Pa. lawmaker refuses to say Pledge of Allegiance at House meeting

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HARRISBURG, Pa. —

A state lawmaker is coming under fire after refusing to say the Pledge of Allegiance at a recent house committee meeting.

Democratic Rep. Babette Josephs said the words "under God" in the Pledge make it a prayer, and she refused to say it.

When Republican Chairman Darryl Metcalfe, who represents Butler, asked Josephs to lead the pledge, she refused.

As everyone was standing to say the pledge, Josephs said, "Based on my First Amendment rights and based on the fact that I really think it's a prayer, I don't pray in public."

After the incident, Metcalfe told reporters, "I think it is shocking that any elected official would not pledge allegiance to the flag. It's a person's right to not say the pledge, but I don't believe anybody should be in elected office that holds that position, and I think a majority of Americans wouldn't elect somebody if they held that position."

Josephs, who represents the Philadelphia area, is retiring in a few days.