The Town of Enfield (NY) held its first meeting of the year a few days ago, and one of the new members helped get rid of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Stephanie Redmond, who was just sworn into office days earlier, initially proposed a resolution to remove “God” from the Pledge. It was an idea the five-member board hadn’t considered before, but her argument was that saying the Pledge with the religious language violated the town’s goal of being inclusive. Not a bad point! When you pledge allegiance to a God, you are, by definition, excluding non-religious people throughout the community.
You can hear the discussion around the 2:25:10 mark of the audio below.
The most entertaining part of that conversation comes when the other new board member, Robert Lynch, voices opposition to the motion. Listen to his concern and pay close attention to Redmond’s response:
Lynch was then asked if he believes in the separation of church and state, which he says he does.
“I think you are opening up a pandora’s box of problems,” said Lynch. Other board members can be heard laughing and talking over Lynch. “You are going to be targeted by everybody in Tompkins County as an [irreligious] town board and I think that would be unproductive for this town board.”
“I think it would be wonderful,” said Redmond in response to Lynch’s concerns. “I’m totally willing to go to the floor on this.”
That is amazing. Who cares what everyone thinks? This is the right thing to do!
If you listen to the audio, you can also hear Redmond pointing out, “Look at what they did to women when they wanted the suffragette movement. I mean, it has to start somewhere!” The other board members also compare the Pledge to a “revival meeting” as they laugh off Lynch’s pathetic defense of the pseudo-patriotic prayer.
Lynch asks at one point if any other municipality is also altering the Pledge like this. Councilwoman Mimi Mehaffey laughs in delight as she says, “We would be the first!”
It worked. Rather than alter the Pledge, which might have created more drama than anyone wanted, Town Supervisor Beth McGee proposed to scrap the ritual completely. The final vote to eliminate the Pledge of Allegiance from meetings was 4-1. Lynch was the only vote against it.
Redmond got the Pledge eliminated in under 10 minutes. That’s talent right there.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)