NEW YORK, June 24, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Exchange Club has delivered a letter to NBC Universal President and CEO Stephen Burke expressing its deep concern and disappointment for the omission of the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance, during NBC's airing of the U.S. Open Golf Tournament on Sunday, June 19.
(Text of letter follows)
June 24, 2011
Stephen Burke, President and CEO
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112
Dear Mr. Burke:
Today I write you, on behalf of The National Exchange Club – the nation's oldest American service organization – to express our deep concern and disappointment for the omission of the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance on Sunday, June 19, during your airing of the U.S. Open Golf Tournament. Many of our members were in your viewing audience for that program, and we were shocked to see such a careless handling of our nation's beloved pledge. Exchange members are proud to have been a supporting group with others in 1954 to petition Congress to include the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance. There are more than 21,000 members of Exchange across the United States and Puerto Rico, and we would like to issue a response to our concerns from NBC to our members at our annual convention in Detroit, July 6-9.
The convention marks our organization's 100th year of service to the people of our country and to 700 communities throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. "Americanism," love of our country, and its guiding principles is one of our areas of service. Therefore, as an organization, we embrace the American value of diversity and freedom to worship – or not worship – as an American chooses.
Rather than erase religious references from our culture, we believe we should have respect for all religious views. The words "under God" provide respect for all various religious traditions, embraced by the majority of citizens of this country. For the minority of non-believers, we think that tolerance for the belief in God should be shown out of respect for the diverse perspectives of the American people. Throughout our history, our leaders have invoked the name of God to guide us and protect us. Rather than "sanitize" our culture of all religious references, The National Exchange Club calls upon us to embrace the diversity of religious tolerance that is afforded us in our Constitution.
NBC, as a leader in information dissemination, could help promote this diversity of thought through work to promote understanding of America's rich tradition of religious freedom. We eagerly await a response from NBC so that we may share it with our members at this year's 100th anniversary celebration.
Margie Miller, National President
The National Exchange Club
The National Exchange Club represents over 21,000 members in some 700 clubs located in the United States and Puerto Rico who are committed to making a positive difference in their local communities. Members of Exchange through their locals clubs volunteer to serve their communities through projects and programs in Americanism, community service, youth service and efforts for the prevention of child abuse.
Exchange's Americanism program efforts are directed to the promotion of pride in country, respect for the flag and appreciation of our freedoms. Exchange's ongoing efforts for the promotion of Americanism focus on the education and enlightenment of our nation's youth and fellow citizens that the freedom and greatness we enjoy today were hard-won and remind us all that they must be cherished and protected.
SOURCE The National Exchange Club