Texas - One State, Under God
Students must remember 'God' in Texas pledge
Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle
The revised Texas pledge
Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one state under God, one and indivisible. -->
Texas students will have four more words to remember when they head back to class this month and begin reciting the state's pledge of allegiance.
This year's Legislature added the phrase "one state under God" to the pledge, which is part of a required morning ritual in Texas public schools along with the pledge to the U.S. flag and a moment of silence.
State Rep. Debbie Riddle, who sponsored the bill, said it had always bothered her that God was omitted in the state's pledge.
"Personally, I felt like the Texas pledge had a big old hole in it, and it occurred to me, 'You know what? We need to fix that,' " said Riddle, R-Tomball. "Our Texas pledge is perfectly OK like it is with the exception of acknowledging that just as we are one nation under God, we are one state under God as well."
By law, students who object to saying the pledge or making the reference to God can bring a written note from home excusing them from participating.
But adding that phrase has drawn criticism from some who say it's unneccesary and potentially harmful to children who don't share the same religious beliefs. "Most Texans do not need to say this new version of the pledge in order to be either patriotic or religious," said Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. "This is the kind of politicking of religion that disturbs many Americans, including those who are deeply religious."
The revised wording in the Texas pledge took effect on June 15, and the Texas Education Agency sent an e-mail reminding school districts about the change earlier this week.
Officials with Houston-area districts say they will notify schools and parents about the new requirement.
Rebecca Suarez, spokeswoman for the Houston Independent School District, said a letter about the change will be sent home to parents when their children return to school. And a flier with the pledge's revised wording will be sent to each campus before classes start.
Texas has had a pledge of allegiance since 1933. In 2003, the Legislature required all schools to pledge allegiance to the U.S. and Texas flags and observe a moment of silence every morning at the beginning of classes.
Texas isn't the only state that has its own pledge of allegiance. Other states include Michigan, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Kentucky.
Mississippi and Louisiana mention God in their pledges. And Kentucky lays claim to being blessed with "grace from on High."
Like I said above, the article will be available on Fark.com at 1:24pm
Good night, funny man, and thanks for the laughter.