A Massachusetts lawmaker is under fire in Falmouth after she opened a town meeting with a poem instead of the traditional recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Melissa Freitag, the vice chair for the Falmouth Board of Selectmen, refused to say why she would not allow her fellow lawmakers or residents to recite the pledge.
“I would rather not tonight,” she replied when Selectman Kevin Murphy questioned her about the omission.
Freitag, who is a part-time faculty member at the University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth, was filling in as the acting chair of the meeting.
Murphy told television station Fox 25 that to his knowledge the pledge has been recited before town meetings for more than two years.
“She took it on her own liberties to omit it,” he said. “She did block the rest of us from actually saying the Pledge of Allegiance.”
The move stunned some community members.
“I’m just furious,” resident Robert Volosevich told the Cape Cod Times. “She’s not in touch with the voters in Falmouth at all.”
“It’s the beginning of a slippery slope when you don’t say the Pledge of Allegiance,” one man told Fox 25.
Falmouth resident Brenda Scannell told the newspaper that Freitag’s decision was baffling.
“I just don’t get that at all,” she said. “I know we certainly have our challenges (in this country), but this seems like a step backward.”
Freitag did not return calls from Fox News seeking comment.