Monday, June 16, 2008

Weekend Activities

Rats. I accidentally posted this entry on my regular board, rather than here.

I you were to open up Google News and do a search for "pledge of allegiance" you would discover page after page of reports of events where, "Person P lead the pledge of allegiance."

I had one commenter state that he had never encountered the Pledge of Allegiance after junior high school. The most likely reason for this is that the reader simply did not attend civic events - graduations, government meetings, celebrations honoring fallen soldiers, cub scout or boy scout events, and the like.

Either that, or he lives in an unusual part of the country.

Over the past several years, there has been a push to include the Pledge of Allegiance into more and more events (particularly events involving young children), just as there is a push to put the national motto "In God We Trust" in more and more buildings. These are all parts of a movement to brand America as a "Christian" (or at least a "religious") nation - at least in the sense that if you are not Christian, these people want to make sure that the government tells you that you do not fit in here. That you are not wanted.

One of the projects that fits into the Pledge Project is to get the Pledge removed from these ceremonies. Here, the argument would be, "It is simply wrong to begin a ceremony by insulting many of the people who would attend. The Pledge states that a person who does not support 'one nation under God' is as bad as a person who does not support 'liberty and justice for all'. This type of insult cast at peaceful and law-abiding citizens is a poor way to start a ceremony."

If the claim is brought up that this is our way of honoring the flag, the answer could be given, "This ritual has the same moral qualities of a ritual that takes a group of people from the audience, ties them to stakes, and has the audience throw rotten fruit or spit at them. That this is said to be a ceremony in which Americans show their respect for others is bizarre at best. In fact, it is a lie added to an insult. This ritual is not ment to show respect at all. It is meant to show and to foster contempt against a group of peaceful and law-abiding citizens based simply on their beliefs."

Of course, the defenders of 'under God' will complain about how atheists simply will not be happy unless all mention of God is removed from the public square. Against this, the answer is, "Opposition to 'under God' is anti-religious in the same way that opposition to segregation was anti-white. There are plenty of ways in which a person can mention God in the public square other than to insult others by comparing them to 'those who hate liberty and justice for all'. I would recommend that you choose one of them instead."

If they seek a recommendation, I have already given one. It would be a pledge that does not contain the words 'under God', but one in which the speaker is free to add 'so help me God' at the end. This allows mention of God in the public square in a way that does not say, 'no person who denies the existence of God shall be considered a patriot.'

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