WASHINGTON (EWTN News) — The exclusion of the words “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance in a recent NBC sports broadcast is part of a pattern to eliminate references to faith, Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., has said.
“Across our country today, we’re seeing this movement that is an anti-faith movement, to try to rewrite our history and to try to censor any references to God anywhere. I think that’s what this was,” he told EWTN News in a July 14 interview.
“It wasn’t just the Pledge of Allegiance, but it’s a pattern of things that we’re seeing growing by leaps and bounds to take any reference to faith away from a nation that had faith built in its DNA from its conception.”
Such incidents should be stopped or the pattern will continue to grow and grow, he warned.
“‘Under God’ is not controversial for the vast majority of the United States. It’s a small group of people just who are very, very vocal.”
While 100% of Americans will never be able to agree on the pledge, he said, “the vast majority of Americans don’t feel that ‘under God’ is controversial at all.”
NBC has sent a formal apology to members of Congress who objected to the treatment of the pledge during coverage ahead of the U.S. Open Golf Championship. That June 19 broadcast showed a montage of children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance which excluded the words “under God” and “indivisible.”
Forbes and Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., the co-chairmen of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, had sent a letter of protest to NBC CEO Stephen Burke signed by 108 members of Congress voicing concern that the montage was aired.
“We live in a society where there are increasing efforts to remove all mention of religion from public life, and we remain dedicated to defending against such attempts,” the letter said.
EWTN News sought comment from McIntrye, but he was not available.
Kyle McSlarrow, president of Comcast and NBC Universal, said the channel’s effort to produce a patriotic piece was undermined by “a serious error in judgment” by a “small group of people” who have been reprimanded, Fox News reports.
“To be absolutely clear, this was not an ideological decision by the company, and it was not discussed with or approved by any senior NBC Universal official,” McSlarrow said in a letter last week to Reps. Forbes and McIntyre.
“Not only were countless citizens justifiably upset, but also the actions of this small group cast a negative light on NBC Universal, NBC and NBC Sports, as well as our partners at the United States Golf Association,” McSlarrow continued.
“It was an inexcusable mistake in judgment, and it will not be repeated.”
McSlarrow sent his letter to more than 100 congressmen. Last month NBC also issued an on-air apology for the altered pledge.
“We are glad that they responded back to us,” Forbes said. In his view, the initial letter appears to have ensured that the network “had examined the situation that took place and that they were taking steps that would prevent this from happening down the road again.”
“I think we have a tremendous history of faith in the United States which has sustained this country through some very, very difficult times.”