We should all give thanks to Representatives Tom Barrett and Gary Glenn for speaking out against the protest during the Pledge of the Allegiance.
Here are excerpts from the MIRS News article on September 28, 2017:
Ten members of the House Democratic caucus linked arms on the House floor today as opposed to putting their hand over their heart for the Pledge of Allegiance as a way to draw attention to racial injustices, in general, and a recent Facebook reposting by Col. Kriste Kibbey ETUE, specifically.
An audibly upset Rep. Tom BARRETT (R-Potterville), a member of the Army National Guard, said it’s one thing for professional athletes to protest. It’s quite another for someone who voluntarily took an oath of office to follow the constitution of the United States of America and the state of Michigan. The pledge is a reminder of that oath, he said.
“When you have members disrespecting that, I think it calls into question your suitability for office and if they aren’t happy being here and they want to go protest something, perhaps they can do that somewhere else,” Barrett said.
“We’re creating laws here. This isn’t a football game,” said Barrett, who said he was going to talk to leadership about his feelings that to make a display of protest in this manner is “inappropriate on the House floor.”
Speaker Pro Tem Gary GLENN (R-Midland) struck a similar tone: “I’m entirely open to any discussion about people being treated fairly in every aspect of our society. But I think it’s inappropriate and disrespectful to demonstrate during something that’s supposed to be a unifying exercise, and always has been, the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag for which men and women are willing to die to defend.
“It’s inappropriate, whether it’s on a football field or the floor of the state House of Representative.”
Speaker Tom LEONARD (R-DeWitt) was asked his opinion literally minutes after learning about the protest and said he feels honored and blessed to come into chamber and recite the Pledge of Allegiance, which reminds him what his duty is to the state.
As to the protest of the 10 House Democrats, “I can’t get in and comment on what they just did. Every time I come into this chamber, I am proud to begin with a prayer, and I am proud to put my hand over my heart and say the Pledge of Allegiance.”