Local Senate candidate called out for not reciting Pledge, cites religious beliefs

Credit: The REAL Sara Niccoli/Facebook

FORT PLAIN, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A candidate running for New York Senate is being called out for not speaking the Pledge of Allegiance on an anonymous Facebook Page.

“The content of the Page is incredibly disturbing,” Sara Niccoli (D), who  is currently running against Sen. George Amedore (R), said.

The Page Niccoli is talking about is an anonymous Facebook Page called “The Real Sara Niccoli.”

Last week, it posted about her decision to not say the Pledge of Allegiance. Niccoli, a Quaker, doesn’t recite pledges or oaths as part of her religion. She says she does put her hand on her heart whenever the pledge is being read.

“Quakers generally affirm an oath, so I affirm the Pledge of Allegiance, but I do not recite it,” Niccoli said. “I do believe everyone’s religious beliefs are under attack.”

While the post does not mention religion directly, Niccoli feels it’s unpatriotic.

The Amedore campaign released this statement about the Facebook Page and post:

“The page was not created by our campaign. Senator Amedore is a staunch supporter of the Constitution, and all the freedoms and liberties that are protected by it.”

Niccoli claims the page is run by Amedore backers and says the post sparked death threats against her.

The post encouraged local clergymen to rally at the Capitol for religious freedom.

“I thought it was hateful, divisive, and frankly irresponsible,” Pastor Dustin Wright, of Messiah Lutheran Church in Rotterdam, said. “It deeply saddens me that, that is sort of a the tenor of our political discourse. We’re not talking about public policies, but rather attacking someone’s religious practices.”

Members of Clergy issue a statement on this issue:

“A group of concerned clergy members and activists today demanded that State Senator George Amedore immediately denounce attacks that have been made against his opponent and her religious observances. Sara Niccoli, a Quaker (a denomination of Protestant Christianity), stands respectfully for the Pledge of Allegiance, but does not recite the pledge in line with her religious practices. Recently, a shadowy attack group with ties to the Amedore campaign has been levelling attacks on religious freedom and has served as a forum for extremist intolerance and discrimination.

NEWS10 ABC’s Lauren Linder reached out to the administrator of the Facebook Page, but didn’t hear back prior to the publication of this report.

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