School Board Bans the Pledge Over 'Under God,' Continues to Accept Deity-Endorsing Public Funds

AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann

In North Dakota, the Pledge of Allegiance was recently removed by wokeness. Or maybe it was old-fashioned Leftism.

Within the Fargo Public Schools (FPS) Board of Education, citizens partly comprising the United States of America 86’d an oath to the United States of America. Among nine members, seven voted to pluck the Pledge.


On March 22nd, it had been decided that the Pledge would begin each biweekly meeting. Then on July 28th, member Seth Holden asserted a course-reversing vote should be scheduled. Such was calendared for 7th of August.

Seth’s reason: The Pledge didn’t align with the district’s DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) values.

From local paper InForum:

The problem that Holden saw in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance came down to two words.

Under God.

Seth’s summary:

“[T]he word ‘God’ in the text of the Pledge of Allegiance is capitalized. The text is clearly referring to the Judeo-Christian god and, therefore, it does not include any other face such as Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism — all of which are practiced by our staff and students at FPS.”

Furthermore, he said, the Pledge excluded atheists and agnostics.

But it’s nothing personal:

Holden admitted he’s not trying to get rid of the Pledge of Allegiance, but that it couldn’t possibly fit in with the school district’s principles of inclusion.

On August 7th, the Board sided with Seth. The Pledge would no longer be recited.

And it’s no surprise; per InForum, the assembly’s serious about social consciousness:

The school’s website states, “Education is better where schools are composed of students, teachers, and families drawn from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, cultures, “races”/ethnicities, religions, and sexual orientations.”


The district’s site even offers a Land Acknowledgement:

Fargo Public Schools respectfully acknowledges that we gather on the lands of the Oceti Sakowin (Oh-chéh-tee Sha-koh-wee), who are the Dakota, Lakota, and Nakoda people, and the Anishinaabe (Ah-ni-shin-nah-bay) people of this area.

Seth might have more to say about that; from his official Member Profile page:

I am a General Contractor and the owner of Holden Restoration and Remodel in which I specialize in the revitalization of older homes. I am also a musician and the drummer for the band “The Forefeathers.”

The board may admit they’re land thieves, but they’re apparently unwilling to give back the booty. Perhaps that informed their principled stand against divine declarations — under limited circumstances.

As opposed to their rejection of “under God,” the Board evidently still intended to embrace taxpayers’ money — all of it branded with “In God We Trust.”

Speaking of taxpayers, some were appalled by the Pledge’s pulling.

And according to CBS News Friday, political pressure overturned the Board’s ban:

The school board in North Dakota’s most populous city reversed course Thursday on its decision to stop reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at its monthly meetings, following complaints from conservative lawmakers and an angry backlash from citizens around the country. …

North Dakota Republican Gov. Doug Burgum earlier this week promoted new legislation that would require public schools and governing bodies to administer the Pledge without mandating that people recite it. Republican state Rep. Pat Heinert, a retired county sheriff, is suggesting that sanctions be put in place for public boards and commissions that don’t require the patriotic oath.

Angry emails and voicemails dominated Thursday’s special meeting to reconsider the vote. Nyamal Dei, a refugee who fled war-torn Sudan, played a profanity-laced voicemail from a man who called her a slave, racist and Nazi. Several board members apologized to Dei, the lone Black member on the board, for taking the worst of the abuse.

Dei said reversing the decision would be giving in to hate. She paused for several seconds before casting the lone no vote to reinstate the Pledge.


As for that “lone vote,” to be clear, Seth himself voted to reinstate the God-granting Pledge.

Holden, who made the motion to cancel the Pledge, said he struggled with his decision but was heartbroken over the abusive comments and worried about the image of the board.

“I’m also concerned about what might happen to this board in the future because we’re going to have to probably be prepared to take more heat than we normally do for decisions that we make,” he said, “because that there may be a perception of success.”

So in the end, it’s lights out for the Pledge’s ousting. Perhaps at the next meeting — in memoriam of the ill-fated effort — The Forefeathers can play “Taps.”



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