Conservative radio talk show host Mark Vargas appeared on Newsmax Thursday and took exception to a Virginia high school student substituting “Allah” for “God” in the Pledge of Allegiance calling it “unpatriotic” and stating that it is “illegal.”
“There needs to be consequences for this” because the act was “not tolerable,” Vargas, who is also a GOP strategist, remarked during the segment.
The student made the alteration during her class graduation ceremony at Justice High School in Fairfax, Virginia. The school reportedly did not approve the change in advance.
After getting blowback from the left on social media, Vargas returned to Newsmax on Friday in defense of his previous statements and contended that what the student had done was “illegal and in violation of state and federal laws.”
(Video Credit: Newsmax TV)
“This is what the left does. They want to belittle and degrade and mock your service to our country, all because you’re trying to defend our Pledge of Allegiance,” Vargas declared.
“But yesterday I said it was un-American and unpatriotic. It’s also illegal and in violation of federal and state laws. And I’m calling on the state attorney general to look into this. You know, the laws are very clear. You can respectfully decline to respect the Pledge of Allegiance, but you cannot recite it and alter the words and use — pull out ‘God’ and say whatever you’d like. And so, again, I think it’s important. It’s unpatriotic, it’s un-American, and it’s also illegal. And I think the state attorney general ought to look into this.” he contended.
Doubling down from yesterday, Newsmax guest calls for high school student who said "Allah" during the Pledge of Allegiance to be criminally investigated:
"I'm calling on the state attorney general to look into this" pic.twitter.com/2wULbUHEe4
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) June 11, 2021
Host Bob Sellers addressed the issue: “You know, it’s interesting that somebody said if it didn’t matter that it said ‘under God,’ that person — that student wouldn’t have said what she said. So it kind of, by definition, says that it matters that it says ‘under God’ because that’s part of the entire pledge, and she was trying to change the meaning of it by changing those words. Otherwise, you can just throw any word you want in there.”
“That’s right, and I think that’s why the state attorney general needs to look into this because they need to be crystal clear that you cannot alter or change the words of the Pledge of Allegiance,” Vargas replied.
“And, again, this is not the Democratic Party of John Kennedy. This is not the Democratic Party of Franklin D. Roosevelt. And this is not the Democratic Party of Harry Truman. They loved America. And now you’ve got the left going completely crazy because you’re defending the words of the Pledge of Allegiance,” he added.
“I am not calling on this young student to be prosecuted, but I think we need to send a very clear message any way we can. And I think that looking in — having a state attorney general’s office or a district attorney look into this, I think that sends the message,” he concluded.
Vargas did not cite any laws to back his claim, however, it is likely he was referring to a Joint Resolution of Congress amending §4 of the Flag Code enacted in 1942. The phrase “under God” was incorporated into the Pledge of Allegiance when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill in 1954 mandating its addition.
Leftist media outlets are claiming that Vargas’s statement concerning the alteration of the wording of the Pledge of Allegiance is not valid due to First Amendment considerations, but that may not be the case considering the previously mentioned resolution which specifically mentions “God” and does not allow for other deity references such as “Allah” to be substituted.
The issue is a matter of constitutional law and is ostensibly debatable. Democrats have long wanted to drop the reference to God from the Pledge of Allegiance and did so during their caucus meetings in 2020.
The conservative pundit was correct when he stated that it is not illegal to decline to recite the pledge. The Supreme Court ruled in 1943 that students cannot be forced to recite the pledge or salute the American flag.
Vargas took aim at his detractors via Twitter: “The Left attacking our @newsmax panel is a badge of honor. We are not One Nation Under Allah. We are One Nation Under God.”
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