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Mayor Palin: ‘Under God’ Stays

ANCHORAGE — We’re still going through documents from the time Sarah Palin served as mayor of her hometown, Wasilla, that I picked up from the clerk’s office on Tuesday. We’ve got about seven years worth of city council meeting minutes, agendas, resolutions and other related local government paperwork in all. Four of us have tackled the bulk of it now. (Thanks Mike, Matt and Aaron!)

As Mike noted, most of this stuff is mundane. We’re talking sewage-project proposals, road-paving measures and resolutions to recognize winners of local snow mobile races. Here and there, we’ve found some interesting tidbits. Here’s one more, caught by Aaron. Resolution No. 02-16, which, passed unanimously in July 2002, calls on the city council to recite the Pledge of Allegiance before council meetings – “especially the words ‘one nation, under God.’”

Consider that one month before the resolution passed the six-member, part-time city council, in June 2002, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Michael Newdow — ruling that the pledge’s language violated the First Amendment, which says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

Newdow had sued his daughter’s school district over reciting the “under God” phrase in classrooms, claiming it injured his daughter by listening to teachers [assert there is a god.

](http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E04E1DA153EF934A15755C0A9649C8B63)

Palin, a pro-life Christian who ran for mayor on her conservative values, wasn’t going to stand for that. An ardent supporter of the phrase, she defended it again four years later when running for governor.

The Huffington Post has found a story from 2006, where Palin told The Anchorage Daily News that if the pledge of allegiance was good enough for the founding fathers it was good enough for her. Of course, the pledge was first written in 1892. The “under God” language was added during the McCarthy era.

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