CAMPAIGN ’88 : Carter Takes Up Pledge
Former President Jimmy Carter, taking issue with Republican campaign attacks centered on the Pledge of Allegiance, says he respects the flag but probably would refuse to recite the pledge if ordered to do so by the government.
Republican presidential nominee George Bush has criticized Dukakis for vetoing a proposed law that would have required teachers to lead students in the flag pledge.
Carter, in remarks to students Wednesday night at Emory University in Atlanta, where he is a professor, said: “I have great respect for the flag, (but) if the government . . . passed a law saying that I had to pledge allegiance to the flag, I don’t think I would do it.”
He continued: “I have always felt that I lived in a country . . . where if I wanted to worship God as a Baptist I could do so. If I were an atheist, I could be one. If I wanted to be a Catholic but was born a Jew, there’s no condemnation . . . from a government authority.”