Preview: Golden Valley City Council To Discuss Pledge of Allegiance
Council member Steve Schmidgall brought the Pledge up to be informally discussed at the Tuesday, June 11, council/city manager meeting.
Golden Valley City Councilmember Steve Schmidgall brought the item up to be discussed during a City Council/City Manager meeting Tuesday, June 11.
"We all pick and choose from what our parents provide and model for us and establish our own values," Schmidgall said. "One of the things that make this nation great is we respect all kinds of religions and to me the Pledge of Allegiance dances on uncertainty territory."
Schmidgall said he has simply been uncomfortable reciting the Pledge at council meetings. He couldn't ignore how he felt any longer so he brought it up as a discussion item for the council.
"I'd prefer not to be compelled to recite the Pledge of Allegiance for three reasons," Schmidgall said.
The first reason is the "one nation under god" phrase makes Schmidgall uncomfortable.
"I grew up in a faith community of Ana-Baptists (which means 're-baptized' in Greek) and with the Apostlic Christian Church and we were treated differently in school when I was a kid," Schmidgall said. "Bullying was a normal thing, but it didn't ruin my life. It did make me more sensitive to the separation of church and state."
The second reason is that saying the Pledge at a council meeting "doesn't feel appropriate as opposed to saying it on a state or national level," he said.
"When we say it seems like a prayer to me," Schmidgall said.
The third reason Schmidgall is bringing up the Pledge at the meeting is "love of country and God are personal and private matters," he said. "I love the United States of America as much as anyone, but I'm just not showy about it. I prefer to do my duty as a citizen, vote, and participate in city government when the opportunity arises."
Schmidgall understands that he is not compelled to participate in saying the Pledge at meetings, but said not saying it makes him look and feel awkward.
Nothing has been determined by the council and the discussion is to come at an informal setting between the council and city staff.
What do you think? Do you think the Pledge of Allegiance should be recited at regular Golden Valley City Council meetings or not? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments below!