Leaving God out of Pledge tees off Ohio congressman

June 22, 2011

WASHINGTON (RNS) NBC's decision to edit the word "God" from the Pledge
of Allegiance during last weekend's coverage of the U.S. Open golf
tournament has teed off an Ohio congressman, who wants the U.S. Golf
Association to reconsider its relationship with the television network.

"When we silence the name of God, we dim the light of freedom that
defines us," Rep. Jim Renacci wrote in a letter sent Tuesday (June 21)
to association Executive Director Mike Davis. "That is why this
matters."

The words "under God" were edited out of a patriotic montage that
featured children reciting the Pledge of Allegiance; announcer Dan Hicks
later apologized to viewers, saying, "It was not done to upset anyone,
and we'd like to apologize to those of you who were offended by it."

"Although I was pleased to see that NBC has apologized for its role
in this unfortunate incident, as an avid fan of the sport and as an
American, I would ask that USGA consider reviewing its relationship with
NBC in advance of any future events," Renacci's letter continued.

The freshman Republican said that if the USGA chooses to partner
with NBC again, it should "remain mindful of its role in controlling
creative content and work to ensure" that similar incidents don't happen
again.

Golf Digest magazine recently ranked Renacci as one of the best
golfers among Washington political operatives -- tied for 39th place.
House Speaker John Boehner, a fellow Ohioan who played golf with
President Obama last weekend, was ranked 43rd.

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