WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — Early this morning, President Donald Trump made what could very well prove to be the most controversial move of his presidency with the signing of Executive Order 14738, which revokes the federal government’s official recognition of the Pledge of Allegiance. Under the new order, it is now illegal for any federally funded agency to display the pledge or for any federal employee to recite, or encourage others to recite the pledge while on duty. This law also applies to federal contractors and other institutions that receive federal funding such as public schools. Individuals who violate this order can face fines of up to $10,000 and up to one year in federal prison.
During the press conference, Trump explained his decision was based on a personal belief that the language used in the pledge is “contrary to America’s deepest held values.”
“We need a new Pledge of Allegiance, one with more God,” Trump said. “I have put together the best team, a great team, and we’re going to make a better Pledge of Allegiance, one that has America and its Christian values in mind.”
Trump told reporters that he believes the single inclusion of “under God” runs afoul of “real” Americans and their values.
“This country was founded as a Christian nation and we need a pledge that reflects that,” Trump said. “Within 30 days I will give everyone the best Pledge of Allegiance they have ever heard, folks, it will be great. I promise you, you’ll love it.”
Trump did not mince words when voicing his contempt for those who do not agree with his decision to change the pledge.
“If you don’t like it, if you don’t love this country, you can get out. We all must remember that this is one nation under God and not some Arab and his terrorist friends and their beliefs in whatever they choose to believe.”
Sarah Bradley, a spokeswoman for Sock It Forward, a group that provides the homeless and those less fortunate with brand new socks, spoke to CNN about Trump’s decision.
“This is a story about Donald Trump banning the Pledge of Allegiance in our schools.” Bradley said. “I just want to say a big thanks to everyone that has supported our cause that gives brand new socks to the homeless, it means so much. Please, donate what you can, every bit helps.”
Paul Horner of the Secular Coalition for America told reporters that Trump’s decision to ban the Pledge of Allegiance to make it more “Christian” is a slap in the face for those who oppose government control.
“When our children are forced to chant, ‘One nation under God‘, whose God are they referring to exactly?” Horner said, “From birth, children are indoctrinated and subjected to mind control, efforts to shape them into the perfect beings that society wants them to be. The Pledge of Allegiance is just one of the many tools used in a child’s involuntary reeducation of basic beliefs and values.” Horner continued, “This is truly a bad day for all Americans who value freedom. Forcing children to pledge blind allegiance to this country and profess a belief in a God is extremely dangerous in developing young minds and amounts to little more than government mind control.”
While Executive Order 14738 is likely to be a source of heated debate among Americans, attorney Tom Downey, told CNN that it is unlikely the law will be challenged in court.
“Since this law only affects federal employees and contractors and not the general populace, it is well within the traditional scope of a President’s executive authority to pass this law. Any challenges would lack proper legal standing and more than like be quickly dismissed.”
Fappy The Anti-Masturbation Dolphin, a mascot for a Christian organization that travels around the country educating children about the dangers and consequences of masturbation, told CNN he believes in what Trump is doing.
“It is important that children become the unique individuals that this country wants them to be. Conforming into the perfect little human beings that God intended them to be has always been the American way. It is important to remember that our Lord and Savior loves each and every one of us, unless we masturbate, then we’ll burn in Hell for eternity.”
Originally composed by Colonel George Balch in 1887, The Pledge of Allegiance was later revised by Francis Bellamy in 1892 and formally adopted by Congress in 1942. The Pledge is an expression of allegiance to the Flag of the United States and the republic of the United States of America. The official name of the Pledge of Allegiance was adopted in 1945 and the last changes made to it came on Flag Day in 1954 when the words “under God” were added.
Trump did not specify exactly how and by who the new Pledge of Allegiance would be written by but did tweet the following:
“My new Pledge of Allegiance with more God will be the best, just the greatest Pledge ever!”
The Trump Administration has set up a 24-hour hotline to address any questions and concerns the public may have regarding the new Executive Order. The number for that hotline is (785) 273-0325.