State Government

Senator explains why she doesn’t say the Pledge of Allegiance

by Guy Page

Last week, Vermont Daily Chronicle began to receive inquiries about Sen. Becca White (D-Windsor) not saying the Pledge of Allegiance on Tuesday mornings when the Senate convenes for the week. Curious, we sat in the balcony as the other senators said the pledge – but neither White or fellow county senators Alison Clarkson nor Richard McCormack were present. Seconds after the pledge concluded, the three entered together and took their seats.

Yesterday afternoon we inquired by email of Sen. White, a first-term senator and former House member and selectboard member for Hartford, asking if she said the Pledge and if not, why not. She emailed this response today:

“I do not say the pledge of allegiance, I take a moment silence and reflection.

“As you may see in the Valley News article I do not say the pledge because I do not believe in God. I am an atheist Unitarian Universalist and a member of the First Universalist Society of Hartland. 

“Growing up I just left out the “under God” piece, but in college I had a profound conversation with a Vietnam veteran and dear friend (who has since passed away in part due to health complications from cancer linked to my knowledge from agent orange exposure while serving) LJ Palardy. LJ expressed to me that to omit the “under God” section was worse than taking a moment of reflection and silence on the meaning of the pledge. So in respect for that conversation, I choose to stand and take a moment of silence and reflection.

“I worry that saying the pledge has been used as a litmus test for my patriotism or respect for service members, and it is not. It is a reflection on a religious belief, in the same way I’m sure many Christian Americans would struggle to say a pledge that said ‘Under Oden’ or ‘Under Zeus.'”

Categories: State Government

39 replies »

  1. She’s a Unitarian Universalist but can’t imagine that the word “God,” in that context simply refers to that which is held divine, regardless of specific religion? Weird.

  2. She doesn’t believe in God but she believes man can change the climate from Vermont, a speck on the earth’s surface. She probably also believes the men can transition into women and vise versa and that it’s okay to kill unborn healthy babies. This woman doesn’t represent me, Thank God!

  3. Unfortunately, some children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors have turned completely atheist because in atheism you can harbor resentment and desire revenge against negative life experiences, and even for little things that don’t go your way, like a spoiled child… kind of like Eve, and then her simp partner, Adam.

    Belief in that story or not, the shoe still fits.

  4. Nothing against Adam and Eve, btw.
    But my other comment is this: How long before the godless insert a different pledge? Like the one required to play in the community sand box?

  5. As if Vermont cannot get any worse. I cannot imagine the imbeciles that vote for this insanity. No wonder fights are breaking out in basketball games.

  6. The other Two State Senators should stay out of her religious objection and say the pledge as they have done in previous years. Staged!

  7. As I Christian, I am okay with saying the Pledge in its current form myself, but I do understand the concerns of those with her reservation. You don’t want to be saying something you don’t believe in. The “under God” was not in the original Pledge as initiated in 1892. It was added in 1954. What I don’t understand (and I am also Veteran myself), is why a vet would tell her it was worse to leave out the “under God” than to not say it at all. Personally, if I were an atheist, I would just drop that part and say the “original” pledge.

  8. Isaiah 5:20-21 20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
    Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
    Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
    21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
    And prudent in their own sight!

  9. As a Christian, I have no problem saying the Pledge, in its current form, myself. However, I am sympathetic to those with Senator White’s reservation. People do not want to pledge to something that they don’t believe. The original Pledge as written in 1892 and used until 1954 did not contain the phrase “Under God.” That phrase was added in 1954 under the Eisenhower administration. In Sen White’s shoes, I would do what she formerly did, namely just omit that phrase when saying it. I am a veteran myself (Iraq & Afghanistan), and I don’t see why another vet would have said it was worse to say it without the phrase than to not say it at all.

  10. Her church still has covid restrictions posted on their website. Shows that their faith is misplaced in the now discredited ScienceTM.

  11. Oh, I forgot to mention that a few weeks ago, I was at the Fed building in Burlington for a friend’s naturalization day. There were dozens of new Americans taking the pledge of allegiance as well as making oaths to bear arms in defense of our nation. Balint was present for that ceremony. She also told us her little story about how she fits into the diversity puzzle, which of course included her Holocaust story (which my family also has but never felt the need to recite it in public for any reason).
    Yes, she uttered the phrase “Diversity is our strength” several times, also. But she never mentioned that she’s an atheist nor did she identify her diversity as a socialist or a lesbian. She had no problem taking a photo with us, including my friend in his clergy attire.
    And I found it interesting that while Vermont has been destroying small businesses all over the state, that she would unequivocally declare the need for all these former foreigners, now diverse new Americans, to start small businesses in whatever community they live in because that’s what we’re all about… diverse food and clothes… because it’s all about shopping and going out to eat so we can taste and wear diversity everywhere we go… as if that’s what being a foreigner is all about. Neat clothing and exotic foods. Instant Culture!! Not once did she say we could use more plumbers or HVAC professionals or something dirty like that.

    • Or that people with generational roots also deserve a chance to have their businesses survive.

  12. As has been pointed out, the “under God,” portion was added by Eisenhower, in fact, to weed out the avowedly atheist and perfectly materialistic communists. Apparently, it still works. LOL. But you’d think that a Unitarian would understand the universal use of the word God here. By her own logic, she shouldn’t be offended unless Yahweh was the word used, being a specific name denoting a specific religion… like Zeus, or “Oden.” (sic) Perhaps White can think of it in terms of the Deism largely espoused by our Founders. Nature itself can be more than enough evidence of the Divine. I’m not Christian, but I have no problem saying it. I’m more troubled that she also won’t say the rest of it.

    • To countless people in this World God” denotes the Universe itself. I acknowledges that matter consists of energy and that energy=spirit.. This is inherent in Judaism, as well as in other faiths.

  13. I myself will pledge allegiance to the Republic, not the flag itself. I’ll take part in the ceremony, but omit mentioning allegiance to the flag.

  14. It is simply a Pledge of Allegiance to Flag of the Unites States. I guess she doesn’t agree with our Republic.

  15. Guess she also refuses to use paper and coin currencies that proudly display “In God We Trust” on them…a plastic person through and through?

  16. Sounds like the senator needs to brush up quite a bit on both her Norse mythology and the historical life of the Judeo/Christian God as contained within the Bible & the New Testament specifically. This as the mythological god is spelled “Odin” not “Oden,” and Jesus Christ who has been proven over Centuries by thousands of scientists & scholars the world over to have actually walked this earth and risen from the dead.

    In fact, senator, in light of your dearth of scholarship or even most basic knowledge of the Bible (an ancient text researched, studied, & evidenced more than any other ancient or modern book in creation) you don’t appear to understand that the sheer prevalence and preponderance of evidence of the reality of Christ (i.e.: God) proves His existence beyond what any courtroom in this USA, you so have contempt fo might require.

    If you would like for me to provide you merely but a handful (to simply begin with) irrefutable proofs for the existence of God, I’d be more than happy to meet with you or have you phone me, but in the meantime if I were you – I would refrain from continuing to make asinine statements as you so did as they but merely belie your utter lack of expertise & familiarity with either of the subjects you spoke of.

  17. Did the majority of voters who put her in office expect any less than an atheistic marxist? There was no deception in her candidacy. She has already has good victimhood/ intersectionality credentials, which is why she was elected in Vermont, but she is now working on her extracurricular activism, expressed outrage and oppression status signaling required to qualify her as a member of The Squad.

    • Aha! Indeed white seemingly possesses all of the characteristics of a dutiful marxist.
      Perfect Nomenklatura behavior and unfortunately represents the majority of active voters in her district.
      I would assume she declined the oath of office and instead used the affirmation of office when she was “sworn in”- either way, ms. white has made it obvious she discounts the Oath/Affirmation in the same way she discounts the Pledge of Allegiance.
      “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams

    • Rep White actually the views of many Vermonters including me:

      “The granola republic of Vermont is the least religious state in America, with just 22% of its population qualifying as “very religious,” according to a major survey out Monday from the polling group Gallup. New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts are runners-up in the irreligious stakes.” Time Magazine

  18. “I had a profound conversation with a Vietnam veteran and dear friend (who has since passed away in part due to health complications from cancer linked to my knowledge from agent orange exposure while serving)”
    I wonder if we will have to wait five decades before legislators will concede that the vaccine (so called) is responsible for thousands of deaths on every level in the US alone???

  19. Go Senator White! You are courageous for standing up publicly for your beliefs. You have my admiration!

  20. So, Ms. White maybe you can explain to me where our rights come from if not from God? If it walks lie a Communist and talks like a Communist and acts like a Communist, it’s a Communist.

    “A leopard can’t change it’s spots and a skunk can’t change it’s smell”. – D.B. Wilmer

  21. According to the Unitarian Universalist website: “We live out these Principles within a “living tradition” of wisdom and spirituality, drawn from sources as diverse as science, poetry, scripture, and personal experience.” One of the sources listed is “Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God’s love by loving our neighbors as ourselves” An atheist by definition: a person who disbelieves or lacks belief in the existence of God or gods. Senator White’s statement appears to show she is confused and conflicted as to what she believes. The church doctrine as described by their website appears to be confused and conflicted as well. Perhaps it is an attempt at one size fits all, which is what some churches are doing these days to survive or remain relevant. As far as Senator White, I question her ability to represent her constiuents being that she doesn’t comprehend her own convoluted, contrasting beliefs.

  22. I would like the atheist Senator to tell me which she thinks is the best; go through this life believing in God and when she dies find out that He does not exist, or go through this life not believing in God and when she dies find out that He does exist. I believe that you are in a heap trouble lady. I am 91 years old and a twenty year veteran and have no use for anyone who refuses to say the Pledge of Allegiance.

    • I prefer living a life not believing in god but living a life full of love and sacrifice for my fellow person, at every chance, such that it does not matter who’s god I meet after death. All but one of the comments here are full of hatred and lacking any capacity to give her the benefit of the doubt as a fellow neighbor and human being. I know how the Christian god expects me to treat my neighbors and I’m trying hard to do it. These comment sections are hateful and UN Christian. Where are my old time conservatives at? You know, when we spent at least some of our time working WITH others toward solutions to shared problems, instead of just hating them for the beliefs they hold.

  23. I will continue to Pray for people like her.

    One quick observation, atheist believe in nothing, absolutely nothing but she takes “a moment silence and reflection.” Wouldn’t that make her agnostic? Just asking… These people are fake!
    God bless America and all of her Glory!

    • Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism and other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity.

  24. The US used to be about a being a functional melting pot – the only assimilation requested was, and should be, to be “American”, we should remember this. It was not that one must follow a specific belief other than as long as it does no actual harm to others. So, in this respect I share the words: “Religion is like a penis. It’s great that you have one, it’s great that you’re proud of it. Just don’t shove it down my throat.”
    So for those of you out there being overly vocal about your feelings that are definitely related to your religious ideals, try thinking about this when you see so much push back around certain societal topics. If the tentacles weren’t so bad the world I feel would be a far different, less volatile place today.

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