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On September 29, in the city of Ashland, Wisconsin, Mayor Debra Lewis began a meeting of the City Council by leading everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Her version, however, didn’t include the words “under God.”

YouTube video

The incident passed without further comment. There were no articles about it afterwards, nor any real attention paid to the matter.

But on Monday, in a letter sent to the Ashland Daily Press, an angry citizen named Zygmund Jablonski Jr. wrote a lengthy rant against that “revised” Pledge:

… Everyone has a right to their opinion and can choose what they believe in but when a public figure like the mayor portrays the recital of the pledge, which has been recited before a council meeting since the beginning of time, to be the actual pledge as written and then eliminates words because of her own personal beliefs then we have a major problem within her office and that problem is her! By her actions she purposely tried to have people, who actually agree with the words “one nation under God,” omit them to meet her standards of what she believe is right. This is not the city of Deb Lewis.

At the very least Lewis should have advised the people in attendance that she was going to eliminate “one nation under God” from her recital and then the people who had a problem with that elimination would not have followed her lead. I guess what Lewis believes in is what we all have to follow.

Yikes. Lots of ignorance right there…

The Pledge hasn’t been around “since the beginning of time.” The words “under God” didn’t appear in the Pledge until they were shoved in there in 1954, which means the “actual pledge as written” didn’t include those words. And everyone there had the option of including the words on their own. At no point did Lewis say anyone needed to believe what she believes (whatever that is).

She also didn’t give any rationale for her decision. For all we know, she just slipped up. It’s not like she announced her intentions to do this.

I reached out to Mayor Lewis for comment but have not yet heard back.

Whatever the case, until they eliminate the Pledge entirely, this is a better version of it. There’s no reason to have people at a government meeting pledging allegiance to a Christian Nation. The fact that it’s tradition for some people who slept through American History class doesn’t mean it needs to continue.

(Featured screenshot via YouTube. Thanks to Brian for the link)

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.

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