Bainbridge Council Acts Like 5-Year-Olds about Pledge


ACRU Staff


July 16, 2007

The Kitsap Sun ran a delightful, and also distressing, article on July 11 on the inability of the Bainbridge Island Council and Mayor to decide whether to say, or not say, the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of their meetings. Most readers might think that is not a difficult question, but in the People’s Republic of Washington State, it is.

A new member of the Council, who is an Air Force veteran from the Vietnam War, raised the issue. Other members of the Council objected, some because they resent the Pledge and consider it false in its claims. The Mayor tried to force the issue, and received a backlash from the Council. So, she tried to punt the issue to the Council for decision while she was on vacation, and the Kitsap Sun got its fingers on the e-mails back and forth.

The Mayor said that she “disappointed” Council members when she “forgot to say the pledge,” and engendered “bitterness and resentment” when she did. One Councilman wrote to the Mayor, “Darlene, this appears to be very manipulative and self-serving.” To the Council Chair he wrote, “She leaves and asks council to self implode from their own stupidity! Let’s consider the fallout before we do this.” The next day, he apologized for letting “my inner child take control.”

In the meantime, neither the Council nor the Mayor have reached a final decision on whether the Pledge will be said at Council meetings. The ACLU has repeatedly attacked the Pledge in federal courts for its phrase “under God.” However, it has not to our knowledge attacked any local governments like the Bainbridge Council for reciting the Pledge. Such an attack would be remarkably unsuccessful. According to a poll conducted by the Kitsap Sun, the local residents say by a vote of 63% to 34% they want the Pledge to be said.

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