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Friday, November 18, 2005 

I pledge allegiance

History Of the Pledge Of Allegiance

It seems that every year, this becomes a hot button issue with people. It's unfortunate, because I think the issue has taken over the entire purpose of the pledge. If you check out the link I provided, it gives you a short history of the pledge.

Recently, you read online or in the news that schools have eliminated the pledge as part of the morning exercises, or kids refusing, or religious groups rioting or non-religious people causing an uproar.

When you take a step back, and look at the way you yourself looked at reciting the pledge when you were in grammar school, did you at all think "Wow, Under God? That's scandalous!!!"? No, unless your parents reacted that way. I remember it wasn't that cool to opening recite it, to be the loudest one in the class. I also remember everyone standing up, mumbling or whatever, but regardless, doing it. I don't think we had all religious kids in the class, but everyone stood for the act of reciting.

I think it's an important part of American culture, just as an important part is to read and remember the constitution the best you can. I believe this because the interpretations that are given today for these things are not the same as they were when initially created. If you look at the history of the pledge, you'll see that it's been altered several times, to get it right. It's amazing that instead of trying to change something, they try to rid it entirely. Why not, instead of causing such an uproar, stick with the version without 'Under God'? Kids don't consider the importance, until their parents decide it's an issue. Those parents need a fucking slap. Sorry.

I go to church, and I pray. I am the guy who doesn't vocalize my participation in the 'let us pray' part where we ask for forgiveness. I have a personalized way of doing that. Why can't that be brought to the schools? Stand, appreciate the country that was created for you, and be respectful in your own way. Sitting down, or objecting to a word is inappropriate. The 4th graders who stand even know that, without knowing the consequences.

I'd love some input on this. It's annoying, more than anything else. It's comparable to the Boy Scouts Scout Law, where the last law is a Scout Is Reverent. It's as though they forget completely the other amazing laws and focus of the one that can be interpreted different ways. Fuckin A!

I am afraid for once I have to disagree with you completely. I am very religous. I don't attend church regularly anymore, but I have always been a big participant...aka Youth Group Leader, District Youth Counsel, Sunday School President, Bible Studies, Bible History in school, you get the picture. I, by myself with no influence from parents or others have always thought the seperation of church and state was important. School is part of state. I believe in a "moment of silence" but not prayer. I believe in "learning the pledge of allegence" but not daily reciting it. My biggest problem is actually the dollar bill saying "In God we Trust." That has made me angry since I could read and knew what seperation of church and state was-which was probably 3rd or 4th grade. Not only is this a mixing of religion and state, but of specifcally Christianity and state which makes it worse. If the words "Higher Power" or a simliar term were used I would take it more lightly but God, that's just not a word that speaks to a nation as diverse as the US. I was a boy scout and I did know the scout law-but the background of the boyscouts clearly states that it is a Christian Organization. With that kind of background, you would expect something like "reverent" to be part of it. The government does not have a consensis of all Christians and neither does the population of the US. We are different and should be allowed to believe in different things. If I were a teacher and the pledge of allegence were required not only would I fight it until I was fired, I would compliment students with the courage to mumble or sit instead of reciting it. It's like dysecting a frog, if your against hurting animals that much-you can get out of it. I am gonna copy this post and put it on my "political site" and maybe we will get different feedbacks and can share with one another. Please keep in mind I do not think you are wrong, just that we have a difference in opinion. As usual it has been a pleasure to read your blog.

I am all for leaving God in the Pledge... just because I believe in God. If I did not believe in God... I suppose I would have a problem. But... I have to also ponder on while the word God has become present everywhere in this nation's rituals... the Founding Father's of this great nation... while writing up the detailed plan of action for a courageous new nation, left God out. Interesting... huh?

I think 'In God We Trust' should be reconsidered as well. I firmly believe in a seperation of church and state. However, while 'In God we Trust' should be eliminated, my pastor putting letters in the weekly bulletin about contacting my legislator regarding abortion and same-sex marriage should also be stopped. That's a whole nother issues we could start, but let's just focus on the 'under god' bit. :)
My original gripe with the pledge is that instead of debating whether 'Under God' should be removed, the debate is whether the pledge should be required in schools. I think the pledge should be required in schools. Perhaps looking at removing 'Under God' could equalize it. However, I don't think that will ever happen. The Pledge is the smallest, most harmless way someone can respect the country they live in. If a teacher doesn't want to say 'Under God', what holds them back from reciting the version without 'Under God'? What holds back students from doing the same? Nothing. It's a technical issue that overwhelms the fact that in school, pledging allegiance to the Unites States of America should be something that happens.

Actually, God is referred to in the Declaration of Independance, but wasn't in Jeffferson's first draft. The Rev. Jonathan Witherspoon of New Jersey proposed the lines "and Nature's God," and "With a firm reliance on divine providence." Or at least that's the way I remember it. Anyways, the founding fathers all were adamant about keeping religion out of politics.

Oh, and Chris. You may be confusing mickerdoo with me. just a note.

but yeah, I had a problem with "Under God" without help from my parents.

A pledge os a pledge it is not a harmless show of respect and six yer olds shouldn't be saying it, this is not Hitlers Germany.

Seperation of church and state is imperative in my opinion. To each his own - not to everyone one God.

I was going to say that, but depending on which circles you run with, invoking Hitler in an arguement loses it for you. I don't personally see it this way, but I try to use other means. But yes, there is something weird about pledging allegiance to a flag.

Also, it should be noted that all of this could make it easier for politicians to convince people just by waving the flag.

I feel like this argument is spiraling into an argument about seperation of church and state, instead of the importance of the pledge, which was my original point. It seems nobody wants to simply take 'Under God' out. It hasn't even been in the pledge for a 100 years, it was arbitrarily put in, and should be arbitrarily taken out.

To suggest the pledge is in anyway Nazi-related is utterly ridiculous. Next you'll tell me college team fight songs are the next coming of the Nazi regime. Let's not blow this thing out of proportion.

Like I said, invoking Hitler weakens the arguement. But there is a point there; making kids take the pledge at the beginning of school every day is a bit unsettling from where I stand.

how is it any different from standing for the national anthem? If someone doesn't stand for the national anthem, generally people look at them funny. Try going to a sporting event and not standing for the national anthem, i guarentee atleast one person says something, if not the drunk beligerent guy 3 rows back will note it.

And how is it unsettling? I don't understand that. I really, truly think kids do not think very deeply about the pledge. Just like a lot of people dont know the second verse of the national anthem. Unsettling perhaps if the pledge had anything remotely bad in it besides the two words 'Under God'. We're not talking about a pledge that says you need to kill all minorities and beat your wife. We're talking about Liberty and Justice, a flag that represents everybody in the country. Where's the controversy in that? Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness! Being treated fairly! For EVERYBODY! :) I'm just using !'s because it's fun, i'm not getting fired up or anything.


Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't the purpose of "separation of church and state" not to ban religion in general anywhere public or state-run, but to prevent the establishment of a government which forced people to a specific religion?

It's annoying when people throw that phrase around as if what it means is that the word God should be nowhere in our past or present history.

We're so damn spoiled in this country. People don't want to say the pledge of allegiance, don't want to respect the flag, don't want to look at the word God, nothing that makes them "uncomfortable." Plenty of things in this world make me uncomfortable, but I accept that things don't always have to be EXACTLY my way.

Why should people who don't believe in God have to look at the word of God ? I'm not uncomfortable in the least I just don't believe in God. I think accepting things that don't make sense to you is certainly the easy way out.

As for the flag thing. I don't think there should be mandatory recitation anyway but if it has to be God certainly shouldn't be in it. It is not something I care to put my energy into fighting but it it came to a vote I'd vote God out. I'd vote the peldge out as well though so there ya go.

Riss: Separation of Church and State is a two-way street. It keeps government interference out of religion, and religious interference out of government. It's not a matter of comfort. It's a matter of keeping an assumed value judgement that should be personal out of the regular routine in public schools

I've got more to say on this, and I think it merits a response post.

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