“In 1892, [Francis] Bellamy, an early Progressive [social gospel/socialist Baptist pastor], authored the precursor to the pledge of allegiance, called the Bellamy Salute, which would come to be used in schools across the United States. Curiously, Bellamy’s pledge included the Roman salute with outstretched arm—very similar to what would later be known as the Nazi salute. It was nearly identical to what would become our current pledge, except that it made no mention of God. Bellamy’s salute had a purpose: to unite and elevate the American people with reference only to America, not to Christ. The WCP [Western Christian Paideia] no longer bound America together; the new pledge was designed to supplant the creeds of Christianity. The public school classroom would become a shrine of sorts to progressive ideas. The Bellamy Salute was intentionally part of that liturgy, as were American flags. By the early 1900s, there were portraits of John Dewey and Horace Mann in the classroom, alongside George Washington. In 1942, the original salute, with hands outstretched, was replaced for its obvious connection with the Nazi salute. In the 1950s, Bellamy’s original pledge was amended to add ‘under God’ by Congress amid fears of another form of Marxism—atheistic communism. The original 1892 Bellamy Salute: ‘I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands; one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.’ The current pledge of allegiance: ‘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.’ The Bellamy Salute served its purpose as nationalism slowly replaced Christianity over a period of decades. This form of nationalism, married to what has been called Manifest Destiny, became a sort of civil religion in its own right in America. Nationalism has its place—no doubt—but this form of American ‘democracy’ was intentionally disordered. It was an early placement of ‘nation’ above ‘Christ’—and executed intentionally” (pp. 76-77).
Battle for the American Mind: Uprooting a Century of Miseducation by Pete Hegseth & David Goodwin