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A Word of Encouragement Perfect for Flag Day June 14

By Maureen Guffanti

A Word of Encouragement Perfect for Flag Day June 14

“You plotted evil against me, but God turned it into good.” (Gen 50:20 GNB)

How encouraging to know our enemies can plan and scheme against those of us who love our nation, our freedoms, our Constitution… and our Lord. But God can use it for our good.

Here’s a bit of history that’s a great example of God’s working for us.

In honor of Flag Day, this is about the words we say each meeting: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Do you know who wrote the pledge?

Did you know he was a Socialist?

Francis Bellamy wrote the pledge in 1892. He was a Baptist minister, a Freemason and a socialist activist. But Francis refused to believe in the virgin birth, the resurrection or the ascension of Christ, and he taught and preached sermons on such subjects as "Jesus the Socialist." So his congregation forced him out of his Boston church in 1891.

In 1892 Francis was vice president of Boston’s Society of Christian Socialists and he was a marketer for the family magazine The Youth’s Companion. Bellamy’s boss, not a Socialist, asked him to write a pledge for a patriotic celebration of the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ arrival.

The pledge was originally published in The Youth's Companion on September 8, 1892.

In its original form it read:

"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

The Wording Changed:

Bellamy later changed it to say “to the republic”; and in 1923 leaders at a National Flag Conference ordained that “my flag” should be changed to “the flag of the United States,” lest immigrant children be unclear just which flag they were saluting.

In 1954: following a lobbying campaign by groups including the Knights of Columbus, Congress approved the addition of the words “under God” and President Dwight Eisenhower signed the bill into law. Bellamy's daughter and son objected to this alteration on behalf of their father, saying their father would not have approved.

Back to 1892:

In his history about the pledge author Bob Greene wrote:

With the pledge written, “It was decided that a salute would be appropriate. Instructions for the salute were printed in Youth’s Companion, and it came to be called the Bellamy Salute.” Try it now: It consisted of each person first saluting, hand touching forehead, then extending his right arm straightforward, angling upward, fingers pointing ahead.

“By the mid 1930s commentators noted the similarity with the salutes given to Mussolini and Hitler. Some were concerned photos of children or other groups saluting could be mischaracterized as proof that Americans were expressing support for the ideologies of those dictators.

“Thus, on December 22, 1942, Congress amended the Flag Code to say the Pledge of Allegiance should ‘be rendered by standing with the right hand over the heart.’”


What about the other Bellamys?

Brothers Charles Bellamy and Edward Bellamy were also influential national socialists in the late 1800's. The pledge’s author, Francis, was their cousin. And all three used print media to promote the growth of government.  

Francis' cousins were journalists who founded, to promote socialism, the newspaper The Springfield Daily News near their Massachusetts hometown of Chicopee MA.

Edward Bellamy is attributed with influencing the worldview behind the political views of his pledge-writing cousin Francis.

Edward Bellamy wrote the book Looking Backward, a critique of American capitalism. The book was translated into every major language and sold about a million copies. People across the country created Nationalist clubs to discuss the book.

Looking Backward depicted a utopian American society in the year 2000, a place and time in which everyone would work for the government and equally share the nation's income, living in peace and prosperity.

American educator and socialist John Dewey “(p)roclaimed Bellamy’s Looking Backward second only to Marx’s Das Kapital as the most influential book of modern times.”


What’s the takeaway from all this?

I hope this story encourages you as one example of how our enemies can intend something for evil against us, but God can use it for good.

The symbolism and the meaning of our pledge, originally intended as a tribute to Socialism, has changed over time—and under God—so that today, our pledge is hated by leftists, and is proudly recited by American patriots.

Sources:

http://www.ushistory.org/documents/pledge.htm

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-man-who-wrote-the-pledge-of-allegiance-93907224/ - skbJGpVDKy7kzfXj.99

https://www.cnn.com/2013/12/22/opinion/greene-pledge-of-allegiance-salute/index.html

http://rexcurry.net/bellamy-charles-joseph-biography1.html

http://www.christianworldview.net/2011/06/the-socialistic-history-of-the-pledge-to-the-flag/

https://www.orlandoweekly.com/orlando/a-different-patriotic-dream/Content?oid=2261277


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