 17, 2012 : 12:53 p.m.

I don't believe you are telling the truth about yourself


Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 9:47 p.m.

As stated in the article, the vote was 103-5. Had no idea the republicans held such a majority!

Rick Stevens

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 9:08 a.m.

Republicans against 'Big Government' - except when it comes to enforced patriotism, enforced religion, enforced behavior that they alone decide and sanction. Hypocrites, pure and simple. Rick Olson - one more clown in the circus. At least he's not going to be running again. He'll have to actually get a real job and try to earn a living.


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 3:46 p.m.

I gotta agree with you. The only good thing I can say about democrats is they are not hypocrites.


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 6:48 a.m.

I see the old hippies are still around .. keep God and prayer out of school .. It's no wonder schools and society are decaying .. one mans opinion of course :)


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 1:18 p.m.

Yah, religion has never been around for the decay of society.


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 5:30 a.m.

Whether you agree with this bill or not, I have to wonder just what people think it will accomplish. When I was young, I remember having to say it each morning and it meant nothing to me. Just words I had to say. I am proud to be an American, just as I think most people are proud of the country they were born and raised in, but saying the pledge had nothing whatsoever to do with that. You can make them say the words, but you can't make them feel them.

Urban Sombrero

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 4:02 a.m.

I'm sure I'm going to get super-dee-duper voted down for this comment. But, here ya go: I explicitly told all 3 of my kids today that they don't have to conform and do this. I actually encouraged them to take a stand and be silent during the pledge. This entire bill, and all the posturing up to it, is absolutely ridiculous. It's nothing more than pandering and right-wing back patting at its basest level. I'd rather have my kids stand out, albeit silently, than to follow blindly and recite a hollow pledge that is nothing but patriotic brainwashing at best.


Mon, Sep 17, 2012 : 6:32 p.m.

not sure how anyone will understand stallion. you havent backed up any of your arguments. par for the course for you as a paid poster.


Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 5:15 p.m.

What's the difference between charter and public schools?

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 4:17 a.m.

Too bad you don't understand......I hope it clears up for you in the future.

Urban Sombrero

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 10:19 p.m. has to serve in the military to dissent to the Pledge? Seriously? What's THAT about? I thought the military was there to defend the freedoms of citizens. ALL CITIZENS. Even those of us who dissent. So, Black Stallion, are you saying that, because I'm not a veteran, my opinion in this matter doesn't matter? Doesn't count? I know PLENTY of veterans (family members, natch) who would disagree VEHEMENTLY with you on that point. Military members, whether current or ex, are NOT the only ones allowed an opinion on this subject. Nice try And, A2Citizen.....what are you trying to say? Do my kids need to be charter students, and excel at that, before you'd take them seriously? Or rather, homeschooled? I do not get what you're getting at. Then again, I rarely agree with your posts so......take from that what you will. We're both inclined to disagree and that's fine. You're entitled to your opinion, I'm entitled to mine. C'est la vie.


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 6:30 p.m.

What does serving in the military have to do with freedom of religion, freedom from mandated socialist pledges or patriotism?


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 3:45 p.m.

What's so tough about excelling in a public school?

The Black Stallion3

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 12:07 p.m.

Sorry....forgot to ask what branch of the service you so proudly served in ur som?

The Black Stallion3

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 12:05 p.m.

And mine understand patriotism sombe.

Urban Sombrero

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 12:01 p.m.

Speak for yourself, Black Stallion. All of my kids excel in school.

The Black Stallion3

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 11:33 a.m.

Hmmmm.....I wonder why our students are having problems?


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 3:02 a.m.

Saline will be in violation of Federal Law. The US Supreme Court ruled decades ago that mandatory pledge of allegiance is unconstitutional in any school, public or private. Watch for lawsuits to fly should any locality try to adopt a mandatory policy.


Tue, Sep 18, 2012 : 5:27 a.m.

Sparty, private schools can force students so say the Pledge of Allegiance (and pray). BTW, I am a Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States.

E Claire

Mon, Sep 17, 2012 : 3:43 p.m.

I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV


Mon, Sep 17, 2012 : 12:54 p.m.

I dont believe that sparty is a law professor


Mon, Sep 17, 2012 : 3:07 a.m.

Here's a quote from @a2citizen. I responded with specific examples of his ERRORs, but now you say they are not relevant. There are hundreds of examples of where private schools are regulated by the Federal Government. "The federal government does not regulate private schools."

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 1:01 p.m.

Very childish of the lawyer type.


Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 12:47 p.m.

And later in the article it states: "it is not clear Friday what direction the Saline School Board would elect to take - whether it would continue to pursue a local policy or wait and allow the State legislation to mandate* a pledge" and Board member Holder: "his recommendation, given the news, will be to 'slow down and see how things unfold instead of putting time, resources and probably money, with the legal opinion toward doing this on our own.' Your precedent case cited was not revelent to A2's arguments that private schools could mandate prayer/pledge. A2 did not bring up other "certain functions" regulated by the Fed government - you did. Cite a case federal govt. intrusion specially regarding prayer/pledge and don't try to obfuscate by dragging in unrelated "certain functions" And regarding "snarkiness" "never smart to challenge a lawyer", "who is laughing now", "ROFL" and "LOL" - 'nuff said.

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 4:29 a.m.

"After all, I am a Law Professor and wouldn't have said what I did without a fact base." And where might this be taking place?


Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 3:23 a.m.

Wrong, the article says that Salune changed its policy from may to shall require the pledge. I stated that is unconstitutional in any school, public or private and was challenged on that by @a2citizen and I added that the Federal Govt also regulates certain other areas in private schools which he again challenged me to prove with a source. I again complied. So, I proved that he pledge cannot ben mandated in public or private schools and that the Federal Government does regulate certain functions even in private schools despite @a2citizen and @arborcomment snarkiness. Its never smart to challenge a lawyer on legal issues, unless you are also a lawyer and have decent debating skills and can refrain from personal attacks.


Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 1:30 a.m.

That about sums it up, arborcomment. Private schools can force kids to pledge, pray, read and write.


Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 12:32 a.m.

So if I'm following this correctly: Sparty starts off with moot point regarding Saline and potential court case against the district. Article itself states Saline will not institute its policy. Sparty asserts private schools also included in non-cited SC decision. A2 says private schools can enforce reciting the pledge (along with prayer) and with a challenge, cites two directly related decisions. Sparty responds with one decision totally unrelated to the issue at hand concerning non-discrimination in admissions and funding grants. Wondering if those that can't do, teach. And does Cooley law school require students and staff to add the "LOL" and "ROFL" at the end of their arguments?


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 9:19 p.m.

Just one tiny example of which there are many, many, many examples that I could pull from, @a2citizen. After all, I am a Law Professor and wouldn't have said what I did without a fact base. How about you? Who is laughing now? ROFL.


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 9:14 p.m.

"While the parameters of state regulation of private schools is to a very large extent shaped by our federal constitution, it should also be noted that federal law on occasion directly influences the operations of private schools. For example, federal law prohibits discrimination in the admission policies of nonsectarianschools,42U.S.C.ยง1981;Runyon v.McCrary,427U.S.160(1976). And the relationship between state governments and private schools can be forged through federal grant statutes. For example, regulations implementing several federal funding grants direct that states and local educational agencies provide private school children with a genuine opportunity to participate, ensuring consultation with the private schools and comparable benefits for the private school students. 34 C.F.R. 76.650 et seq.


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 7:50 p.m.

Sparty, "Prayer" was meant to be more of an example of how shielded private schools are from the edicts of government. It wasn't meant to veer off topic. And yes, Professor, I read the decision. Are you referring to Minersville School District v. Gobitis 310 U.S. 586 (1940) ? Decision: The First Amendment does not require States to excuse "PUBLIC SCHOOL" students from saluting the American flag and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance on religious grounds. Third Circuit reversed. Or the one overruled three years later by West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943) ? Decision: The Free Speech clause of the First Amendment prohibits "PUBLIC SCHOOLS" from forcing students to salute the American flag and say the Pledge of Allegiance. District Court affirmed. "...Private schools are also under regulation by the US Department of Education..." LOL. The federal government does not regulate private schools. Regulation of schools is left to the states. Some states, such as Arizona and Connecticut, do not regulate private schools. But the states that do regulate are mostly concerned with health and safety, teachers qualifications and students meeting standards. But then, how often do private school students not meet public school standards? Not often. Review the MEAP scores if you doubt me. So again, Professor Sparty, I urge you: Cite your sources (or case).


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 6:54 p.m.

@a2citizen: I never said private schools couldn't require prayer. I specifically said the Pledge of Allegiance. Please try to stay on topic.


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 6:52 p.m.

@A2Citizen, my source is the US Supreme Court decision of decades ago. Have you read it? Law Professor here. You might want to check it out before discounting my post. Private schools are also under regulation by the US Department of Education, as well, in case you're wondering. LoL.


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 3:42 p.m.

WRONG !!!! Sparty, "private" schools can force students to say The Pledge of Allegiance. In addition, they can also force the kids to use the words "...under God...". And they can also force kids to start the day, as well as every class, with a prayer. I'm not sure which is worse, the government telling schools they must say the pledge or, in your flawed opinion, the Supreme Court telling private schools they can't say the pledge. Cite your source.


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 10:44 a.m.

It does, which is presumably why the new MI proposal does NOT compel anyone to recite the pledge - because they cant under US Law. ROFL.


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 3:29 a.m.

Does that not also apply to the States?

Fat Bill

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 2:30 a.m.

Hey A2James, give it time. If the radical right gets their way...intelligent design will supplant real science (evolution), and we will continue to go backwards. I fear we are devolving as a species...


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 1:03 p.m.

Snoopdog, you skipped a few steps in that reasoning.


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 2:45 a.m.

Radical left = calling " evolution" fact based science. Science is based on mankinds limited intellect and that is exactly what it is, limited ! Good Day


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 1:35 a.m.

I think it's on students to fight this kind of hypocritical crud. Thinking students will realize this is no more than an attempt to cloud their minds and force them to reconcile the hypocrisy of US social and foreign policies with their better, more idealistic judgement. It's one thing to accept the rule of law and stand up for democratic processes; it's an entirely different thing to "pledge [one's] allegiance" to a particular government (i.e., "the flag"). This is brainwashing, and I hope students will reject it, in every way they can. Fight the power. Be free!


Mon, Sep 17, 2012 : 8:25 p.m.

@amlive, I believe there is more thought about this issue in your response that there was in the entire Michigan House before the vote. Thank you for your eloquence.

Billy Bob Schwartz

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 3:23 p.m.

amlive...Beautifully said! When will we finally come to realize the importance of showing respect to others and to their beliefs? We don't need to agree with those beliefs, but where is the harm in respecting the right of others to hold beliefs different than our own? This saying of the Pledge is not such a big thing, except for the fact that it forces people who don't agree with it to say it, or to perhaps be considered a lower life form for not saying it. I do agree with the real President Bush and the idea of the need to become a kinder and gentler people. Try to get along, and if you can't show respect to others and their views, at least show a little decend regard to their feeliings. There's already too much hatred in the world. Why do we have to add to it?


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 1:57 p.m.

Black stallion - did you read or understand a single word I wrote?


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 12:21 p.m.

So according to stallion, only those who have fought in wars are patriotic.

The Black Stallion3

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 12:02 p.m.

I agree with you Linda.....we can spot the ones that just live here and the ones who have risked their lives to Live here.


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 3:14 a.m.

LindaJ, I can't help but feel you may be greatly misjudging the motives of those who object. To the contrary, many of us love this country SO much that it pains us to see it taking a path that seems so contradictory to the principles we purport to stand for. Many of us see this as compelling hollow recitation of words uttered not out of true patriotism, but coercion. Some of us do not object to the "under God" insertion because it is disrespectful to atheists, but rather that it should be offensive to the faithful to knowingly coerce those who do not hold His name as sacred to commit blasphemy every time they speak it disingenuously. This seems a point that should be hard for any true Christian to reconcile with the commands of their God in my opinion. I will raise my child to pledge to be honest, compassionate, to stand up for what is good and right, and to love her country and do her part to help keep it on that path, and not to pledge to support it blindly when it strays but rather help to bring it back toward justice and fairness. Though we are not religious, I will raise her to respect the sanctity of other's beliefs, and not to use the name of their God in vain. And I will not encourage her to pledge allegience toward any symbol as a hollow icon which so quickly seems to obscure the very principles for which it is supposed to stand. So please take a moment to hear some of the objectors' true motives. For many of us, this is indeed a true sense of patriotism which we feel the coerced recitation of a hollow oath works more against raising our children with than toward.


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 2:34 a.m.

Fortunately we live in a country where it is possible to refuse to pledge allegiance. Perhaps citizens who dislike our country so much that they feel they can't pledge allegiance would like to live somewhere else for awhile and see what kinds of freedoms exist -- or not! -- in those countries.


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 1:03 a.m.

It'll provide a good laugh when kids are being taught evolution, and wonder who this mysterious state-mandated "God" is that they're "under"...


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 12:51 a.m.

Glad to see this bill is about time.


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 12:41 a.m.

Um, so if the students are not US citizens (but in the country legally).... what are they supposed to do? And if the version they are required to recite includes the "under god" bit and they are atheists? Some of us atheist foreigners make very valuable contributions to the society we live in. Will you lock us up if our children refuse to conform? What happened to "Land of the Free"?


Mon, Sep 17, 2012 : 12:39 p.m.

they're free not to say it, and free to not let them get hit by the door on the way back home...


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 6:33 p.m.

Land of the Free met GOP "less government in our lives" and wa-la...mandated recitation of a pledge written by a socialist! And to top it off, the taxpayers get to pay for new flags!


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 12:58 a.m.

You can always change country's


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 12:28 a.m.

This is absolutely fantastic - My daughter's friends from North Korea will finally have something to help them feel like they're back home again!


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 12:17 a.m.

This might be the most ridiculous piece of legislation ever passed by this current group of morons (and that is saying a lot). On what CONSTITUTIONAL grounds are they mandating this? That whole first amendment thing seems pretty cut and dry on this one. That whole freedom of speech thing can not force somebody to say something they do not believe. Jeff Irwin, thank you for having the backbone to stand up to the idiots in both parties who decided this was worthy of time.


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 12:58 p.m.

Are they mandating that teachers say it?

Fire All The Politicians

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 2:15 a.m.

They are not mandating anyone say the pledge, they are just mandating a chance be given everyday in school for it to be said. It would be unconstitutional to mandate saying the pledge, the Supreme Court ruled on the in the 1950's.


Fri, Sep 14, 2012 : 11:28 p.m.

Confederacy of dunces?


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 4:25 p.m.

GREAT reference.


Fri, Sep 14, 2012 : 11:27 p.m.

Where is John Gault now?


Mon, Sep 17, 2012 : 8:11 p.m.

@Freight Train - Brilliant comparison, thanks for a good laugh.


Mon, Sep 17, 2012 : 1:51 p.m.

@Freight Train: Good one.

Freight Train

Mon, Sep 17, 2012 : 12:58 p.m.

There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 1:36 a.m.

He's dead. The mob beheaded him. Eat jelly beans.

Macabre Sunset

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 12:19 a.m.

John Galt is in hiding. Every once in a while he emerges, and if he sees too many entitlements it means six more years of bad government.


Fri, Sep 14, 2012 : 11:24 p.m.

If they choose to do it first thing in the morning I'm guessing there could be a lot more tardy slips in gentle protest.


Fri, Sep 14, 2012 : 11:01 p.m.

NO! I refuse to say the Pledge if and only if the words "Under God" are taken out. I don't believe in God and never will.


Mon, Sep 17, 2012 : 12:36 p.m.

so dont say it! wow, that was hard... LOL! people like you make me fear for the future.


Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 4:45 p.m.

I refuse to say under god. What I hate is that at EMU football games we are to say the pledge while the band plays America the beautiful and if you as I do after the pledge sit down you get insaults and threats.

The Black Stallion3

Sun, Sep 16, 2012 : 4:34 a.m.

That is your problem not ours.

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Sep 14, 2012 : 10:29 p.m.

Good job, Michigan. Thanks, elected leaders, for once again displaying an ironic ignorance of the concepts that make America beautiful. I understand this won't change much - forced idiotic pseudo-patriotism is already the norm even in Ann Arbor's classrooms. But it's good to know our leaders have the foresight to put their own lack of brainpower on full display.


Fri, Sep 14, 2012 : 10:22 p.m.

Inevitably, some kids will refuse to recite the Pledge even though the Law requires it. The State needs to provide direction on dealing with such ungrateful swine, especially with regards to institutionalization, sterilization, isolation and aversion therapy. However, since they are children after all, we need to consider setting some limits on correctional incentives, at least in terms of voltage. Someday, they will thank us.

Urban Sombrero

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 3:57 a.m.

My dog, I hope you're being facetious.


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 3:25 a.m.

Oh, puh-leeze. Let's try to recognize sarcasm when we encounter it.

Fire All The Politicians

Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 2:13 a.m.

First off the law that was passed does not include anything that compels the students, teachers or anyone else for that matter to recite the pledge. As for your point that the state needs to "provide direction on dealing with such ungrateful swine," that is out of the realm of the states purview, its not the pledge of Michigan, and the Federal Government already has provided direction dating back to the 1950's where the Supreme Court ruled that a persons right to refuse to recite the Pledge of Allegiance is protected under the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment. In addition the ninth line from the bottom of the article points out that both the House and Senate versions do not have a clause to compel students to recite the pledge. As for calling people swine, some of those swine that refuse to say the pledge have added more to this country than those who recite the pledge daily, get off your high horse, someday you will learn to thank those who in the past have refused to say the pledge as its given you the freedom to make asinine comments like you have above.


Fri, Sep 14, 2012 : 10:58 p.m.

Just make them memorize the Republican Platform. It will turn them into mindless idiots.

Morris Thorpe

Fri, Sep 14, 2012 : 9:50 p.m.

Don't know much at all about Irwin but - unless he had some nutty reason to vote against this - I gotta give him respect. It takes guts to go against the crowd on these type of patriotic grandstanding issues. I'm guessing this is his last term?


Sat, Sep 15, 2012 : 12:45 a.m.

Not his last term, he's just smart and honest enough to vote against a bill that has been overturned in court in every state or locality that has passed it. Something about "under god" (deliberate lowercase)


Fri, Sep 14, 2012 : 9:32 p.m.

Unbelievable waste of time.

Carrie Rheingans

Fri, Sep 14, 2012 : 9:06 p.m.

Yay! This is a job-producing bill right? We should be able to get 1.0 FTE job added here in Michigan for someone to enforce this. I'm so glad that our legislature is working to add jobs to our state! Thank you!