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Jul 08 2013

OMG! Takei Didn’t Say ‘Under God’

World class badass George Takei was on MSNBC recently and recited a portion of the pledge of allegiance while answering a question. But he didn’t include the “under God” part. Predictably, Glenn Beck’s website is clutching their pearls so incredibly hard right now.

“Well, when I pledge allegiance to the United States, I say, ‘One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all,” he said, referring to the states where same-sex marriage is now legal. “One-third of the nation now has equality. Now, we have to work on the other two-thirds, so we’re keeping our sleeves rolled up.”

Naturally, this is curious, because the Pledge actually reads, “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

There’s nothing curious about it. He’s reciting the pledge as it was originally written, before Congress decided it had to be changed to add “under God” to it.

37 comments

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  1. 1
    Chiroptera

    Or maybe he was reciting the part that was actually relevant to the point he was making.

  2. 2
    Captain Mike

    Or maybe he just doesn’t remember it word for word. Still, one thing’s for sure: Beck is an idiot.

  3. 3
    cgilder

    He’s old enough that he would have recited it hundreds, probably thousands of times without the addition. At that point it’s as much muscle memory as it is conscious recitation.

  4. 4
    magistramarla

    Yep, I used to say it the same way that George did when I was teaching and we had to do that annoying pledge and “moment of silence”. I said the pledge and then sat down in front of my computer to take attendance while a few of my students observed that “moment of silence” thing.
    A few of my more savvy students noticed and started leaving out the “under god” part, too.
    A majority of the class sat down and chatted during the “moment of silence”. I made no move to stop them.

  5. 5
    forestdragon

    Couldst be. My father (who is 70+) says that he sometimes still stumbles over the ‘under god’ bit since that was added during his lifetime, well after the age that it’s drilled into a USAian kid’s head. I found out about it when I saw an old Porky Pig cartoon where he recited the pledge with no ‘under god,’ since at the time the cartoon had been made, it hadn’t been added. Likely Takei is in the same position, being roughly the same age.

    Funnily enough, the pledge had already gone through one revision already. I read someplace that the original version was “I pledge allegiance to the (or my) flag and to the republic for which it stands; one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

  6. 6
    dysomniak "They are unanimous in their hate for me, and I welcome their hatred!"

    *ahem* I believe the proper quotation is “one nation, under Glenn, with canned goods and Krugerrands for all.”

  7. 7
    coragyps

    My cohort, born around 1947, were compelled to relearn the pledge early in our grade-school careers because of “under God” getting added in. Can you imagine the stress that put our little seven-year-old brains through?

    And that same cohort went on to become the first wave of dirty Godless immoral anti-war Commie dopesmokin’ hippies!! Coincidence? I think not!!

  8. 8
    cptdoom

    Beck should be thanking his (and his “god’s”) lucky stars that Takei is even willing to receipt the pledge. This is a man who was unconstitutionally incarcerated with his family for the crime of being Asian during WWII. It is nothing short of miraculous that people like Takei can still stand to live in this country, much less support it.

  9. 9
    cptdoom

    Obviously, “receipt” should be “recite.” I hate auto-correct.

  10. 10
    Gregory in Seattle

    Takei is his 70s. He would have memorized the godless version, and almost certainly recited it daily while in grade school. It is not at all surprising that that is the version he relied on when making an impromptu comment during an interview.

    And in other news, Glen Beck is an idiot who gives morons a bad name.

  11. 11
    Moggie

    What does God need with a starship pledge? What a pathetic, needy God they suck up to. I think I’d rather pledge allegiance to George Takei: I know he exists, and he does stuff.

  12. 12
    dingojack

    Well – god’ll remove the protection of his mighty ass if’n you don’t say the spell right.
    Nah, morons, sorry I meant mormons, and christians don’t believe in witchcraft, no siree-bob!
    Dingo

  13. 13
    machintelligence

    Obviously, “receipt” should be “recite.” I hate auto-correct.

    Try turning it off. :-)

  14. 14
    gshevlin

    Because nothing screams Freedom like a compulsory loyalty oath including a reference to an imaginary deity…

  15. 15
    matty1

    Did he do Bellamy’s original salute?

  16. 16
    umlud

    Yeah, George Takei had to recite the Pledge of Allegiance while he was growing up in a prison camp for (unconstitutionaly) detained Japanese Americans during World War 2.

    Now how friggin’ ironic is that? Takei learned the Pledge of Allegiance while he and his family were unlawfully detained as potential enemy collaborators – merely on the fact that they were Japanese Americans – and he was forced in the prison camp school to recite a pledge of allegiance to the flag of a country that was – in fact – denying him the “liberty and justice” that supposedly was “for all.”

    Beck can shove it.

  17. 17
    holytape

    Why would George Takei need to say ‘in God we trust’? Isn’t itself evident he trusts himself?

  18. 18
    jamessweet

    Go Takei!

  19. 19
    d.c.wilson

    Holytape@17:

    If George Takei is God, why does he need a spaceship?

  20. 20
    eamick

    According to The Fount of All Knowledge, the current version is actually the fifth official version.

  21. 21
    cswella

    d.c. wilson@19:

    Why WOULDN’T a god indulge in fantasy? Plus, it’s one of the easier ways to ‘know’ the aliens you are attracted to. Also, according to fanfic, Sulu/Takei has the hots for just about anyone on the ship.

  22. 22
    erichoug

    George Takei just just keeps getting more and more awesome.

    To be honest, I had never thought much about the pledge until people started talking about this. If you say it out loud both with and without “Under God”, at least in my opinion, it flows better without it.

    I pledge Allegiance to the flag
    of the United States of America
    And to the Republic for which it stands
    One Nation, Indivisible, with liberty and justice for all

    By adding the words “Under God” you are automatically creating a division that the next word says you wouldn’t do. Without “Under God” it means liberty and justice for ALL, with it, it is only liberty and justice for some.

  23. 23
    kantalope

    Sixth version if you count how I’ve been doing it since 3rd grade when being forced to mouth some words about freedom lost its luster.

    I blah blah blah
    blah blah blah-blah
    with blabbity blahblah for blah

    The most important thing is to let your eyes glaze over and if you can drool a bit it also helps the time pass.

    And the Star Trek reboot should have had Sulu kick Kirk in the balls (figurtively) and take the Enterprise someplace fabulous. Five Stars!

  24. 24
    Raging Bee

    Those two words weren’t in the Pledge I was forced to recite in grade-school either.

  25. 25
    Raging Bee

    And the Star Trek reboot should have had Sulu kick Kirk in the balls (figurtively) and take the Enterprise someplace fabulous. Five Stars!

    Well, the older Spock came back from the future, so why not have the older Sulu come back as well? (Not that I’d trust a world-class moron like JJ Abrams to make a watchable movie of it…)

  26. 26
    eoraptor

    I pledge allegiance to the Constitution
    of the United States of America,
    And to the republic that it defines:
    One nation, indivisible,
    With freedom and justice for all.

    I don’t need no stinkin’ flag. Years and years ago, when it was still carved on stone, I received a copy of the Constitution, and all the amendments then in place, when I graduated from high school. I had that for decades, and only replaced it when it fell to shreds when I pulled it out of my computer bag. I have never understood the reverence afforded to a piece of brightly colored cloth.

  27. 27
    timberwoof

    In 1971, Mad Magazine published a version and a flag which I will cop to having influenced my thinking:

    I WILL PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND TO THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS WHEN IT IS ONE NATION UNDER GOD WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL INCLUDING KIKES, WOPS, SPICS, NIGGERS, WASPS, ETC.

    I didn’t notice the God part and even Mad Magazine wasn’t very gay-friendly back then (neither was I until some years later.)

    Eoraptor, as a German kid growing up in the US, I was aware of American flag fetishism and thought it was just as silly and dangerous as when Germany did it, and found it painfully ironic that some Americans like to make fun of Germans over it.

  28. 28
    Ellie

    I prefer the original, which reads (with no comma between nation and indivisible), “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” If it was good enough for the author, it’s good enough for me.

    @15 I was at the Memorial Day Museum in Waterloo, NY a few years ago, and during my chat with the curator, mentioned the original salute. She told me I was the first visitor she had spoken to, that knew about it. I think it will probably remain out of fashion.

  29. 29
    Sastra

    erichoug #22 wrote:

    If you say it out loud both with and without “Under God”, at least in my opinion, it flows better without it.

    I think that was actually one of the objections made at the time of the change. Yes, it does flow more smoothly without it.

    And this lead to a situation where I won an argument with Michael Newdow concerning the Pledge. He’d led an Atheist Alliance convention in the pledge of the allegiance and paused before the word “indivisible.” But there is no pause. It’s an entire idea: one nation indivisible. The awkward break was only introduced when “under God” was brought in, destroying the rhythm and leaving trace of a later insertion. If you leave it in when you say the original Pledge then you are subtly indicating that something which WAS there was removed — something which belonged.

    So how did I win the argument? The wise Emmet Field was there with his ‘Bank of Wisdom’ booth selling nice reproductions of the original pledge. We went and looked at it. No comma after “nation.”

    Say it without the clunky pause and you end a bit ahead of the pack.

  30. 30
    Randomfactor

    That’s OK, Sastra, you can finish with “…with liberty and justice for al-most everyone.”

  31. 31
    kermit.

    To quote Bryan Lambert: “And frankly, patriotism without self-awareness is way too much like white supremacy or Justin Bieber fandom for my taste.”

  32. 32
    Tsu Dho Nimh

    I learned the Godless version and still say the old version.

    If I get any hassle, I say “That’s the original version”.

  33. 33
    John Horstman

    Hmm, back before I decided loyalty oaths were disturbingly fascist and actually still ever said the pledge, I always dropped the “under god” bit, what with it being a violation of the 1st Amendment and also me being an atheist.

  34. 34
    meg

    1 – Never got why you were pledging to the flag, and not the country. It’s a piece of cloth, people. . . .
    2 – Why are the nutters sooo insistent that people who don’t believe in God swear to him? That’s just a way of lying, really. . .
    3 – has anyone ever challenged the constitutionality of the ‘under God’ bit? Seems if would fail the whole freedom of religion bit . . .

  35. 35
    bad Jim

    You have to understand that the current pledge is explicitly anti-Trinitarian: “God, indivisible”. It’s paying homage to our Unitarian founders.

  36. 36
    caseloweraz

    I often think that Glenn Beck and his ilk, and the people they cater* to, reveal by their actions that their true intent is to turn America into something that can be described thus:

    “…one nation, underdog, with liberty and justice for a few.”

    * Perhaps “pander” would be a better word.

  37. 37
    caseloweraz

    As for George Takei, having read his autobiography To the Stars I consider him among America’s heroes (a very large group) since he not only still loves this country after internment under Executive Order 9066 but served ably in its governance for many years (on the Los Angeles city council.)

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