Council's Pledge decision sparks criticism

June 29, 2011 at 1:38 PM

EUGENE, Ore., June 29 (UPI) -- Officials in Eugene, Ore., said the City Council's decision to recite the Pledge of Allegiance four times a year yielded complaints from out of state.

The officials said Tuesday's decision led to a flurry of calls and e-mails, nearly all of which came from out of state, from people saying they would steer clear of the city due to the decision, The (Eugene) Register-Guard reported Wednesday.

"Thank you," Loren Pierce of Reno, Nev., wrote in an e-mail. "You have made our decision easy for us. We have decided to move our 120-member family reunion away from Eugene, you communist bastards."

Jan Bohman, a spokeswoman for the city, said 90 percent of the complaining e-mails and 99 percent of the phone calls came from outside of Oregon.

She said the flurry was set off by Fox News reports of the vote, which she called misleading.

"We are hearing from people who think we are banning the saying of the Pledge of Allegiance," Bohman said. "That's not accurate or even close to the truth."

The council voted to make the pledge a voluntary feature at four meetings close to the patriotic holidays of July 4, Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Flag Day.

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