Saturday, October 6, 2018 … 1:10 P.M.

As I write, the final vote to confirm Judge Brett Kavanaugh to our United States Supreme Court has not yet been cast by the Senate, but the declared headcount predicts confirmation in hours.

Left in the wake of this fight is an American disquiet I have not known since President Kennedy’s assassination.

This time, the question bearing down is whether Americans, contrary to our Pledge of Allegiance, are now “divisible” – in fact, divided – in a way unknown to even the oldest of us?

As many others, I have lived with the Pledge at the heart of the American experience, its frequent recitation a shared, spoken commitment to our nation’s fidelity.

How many of us, I now wonder, never truly believed it … perhaps always refused to recite it?

Ironically, it was written in 1892 by an American socialist minister, Francis Bellamy, for use by any nation:

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

Then, in 1923, the words “… the Flag of the United States of America” were added, and in 1954 President Eisenhower successfully appealed to the United States Congress to add two additional words … “under God.”

So, Americans have recited it this way, hands over hearts, for 64 years:

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Notably, foreign-born, naturalized citizens, go even further in their “Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America”:

“I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.”

The 12.1 million living here illegally, according to Homeland Security, of course swear no such oath. In context, however, they are not my disproportionate concern.

My concern runs much deeper. What I have witnessed in the past few weeks from our U. S. Capitol is open hatred toward some Americans from highest-ranking “leaders.”

What about that key phrase in our Pledge: “ … and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, INDIVISIBLE …”

With the nation’s legacy news media on point, with their committed intimidators in the streets and Capitol and elsewhere, several U. S. Senators and other notables have repeatedly detailed their racism and other hatred toward certain ones of us.

I watched and heard and am fully awake.

My better angels are alive within me, but are neither deaf nor dumb.

Yes. Americans are now – doubtlessly and dangerously and for the record – divided.

© 2018 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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