Yes. You read that headline correctly.
The student government at the University of Oklahoma just dropped a bombshell packed full of some serious irony.
In an effort to protect free speech… they’ve banned the Pledge of Allegiance.
We know… it literally doesn’t make any sense, but let’s press on and see if we can get to the bottom of the root issue.
The school’s student government goes by the name “undergraduate student congress” and routinely meets throughout the semester to deal with issues regarding the student body.
But lately they’ve taken up a new battle – getting rid of the Pledge of Allegiance during school meetings, calling it “incompatible” with the United States Constitution.
Crazily enough, the student who authored the resolution originally raised her concerns in an effort to make the group more inclusive.
“For us to be, like, the best most inclusive body, I thought that we should remove it,” said student Gabi Thompson.
They took a vote and the measure to ban the pledge during the student government meetings passed, 15 – 11. This is reportedly the first time that someone has taken issue with the pledge within the group since it was created in 2008.
On Tuesday night, the Oklahoma University Undergraduate Student Congress passed a resolution removing the Pledge of Allegiance from the congressional agenda. https://t.co/BkzF8eo2WR
— KFOR (@kfor) September 28, 2019
So where do these students take issue? Apparently when it comes to God.
“The Pledge of Allegiance is incompatible with the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment as pledging your allegiance to the flag of the United States as one nation under God conflicts to our rights to free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, and to petition the government for redress of grievances,” the statement from the group’s resolution stated.
KFOR’s report argued that banning the pledge in its entirety stifles the First Amendment rights of those within the room that wish to recite the words, keeping them silent.
Students within the group who pushed to abolish the pledge said that the pledge’s connection to Christopher Columbus was wrong, noting that the town where the university is located no longer celebrates Columbus Day, but instead celebrates Indigenous People’s Day.
“It was written as a celebration of Columbus Day in 1892, and in the city of Norman we don’t celebrate Columbus Day, we celebrate Indigenous People’s Day,” said Thompson.
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Other students who were in favor of keeping the pledge fired back against the resolution, calling it un-American.
“I think that’s just pretty much a load of crap,” said one student. “Not reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is un-American,” said another.
A similar axing of the pledge happened earlier this year when the Santa Barbara City College Board of Trustees slashed the pledge from its meetings, calling it racist and in violation of the First Amendment.
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Not everyone was onboard with that decision either, with college professors firing back at the change.
“When you recite the Pledge of Allegiance you are recommitting your oath to uphold and defend our country’s Constitution,” said former Santa Barbara Community College professor Celeste Barber.
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