Rotarians React To Pledge Decision - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

6/27/02 - Tyler

Rotarians React To Pledge Decision

   Jim Hicks is no stranger to the Pledge of Allegiance, "Here in Rotary we use it at every meeting. I think it's one of the things that defines us as a nation that we recognize that we are a nation that has been blessed by God and that should therefor recognize him as our supreme being."

   Each week, Rotarians recite the pledge, perhaps now--with more attention to the very words under scrutiny.

   "If we want to say 'Under God', we should be able to do that," says Eugenia Hibbs. "If you don't feel comfortable saying 'Under God' then simply don't say it, but don't keep others from having the right to express themselves."

   The case was brought on by an atheist, Michael Newdow of Sacramento. He complained his daughter felt coerced to recite the daily ritual.

   "Evidently he's missing a part of history," tells Smith County Sheriff J.B. Smith, "When the pilgrims came off the Mayflower into this great country, the first thing they did was pray."

   While the room is filled with opinions about the recent controversy over the Pledge of Allegiance, the heart of what people believe boils down to one thought, "What other opportunity do they have to affirm their country as a group except for the pledge of allegiance," says Zola Walker. "I think that's a wonderful think to do."

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