Saturday, February 10, 2007

Lawmaker wants to tweak state pledge (of Allegiance)

Do other states have to mess with this? -Angela

Lawmaker wants to tweak state pledge
Legislation would add "under God"

By Jason Embry

Friday, February 02, 2007
God is on a roll at the Texas Legislature.

A Houston-area lawmaker proposed Thursday putting "under God" in the 74-year-old pledge to the Texas flag, which Texas students recite each day.

That followed earlier votes by the House and Senate — with almost no opposition from either party — to put the phrase "in God we trust" on the electronic message boards at the heads of each chamber. The Senate went an extra step and asked the State Preservation Board to install the words in gold letters on the frieze above the Senate lectern.

The pledge to the Texas flag now reads, "Honor the Texas flag; I pledge allegiance to thee, Texas, one and indivisible."

Rep. Debbie Riddle, R-Tomball, proposed Thursday to change the last clause to "Texas, one state under God and indivisible." Riddle said she thought something was missing from the Texas pledge when she recited it with the national pledge, which mentions God.

"Our Judeo-Christian heritage, our religious heritage, is woven throughout the fabric of our history," she said.

The Legislature established the state pledge in 1933. It's only been changed once: The original pledge referred to "the Texas flag of 1836." That was removed in 1965 because it did not refer to the current Lone Star flag.

Since 2003, state law has required pledges to the Texas and American flags in school, as well as a moment of silence.

Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, was one of two House members who voted against displaying "in God we trust."

"I think of the House of Representatives as being a place where we should respect and honor those we represent, regardless of their religious traditions," she said. She added that the best way to show respect to constituents was to focus on the most important issues.

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