the "official" record

I saw a story this morning about the flap caused by Washington Rep. Jim McDermott, who lead the House in the Pledge of Allegiance the other day. The flap is because he neglected to say “under God” at the appropriate point. Now, that in itself is no big deal – lots of people don’t say that part, because they don’t agree with it, or more often, because they learned the Pledge well before 1953, when that phrase was inserted. So, a good excuse for the right-wing Godbotherers to get up in arms, but nothing else.

But then I read this part of the article:

The House’s presiding officer Tuesday, Rep. Mike Simpson, R-Idaho, said the words “under God” would appear in the Congressional Record of Tuesday’s proceedings, regardless of how McDermott had recited the pledge.

That’s the part that bothers me: the need of the Godbotherers to rewrite history – literally! – because somebody did something that they didn’t like. I suspect some readers are nodding their heads, and some are confused, and I’d like to hope that the breakdown isn’t along strict partisan lines (but I suspect that it might be). For the benefit of the confused, my issue isn’t whether saying “under God” as part of the Pledge is or isn’t correct, legal, and/or moral. My issue is that if you’re going to have an official recording of the proceedings of one of our top legislative bodies (and I think we’ll all agree that such a record is a Good Thing), then you want that record to reflect what actually happened, not what you wish had happened.