A Pennsylvania lawmaker’s refusal to lead the Pledge of Allegiance sparked an onslaught of controversy. Unlike many politicians who are criticized for making a specific statement, Democratic State Representative Babette Josephs is being chastised for what she refused to say. What began as a mundane House State Government Committee meeting took a dramatic turn when Chairman Daryl Metcalfe tapped Josephs to lead the patriotic pledge.
The routine meeting opening activity was abruptly stalled when Josephs announced her opposition to accepting the request. The Philadelphia representative had this to say about her refusal to lead the Pledge of Allegiance during the meeting:
“Based on my First Amendment rights and based on the fact that I really think it’s a prayer. I don’t pray in public.”