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Reporter's Pledge-Of-Allegiance Quandary Sparks Twitter Debate On Romney Trail (NPR)
NPR ^ | September 11, 2012 | Ari Shapiro

Posted on 09/11/2012 9:15:12 PM PDT by Drango

Mitt Romney's rally in Mansfield, Ohio, on Monday began the way every political event begins. "Please stand for the Pledge of Allegiance and our country's national anthem."

This is always an uncomfortable moment for me. While I sat at my laptop, most of the reporters around me stood and put their hands over their hearts. This time instead of just sitting and working, I tweeted what I was feeling:

@Ari_Shapiro: As a reporter I'm torn about joining in the pledge of allegiance/national anthem at rallies. I'm a rally observer, not a participant.

And then:

"Yet most reporters around me stand for the anthem & pledge. I'm one of the few that doesn't. Setting myself up for accusations I guess."

I expected a flood of vitriol. Instead, a thoughtful Twitter dialogue unfolded about what it means to be a journalist, what it means to be American, and what role the Pledge of Allegiance plays in our society. Other reporters joined in, including some sitting around me at the rally.

There were strong disagreements, sometimes passionate ones. There were witty moments of irreverence. But not once did anyone accuse me of being an America-hating Communist. Here are some highlights from that dialogue:

@ChrisJohnson82: I feel the same way. I've made a compromise where I stand with my hand over my heart, but remain silent.

@CarolineZilk: But you're an American! ...I say, participate unless you're busy recording, taking a photo or writing something down.

@Monbud: As an American, of course, it's optional to join in no matter where you are.

@StevenPortnoy: I stand with my hand over my heart. Liberty and justice for all are American ideals worthy of objective endorsement.

@Ari_Shapiro: But aren't lots of ideas at rallies "American ideals worthy of objective endorsement?" I'm not disagreeing with the pledge.

@Tcmassie: As a former radio reporter, I had conversations with colleagues who did not register to vote, so as not to seem partisan.

@Ari_Shapiro: Yet I vote, as an independent.

@ScrollnKey: Pretty ridiculous thought. At a minimum u should participate just to celebrate that u have the freedom to choose.

@Snaggleswood: The whole concept has always struck me as a bit fascist, having to stand when demanded to affirm our allegiance.

@Shoshuga: Now if you were going to stand up and sing Hatikvah [Israel's national anthem], then I'd completely understand your concern.

@PatOBeirne: If you are there to report, you shouldn't participate. Just don't be disrespectful.

@TournezVous: Do what I did when my old job's shareholder meetings opened with prayer: bow your head & check your blackberry.

@Ari_Shapiro: Every political candidate has lines I agree with. But of course I don't applaud in the stump speech. So why draw a line at the pledge?

@McKayCoppins: I think the argument is that the pledge is supposed to be apart from politics—not being used to elect a candidate.

@GlobeSessions: I stand (so as not to disrupt by drawing attention to the sitting man) but do not recite. Blending w/o participating.

@Kimu: AS a qualitative researcher, I aim for respectful non-participation & try to blend into the background. #FlyOnTheWall

@Slichtor FWIW, I'd stand (same for any nat'l anthem) but history has shown that there's a fine line btwn blind patriotism & xenophobia.

@DjCiskey The pledge is a unifying, non-partisan statement of values. Reciting it w/ Ds or Rs does not imply support for their platform.

@TiChall If you were reporting from another country, would you stand when that country's anthem was played?

@MiraOberman As a Canadian reporter I stand out of respect for anthem, pledge or prayers but don't sing/pledge/pray along as disingenuous.

@BFreedInA2: Observe/participate line can be tough to draw. Humming along/tapping your foot to the music? The tunes they play can be catchy.

@Ari_Shapiro: Currently tapping my foot to "I Was Born Free..."

@Cakilpack: Not standing for the pledge is not neutral; it's a statement.

This debate has a postscript.

As Romney took the stage to deliver his speech, he used a rhetorical device he debuted over the weekend at a rally in Virginia. He talked about the Pledge of Allegiance and reminisced about reciting it in his fourth-grade class. Then he used each line to make a point — about unifying the country, or strengthening the military, or the role of God in public life.

Which prompted this tweet:

@Karinchu: @Ari_Shapiro so much for the pledge being apolitical.



TOPICS: Breaking News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: antiamericanism; defundpbsnpr; npr; pledgeofallegiance; statefundedradio; usefulidiot
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Why am I not surprised this is on 9/11? An NPR reporter refusing to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.

I'm going to be sick.

Honestly, NPR and its reporters hate America.

1 posted on 09/11/2012 9:15:19 PM PDT by Drango
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To: Drango

That person is an idiot, that person is a leftwing propagandist not a journalist


2 posted on 09/11/2012 9:17:33 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: GeronL

“That person is an idiot, that person is a leftwing propagandist not a journalist”

That person is an a-hole!


3 posted on 09/11/2012 9:20:16 PM PDT by Batman11 (We came for the chicken sandwiches and a Sweet Tea Party broke out!)
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To: Batman11

From Wikipedia:

On February 27, 2004, Shapiro and longtime boyfriend Michael Gottlieb were married at San Francisco City Hall.


4 posted on 09/11/2012 9:23:30 PM PDT by Batman11 (We came for the chicken sandwiches and a Sweet Tea Party broke out!)
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To: Drango

Wish these America haters would just move to Russia and leave us alone.

Pray for America


5 posted on 09/11/2012 9:27:03 PM PDT by bray (If you vote for a communist what does that make you?)
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To: Drango

They’re discussing it as if they were actually nonpartisan. :)


6 posted on 09/11/2012 9:30:38 PM PDT by bronxville (Margaret Sanger - “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,)
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To: Drango; Diddle E. Squat; deport; Ben Ficklin; zeugma; MeekOneGOP; Fiddlstix; arnoldfwilliams; ...

At the political and tea party meetings I go to, we pledge allegiance to the US flag, then the Texas flag; then we have a prayer.


7 posted on 09/11/2012 9:31:02 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative
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To: Drango

Since we are paying her salary, she could pledge allegiance to her employer.


8 posted on 09/11/2012 9:31:13 PM PDT by CharlesWayneCT
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To: GeronL
I agree, this person is an idiot to remove all doubt that he doesn't understand what respect for the flag and what it and the National Anthem stand for. However, many Americans really have no clue.

When I was in High School, I found it a privilege to stand and cover my heart. I felt I was honoring my Dad, my uncles, and all other veterans who had defended America. When I was in Boot Camp, the flag was placed at half mast due to the Embassy bombing in Beirut, and I thought, “here we go.” and I mourned the killing of other American servicemen that were just like me. When I was over in Europe, and I saw the American flag, I really got a sense of the power and freedom it stands for, even in a free Europe.

I guess what I'm saying is 1) you can't force people to respect the flag/anthem if they really don't feel it themselves, and 2) maybe it takes the realization that America is something special and the flag/anthem is something special and unique that some people just have no life experience to realize that. Or I suppose, they could just hate America and showing respect irks them to no end.

Ultimately, I'm glad idiots like this out themselves.

9 posted on 09/11/2012 9:37:03 PM PDT by ScubieNuc (When there is no justice in the laws, justice is left to the outlaws.)
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To: Drango
As a reporter I'm torn about joining in the pledge of allegiance/national anthem at rallies. I'm a rally observer, not a participant.
No moron, you're not a participant, but you are an American citizen, aren't you? Is saying the Pledge that detrimental to your fragile sensibilities?
10 posted on 09/11/2012 9:38:58 PM PDT by Impala64ssa (You call me an islamophobe like it's a bad thing.)
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To: Drango
Honestly, NPR and its reporters hate America.

You nailed it!

11 posted on 09/11/2012 9:39:40 PM PDT by TYVets (Pure-Gas.org ..... ethanol free gasoline by state and city)
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To: CharlesWayneCT
Since we are paying her salary, she could

FYI:


12 posted on 09/11/2012 9:40:27 PM PDT by C210N ("ask not what the candidate can do for you, ask what you can do for the candidate" (Breitbart, 2012))
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To: Drango

He freaking works for NPR! He’s not some “independent” guy from another country. He should stand for the pledge that supports the flag of the country that pays his salary!


13 posted on 09/11/2012 9:41:59 PM PDT by MacMattico
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To: Drango

I pledge allegiance, to the nothingness and everything for which we stand, and to the socialist mob for which we stand, many tribes, under no particular god, with dwindling liberty and crony justice for all.


14 posted on 09/11/2012 9:42:08 PM PDT by LachlanMinnesota
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To: C210N; Batman11

See # 4

On February 27, 2004, Shapiro and longtime boyfriend Michael Gottlieb were married at San Francisco City Hall.


15 posted on 09/11/2012 9:43:21 PM PDT by Drango (A liberal's compassion is limited only by the size of someone else's wallet.)
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To: Drango

Fags like this clown should be paid with Monopoly money. I can’t stand the thought of these asshats walking around with “United States Of America” and “In God We Trust” in their pockets.


16 posted on 09/11/2012 9:44:49 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Diversity and political correctness. The real reason 09-11-01 happened.)
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If the Republicans win, NPR needs to be defunded immediately. The organization is riddled with scum like this. Let them get their money from the Taliban.


17 posted on 09/11/2012 10:00:07 PM PDT by Godwin1
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To: Drango

When I worked in the media, this came up a couple times a year ‘in-house.’

While there is a ‘PURELY” philosophical arguement to be made about impartial observers and all that, the bottom line is this. To entertain the idealism of impartiality, one must by definition place themselves ‘above’ the issue in question.

And that is where the egotistical Bs of the average reporter comes from.

Secondly, the mere thought that a group of liberals who redefine partisan politics daily being ‘impartial’ about anything is so beyond absurd that it is but to laugh.


18 posted on 09/11/2012 10:08:19 PM PDT by Norm Lenhart
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To: Batman11

19 posted on 09/11/2012 10:12:10 PM PDT by Old Sarge (We are now officially over the precipice, we just havent struck the ground yet)
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just as I thought...Homosexual...I do not support their sick life style so I have no sympathy for this jerk and he is a jerk...

men marrying men is just so unnatural and sicko...
and the same for women with woman..

they are all AMERICA HATERS...

20 posted on 09/11/2012 10:21:50 PM PDT by haircutter
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To: FlingWingFlyer

BUMP


21 posted on 09/11/2012 10:23:52 PM PDT by Fester Chugabrew (oboy)
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To: Drango
@Ari_Shapiro: Yet I vote, as an independent.

What is the Independent Pary? Communist Party USA? Worker's World Party? Socialist Party? Socialist Workers' Party? Internationale Green Party?

Come on, out with it.

22 posted on 09/11/2012 10:36:28 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (Obama likes to claim credit for getting Osama. Why hasn't he tried Khalid Sheikh Mohammed yet?)
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To: Drango
@Slichtor FWIW, I'd stand (same for any nat'l anthem) but history has shown that there's a fine line btwn blind patriotism & xenophobia.

And some red diaper doper babies just have a total hatred of the homeland. The inverse of patriotism and xenophobia.

23 posted on 09/11/2012 10:39:37 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (Obama likes to claim credit for getting Osama. Why hasn't he tried Khalid Sheikh Mohammed yet?)
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To: GeronL

Seems an appropriate place to post this exchange between Mike Wallace and Peter Jennings about not bothering to warn US troops in advance if they knew of an impending attack.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGg_dpGhlf0
Jennings & Wallace, reporters first, Americans second


24 posted on 09/11/2012 10:43:00 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (Obama likes to claim credit for getting Osama. Why hasn't he tried Khalid Sheikh Mohammed yet?)
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To: ScubieNuc
"It's a trap", first they stand for the pledge, but don't speak or put their hand over their heart.

People will talk.

Then they start to recite the pledge, but omit "one nation under God".

People will talk.

Better to twit about boycotting the whole affair. < /sarc >

25 posted on 09/11/2012 10:46:44 PM PDT by a fool in paradise (Obama likes to claim credit for getting Osama. Why hasn't he tried Khalid Sheikh Mohammed yet?)
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To: Drango
THESE PEOPLE ARE RUNNING YOUR COUNTRY

Have a nice day. :)
26 posted on 09/11/2012 11:12:53 PM PDT by Tzimisce (THIS SUCKS)
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To: Drango

By choosing not to participate, he is also making a political statement.

But this pretentious ass is too dumb to notice that.


27 posted on 09/12/2012 12:20:36 AM PDT by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: Batman11

Well, at least we know he and his “boyfriend - husband - wife” eat Kosher.


28 posted on 09/12/2012 12:25:14 AM PDT by Kickass Conservative (Republicans Hope people are Smart, but Democrats Know people are Stupid.)
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To: Drango

Apparently,his idea of ‘observer’ is still like anthropologist Margaret Mead observing the savage Samoan in mid 20th century.As one response said, if you want to be a good observer, blend. That way, the subject would be less self-conscious about being observed and wouldn’t adjust their behavior or speech for the benefit of the so-called observer.


29 posted on 09/12/2012 12:45:52 AM PDT by paudio (Post-racial society: When we can legitimately hire and fire a Black man without feeling guilty.)
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To: CharlesWayneCT

Agree or disagree with NPR’s stances, NPR is not “tax-payer funded.

NPR itself receives no direct funding from the US government. It applies and competes for grants from public agencies such as the CPB. These grants make up only 1.5% of its budget.

Local community stations (not NPR) receive around 9% to 10% of their budget from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The rest of their funding comes from fundraising from their listeners, corporate funding, grants from private foundations, etc.


30 posted on 09/12/2012 1:15:04 AM PDT by Abiotic (The ship of democracy, which has weathered all storms, may sink through the mutiny of those on board)
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To: Drango

Considering that the pledge was developed by a socialist, you’d think these people woukd be all for it.


31 posted on 09/12/2012 2:17:39 AM PDT by arderkrag (An Unreconstructed Georgian, Forever in Rebellion.)
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To: a fool in paradise
they stand for the pledge, but don't speak or put their hand over their heart

If you watch the obama/flag video that first pic was from, someone is "singing" the national anthem.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fwog6E08CFU

Obama does not have his hand over his heart. I have seen a lot of people don't do that. But he DOES appear to be singing.

Watch the video and you can see his mouth/lips moving in sync with the words. You will also notice that MOST of the people on the stage are NOT singing the anthem.

Lest you think I am an obama lover, no, I totally despise the man, but I do like to get the facts right.

32 posted on 09/12/2012 2:45:59 AM PDT by Right Wing Assault (Dick Obama is more inexperienced now than he was before he was elected.)
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To: Drango
@Ari_Shapiro: Yet I vote, as an independent.

LIAR!

33 posted on 09/12/2012 2:51:06 AM PDT by raybbr (People who still support Obama are either a Marxist or a moron.)
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To: paudio

Apparently,his idea of ‘observer’ is still like anthropologist Margaret Mead observing the savage Samoan in mid 20th century.


I remember reading many years later that the Samoans lied their heads off to her. She would make an erroneous deduction and they would just go right along and embellish it even more.


34 posted on 09/12/2012 3:22:51 AM PDT by The Working Man
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To: Abiotic

Then defund the CPB. I don’t care whether they get taxpayer money directly or at one remove, they shouldn’t be getting one bloody cent of it. If the rich liberal professors want more smug “we’re better than the white trash” programming, they can buy 9-10% more damned coffee mugs and tote bags to support it.

}:-)4


35 posted on 09/12/2012 4:19:48 AM PDT by Moose4 (...and walk away.)
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To: Drango

The taxpayer-funded NPR hates America. The problem isn’t their opinion, but my tax money going to pay for it.


36 posted on 09/12/2012 4:33:23 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: Drango

Hey NPR... send Ari Shapiro to muzzie-infested Libya to cover the Arab Fall. His gay tweets will be so amusing then.


37 posted on 09/12/2012 5:21:35 AM PDT by Third Person (I'm in my prime.)
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To: Drango

Not standing for the Pledge or the National Anthem is a political statement


38 posted on 09/12/2012 5:29:45 AM PDT by AppyPappy (If you really want to annoy someone, point out something obvious that they are trying hard to ignore)
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To: Drango
Honestly, NPR and its reporters hate America.

Actually, they feel above the rest of the fools who honor a piece of cloth. The reporters NPR duties trumped his patriotism.

Michelle Obama showed this lack of understanding just this year. Their patriotism has been replaced with self-promotion. They are taking their liberty for granted.

39 posted on 09/12/2012 5:46:15 AM PDT by Loud Mime (I'll claim I speak for God only after I do acid, a few lines of coke and half a bottle of bourbon.)
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To: Drango

While our school children were reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag and the United States of America every morning in the years 1967 to 1971, Barack Hussein Obama was in Indonesia reciting the Islamic call to prayer in perfect Arabic. Patriotism was not instilled in his heart as a child like other American children.

Obama: Man of the World
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
Published: March 6, 2007

Mr. Obama recalled the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer, reciting them with a first-rate accent……. Mr. Obama described the call to prayer as “one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/06/opinion/06kristof.html?_r=1&oref=slogin#


40 posted on 09/12/2012 6:07:31 AM PDT by Jonah Vark (Any 5th grader knows that the Constitution declares the separation of powers.)
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To: Drango
I can see the merits of an intellectual discussion on whether or not to participate in any activity at an event is acceptable for the media. However, I agree with this responder entirely:
@CarolineZilk: But you're an American! ...I say, participate unless you're busy recording, taking a photo or writing something down.

41 posted on 09/12/2012 6:20:20 AM PDT by kevkrom (Those in a rush to trample the Constitution seem to forget that it is the source of their authority.)
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To: Drango

Although I don’t think anyone should be coerced into reciting the pledge, failure to do so makes a statement.

I could understand if someone did not want to participate because they did not agree with the pledge. To recite it would be like lying. But even if that were the case, I can see no reason why a person would not be able to show some respect by standing up (assuming they are not disabled). If I were in a foreign country, for example, I would not recite the pledge, but I would stand respectfully when everyone else did.

If you don’t respect the flag or the country, you can at least show respect for the people around you. Or is he trying to tell us that not only does he disrespect the flag and the country, but all the people around him as well?

Reporting? Give me a break. How much breaking news does he need to type during the two minutes of the pledge? If he needs to report on the pledge itself, I can prewrite it for him: Throngs of voters who came to show support for Mitt Romney stood to recite the pledge and show respect for their country.


42 posted on 09/12/2012 6:36:01 AM PDT by generally (Don't be stupid. We have politicians for that.)
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To: Drango
"There were strong disagreements, sometimes passionate ones. There were witty moments of irreverence. But not once did anyone accuse me of being an America-hating Communist. Here are some highlights from that dialogue"

There's no wit, no irreverence. The twits "backing you up", Ari, are fueling the misconception you have about the Pledge.

As an American, you stand and take the Pledge wherever it is offered, precisely because it allows Romney and Obama to stand up and say, this is why you should vote for me.

I know why you don't like it, it's a spiritual invocation of the American experience. It is American Exceptionalism captured in one stanza. To participate in our unique social contract, Ari, well one can see why you'd have such grave doubts. Douchebag.

Without the Pledge, Ari, you'd be out of a job. As much as I believe that would be a good thing, the Pledge is far more important than any journolist.

43 posted on 09/12/2012 7:05:57 AM PDT by StAnDeliver (2008 + IN, NC, FL, VA, OH, NE1, IA = 272EV)
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To: Drango

For radicals, pledging allegience to the American-American ideology of our constitutional Republic as represented by our flag, has always been taboo.


44 posted on 09/12/2012 7:07:56 AM PDT by SaraJohnson
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Reference Bump! ;-(


45 posted on 09/12/2012 7:16:19 AM PDT by Tunehead54 (Nothing funny here ;-)
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To: Drango

If this were about journalistic objectivity and dispassion, why do ALL conservative reporters stand and recite at the DNC, but only liberal reporters agonize over it at the RNC?


46 posted on 09/12/2012 7:19:57 AM PDT by Atlas Sneezed (Hold My Beer and Watch This!)
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To: Abiotic
"Agree or disagree with NPR’s stances, NPR is not “tax-payer funded.

NPR itself receives no direct funding from the US government. It applies and competes for grants from public agencies such as the CPB. These grants make up only 1.5% of its budget.

Local community stations (not NPR) receive around 9% to 10% of their budget from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The rest of their funding comes from fundraising from their listeners, corporate funding, grants from private foundations, etc."Yes, it is public-taxpayer funded. You rather purposely neglected to mention that 'the rest of their funding' often comes from local governments and ngo's, both funded with PUBLIC TAX DOLLARS.

The ridiculously overfed NPR branch here received 41% of its 2010 budget from city funds. Period.

47 posted on 09/12/2012 7:28:08 AM PDT by StAnDeliver (2008 + IN, NC, FL, VA, OH, NE1, IA = 272EV)
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To: StAnDeliver

And what’s their tax status? I would imagine that NPR is a “non-profit” organization, so it doesn’t pay any taxes like the commercial stations.


48 posted on 09/12/2012 8:07:48 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: bray

move to Russia, no chance Russia has balls and doesn;’t give in to the liberals and the homostapo, unlike us where we let in illegtals let turd pokers have parades and then see them say they’re proud of that


49 posted on 09/12/2012 9:08:04 AM PDT by manc (Marriage =1 man + 1 woman,when they say marriage equality then they should support polygamy)
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To: Drango
Watch Gabby Giffords lead the pledge of allegiance at DNC - they were all standing and said "under God".
50 posted on 09/12/2012 9:42:00 AM PDT by Brown Deer (Pray for 0bama. Psalm 109:8)
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