Over at LewRockwell.com they’ve posted a transcript of Rep. Ron Paul’s (MD) speech in which he urges his fellow representatives to support the Pledge Protection Act (HR 2028) that he cosponsored. It’s full of the usual bluster and misinformation we’ve come to expect from the idiots that support this sort of legislation including the implication that this bill is pro-states rights even though its focus is very narrowly limited to a single issue, but it also contains a very enlightening example of how the same person can both have a clue and be clueless at the same time:
Ironically, the author of the pledge of allegiance might disagree with our commitment to preserving the prerogatives of state and local governments. Francis Bellamy, the author of the pledge, was a self-described socialist who wished to replace the Founders’ constitutional republic with a strong, centralized welfare state. Bellamy wrote the pledge as part of his efforts to ensue that children put their allegiance to the central government before their allegiance to their families, local communities, state governments, and even their creator! In fact, the atheist Bellamy did not include the words “under God” in his original version of the pledge. That phrase was added to the pledge in the 1950s.
Paul’s quite correct that Bellamy wouldn’t have been happy with the change to the Pledge that added the words “under God” as he wasn’t happy with the other changes that occurred while he was alive such as making the pledge specifically to the flag “of the United States of America” as he had intended this pledge to be usable by any nation. He’s also largely correct on the sort of government that Bellamy wanted to see America turn into, which is part of what makes a Republican defending a Pledge originally written by a socialist so ironic. So how could someone who’s so clued in on what Bellamy would have wanted also be so clueless about the fact that Bellamy was a Christian Socialist and a Baptist minister? I suspect Paul’s apparent ignorance of this fact is more a matter of political convenience that actual lack of knowledge. It’s a much easier sell to his argument to his fellow Christians if he can convince them Bellamy was one of those evil atheists than if he admits that Bellamy was a fellow Christian. After all, what’s a little white lie if it helps to ensure the national pledge continues to contain an implied endorsement of belief?