WWW Opinion Times

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Politician Who Won't Say Pledge Of Allegiance May Be Recalled

. . . as if we haven't had enough religious controversy today. . . .

ESTES PARK, CO -- "A recall election is now set for an Estes Park, Colo., trustee who refuses to stand up and recite the Pledge of Allegiance during the Town Board meetings."

"I have not been standing for the Pledge of Allegiance due to a conflict I have with the wording of the pledge, specifically the words 'under God,'" Councilman David Habecker said.

Habecker said it's a violation of church and state to include the words in the pledge and for that reason, he won't stand.

The board began reciting the pledge before meetings earlier this year at the suggestion of Trustee Lori Jeffrey-Clark. She suggested it as a way to show respect for the country during wartime.

"I'm sad for the community, that there is that much intolerance in our community. But if the people want to have a voice in what's going on, this is their way of doing it. And I will respect whatever the wishes of the community are," Habecker said.

Wrong Mr. Habecker. This is not intolerance. What the people of Estes Park are doing is totally appropriate here. Government officials are the people's representatives. Recall procedures are a healthy part of our representative democracy. This case in particular highlights how important it is for us as citizens to work at the grassroots level to reaffirm our culture, traditions and ultimately our Constitution.