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23 July 2002 @ 04:08 pm
Pledge rant  
I guess it's time to put my two cents in. I was trying to avoid doing it, but I finally had enough.

I'm reading the SPEBSQSA message board, and I come across a few posts that point to a USA Today poll about whether or not the words "Under God" should be put back in the Pledge of Allegiance. The guy who posted it originally apparently got both support mail and flame mail because of it, and I was really close to letting it go, until I saw something at the end of his post that just pissed me off. I responded, and was somewhat proud of what I said, so I figured I'd open myself up to the same kind of flaming by posting it here.

I have one request, before you read. Please keep all responses IN LIVEJOURNAL. I have the option to remove comment ability from you, but I'm not doing it. I'd rather it all be here, out in the open, than cluttering up my e-mailbox or pent up in private. Believe me, I'll read everything that's said here.

Anyway, here is my e-mail to that gentleman:

******************************

I'm only responding because of the last part of your post:

>>Happy To Live In A Free World Where I Can Say What I Want

The question isn't about what are you allowed to say. It's a question of what you're forcing other people to say. Is it all right to send your children to a public school where they say Muslim prayers every day? Where they force the children to send warm wishes to the Hindu, Hebrew, and Christian Gods before they can go to recess?

Why is it any different when they force children to use a phrase that points to the existance of a being that not everyone believes in? Agnostics and Athiests are entitled to their opinion as well, and NO ONE has a right to force them to believe otherwise, or to chant prayers or the like. Freedom of religion isn't just about being free to practice religion; it's about being free to NOT practice religion. I may be a religious man, but even I can see that using the phrase "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance GOES DIRECTLY AGAINST WHAT THE COUNTRY STANDS FOR.

Will this decision get overturned? Yeah, I think it will. Will that be affected by sily little USA Today polls? I suspect more than some people might think. Is overturning it the right decision?


I'll get off my soap box now. Thanks for reading.
 
 
 
DragonPookiedragonpookie on July 24th, 2002 04:56 am (UTC)
nevermind the mention of God in the pledge....
Do I have a problem with God being mentioned in the pledge? PERSONALLY, no. I am a Christian and belive in God. Doesn't bother me at all. Do I have a problem with people who are uncomfortable/offended by the mention of God being forced to recite it? ...You bet I do. It is important to me that everyone be allowed their religious freedom. I also feel (and this is just me persanally) that a subscriber of ANY religion should be willing to accept that they might be wrong and the other person might be right. Maybe then there would be a little more tolernce in that area (and less of those pushy, cram-it-down-yer-throat, bible-pushing christians who give the rest of us a bad name).

HOWEVER... Regardless of God being mentioned in the Pledge of allegiance, I think we should just shit-can the pledge completely. Am I non-patriotic? Hell no... just the opposite. I'm so patriotic it offends me that everyone recites it in the same dull pathetic way. There's a cadence to it that shouldn't be. All generations, all over the country, have learned it and regurgitated (sp?) it in the same mindless zombie-like fashion.
"I pledege allegiance
To the Flag
of the United States of America
and to the republic
for which it stands
one nation
under God
indivisible
with liberty
and justice
for all"
I've never heard it spoken as if it came from the heart. If anything, everyone looks and sounds like the little kid who wants nothing more that to play stickball with his friends but all he sees in the window is rain.
And my own personal feeling about the Pledge is that it is merely an example, much like the "Lord's Prayer" was meant to be. It wasn't a "you must pray these exact words" kind of thing, it was a "well, here's an example of what you could say". But Catholics everywhere (not meant to offend catholics by the way) recite it word-for-word, and repeatedly because they "did a no-no". And the school children and government officials (on certain holidays, that is) do the same with the PofA.
I say, don't make ANYBODY say it ANYWHERE.
In fact, I say we change it to a simple guideline rather than a recitable pledge. And that guideline should be something to the effect of
"Write your own pledge in your own words if you want to pldege at all. But only do it if you mean it. It's not a mandatory thing."

Let the people who have it in their hearts to do so pledge, let the people who don't live their lives in peace.
Master Thomastommyomega on September 13th, 2002 08:20 pm (UTC)
:)
Considering how the original pledge, before McCarthy-ism was in full swing, "Under God" was never part of the oath (and written by a Communist, I might add)...

As for religion, even the first President and Vice President, in a letter to Malta, assured that "the official religion of the United States of America is NOT Christianity. There is no official religion of the Government of the United States."