July 03, 2002
Another point of view

The original Pledge read as follows: 'I pledge allegiance to my Flag and (to*) the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.' He considered placing the word, 'equality,' in his Pledge, but knew that the state superintendents of education on his committee were against equality for women and African Americans. [ * 'to' added in October, 1892. ]

The Pledge now: 'I pledge 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'

Almost a week ago there was a ruling to remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance. I don't agree that it should be removed. Instead of removing it, why don't we just make it where it's optional? You can say under God if you like, or under Allah, or nothing at all.

Why bother doing this you ask? That's just stupid you say?

Isn't that what is going on in the schools and at events where we do say the Pledge? I know that my daughters have told me that most in their school don't even say the Pledge. The kids still stand out of respect for the flag, but they don't say the words. I think that's fine, if they are Atheist or believe in an entity other than the "God", the One that it was inserted to represent. But others don't, obviously.

Why was it put into the Pledge in the first place? I have read that Francis Bellamy would "be spinning in his grave", I think is how his grand-daughter put it.

An excerpt from this site:
The true reason for allegiance to the Flag is the 'republic for which it stands.' ...And what does that vast thing, the Republic mean? It is the concise political word for the Nation - the One Nation which the Civil War was fought to prove. To make that One Nation idea clear, we must specify that it is indivisible, as Webster and Lincoln used to repeat in their great speeches. And its future?

If the Pledge's historical pattern repeats, its words will be modified during this decade. Below are two possible changes.

Some prolife advocates recite the following slightly revised Pledge: 'I pledge 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, born and unborn.'

A few liberals recite a slightly revised version of Bellamy's original Pledge: 'I pledge allegiance to my Flag, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with equality, liberty and justice for all.'

Personally, I don't think that it should be changed. That's my point of view. Everyone is saying that if it was changed to "under Allah" would I still have that point of view?

Yes I would.

I believe in God, I am proud of the fact that we have freedom in this country, to speak our mind and for me write these words, for you to express your feelings on my point of view as well.

If "under God" is removed I think that it will change the way the Nation as a whole is viewed. By other countries as well by ourselves.

Why not rule that the the song "God Bless America" cannot be sung unless you are in church as well. Or change the last stanza of the National Anthem? We have to do that as this is what it says now:

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, for our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner forever shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Why not change the actual beginning of the National Anthem as well?

Oh, say can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

See in there where it says "the bombs bursting in air" doesn't that just conjure up the pictures of September 11th all over again? We cannot have people reliving that! (I'm being sarcastic here, y'know.)

My personal point-of-view on this whole thing can be summed up that in America if you don't like something, you can find a lawyer and get some publicity and maybe, just maybe, get rich off of it. That is the most disgusting thing I have ever heard.

I think that the man that brought up the case before the Supreme court, has never served in the military, thinks that everyone should actually be created equal. Fine, good, be created equal, but is that really the case in 2002? I strongly oppose that illusion. Haven't you, personally, seen at least one person that is homeless? Seen one person sleeping on a park bench? I have and more than one.

I'm proud to be an American and I am proud to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the country I was born and raised in. I'm proud of the fact that my husband has served this country for over 20 years in the Navy. I'm proud that I have the freedom to post this. (from Lee Greenwood's song) And I'm proud to an American, where at least I know I'm free.

Posted by at July 03, 2002 08:30 AM
Comments
of course it would change how we view our country. we would view it as an equal country where all people are treated equally and no one religion is better than any other. Posted by: kat on July 3, 2002 09:08 AM
I don't have time at the moment to go into a longer response, but there is one statement you made that just cries out for comment: "I think that the man that brought up the case before the Supreme court, has never served in the military, thinks that everyone should actually be created equal." Two questions spring to my mind from the above statement. First, am I correct in that you're saying you don't think all people are created equal? That some people are of lesser worth than others and therefore can be discriminated against? Secondly, what difference does it make if Newdow has served in the military? Is his opinion somehow invalidated because he didn't do a stint in the armed forces? Do you think he'd feel differently about the issue if he had served in the military? I've known a lot of people who have been through the military who agree with what Newdow has done. Posted by: Les on July 3, 2002 11:25 AM
I agree 100%, Sara. Very, VERY well put!! That is precisely what I am struggling with... if the words are not liked, don't speak them. Seems pretty common sense to me. And if I may, Les.. I think what Sara is might be saying about equality is (and please correct me if I am wrong), that these days it appears that there really is no equality. It is everyone for themselves. It is an "I'm-more-important-than-you" game. Men and women are not treated as equals in today's society. It is nothing more than an illusion... if even that. Those of different races are not treated as equals a lot of the time. It is truly sad but it is true. And it extends to religion or the lack of it as well. It isn't that people ARE of lesser worth but that is how people TREAT each other. Again... sad but true. Posted by: Jill on July 3, 2002 01:20 PM
Les, If you had read the rest of the statement, "I think that the man that brought up the case before the Supreme court, has never served in the military, thinks that everyone should actually be created equal. Fine, good, be created equal, but is that really the case in 2002? I strongly oppose that illusion. Haven't you, personally, seen at least one person that is homeless? Seen one person sleeping on a park bench? I have and more than one." You would have seen that what Jill is saying is what I wanted to convey. Thank you Jill for clearing up that mud some! :) I think, personally, that if you have served in the military you have a stronger sense of discipline and a greater respect for the U.S.A. and the traditions of this country. And let's face it, the Pledge is part of the country and it's traditions. Has he ever been in the military? Have you? I cannot and will not guess as to what his feelings would be if he had been. All I was trying to say was there is a stronger sense of patriotism if you are military. Maybe that's why Jill and I agree. Posted by: Simply Sara on July 3, 2002 02:23 PM
oh for crying out loud! just because people serve in the military does not make them any more patriotic than the rest of us who don't. I happen to love this country. i am free to say what i want, wear what i want etc. i have discipline. i have respect. but i also have the right and the freedom to disagree with my president and lawmakers when they try to force upon me their belief systems. the whole point of this , in my opinion, is to not force children to pledge an oath to this country and to god if they don't even know what the hell they are agreeing to! as an adult, if you feel like saying under god, go for it. but we are talking about young impressionable children being told and forced to say something that they first, don't know what it means and second to a god their families may or may not believe in. this has absolutely nothing to do with patriotism!!this is about our kids damnit! *smacks self in forehead for people thinking atheists are un-patriotic* so now, not only are we atheists satan worshippers, but now we are commies too? that's just f*n great. Posted by: kat on July 3, 2002 04:31 PM
"And if I may, Les.. I think what Sara is might be saying about equality is (and please correct me if I am wrong), that these days it appears that there really is no equality. It is everyone for themselves. It is an "I'm-more-important-than-you" game. Men and women are not treated as equals in today's society. It is nothing more than an illusion... if even that. Those of different races are not treated as equals a lot of the time. It is truly sad but it is true. And it extends to religion or the lack of it as well. It isn't that people ARE of lesser worth but that is how people TREAT each other. Again... sad but true." A question: How does that justify not working to correct those inequalities when we can? Be it equal pay between men and women for the same work or a Pledge that doesn't divide the country into "Christians" and "The Rest Of You Heathens"? By your logic, I should abandon any attempts at promoting equal pay between men and women in my field because people don't treat each other equally anyway. What's one more example going to hurt? In fact, I should probably see if I can't get the government to add some sort of statement that implies it approves of the idea that men should always be paid more into some form of patriotic ditty and then force school kids to be exposed to it, daily, because it may as well get in on the fun. No one treats each other as equals anyway, so what difference would it make if it were re-enforced by daily rote recital by teachers and school kids. We'll just tell those women who get offended by being promoted as second-class citizens to look back over the 226 years of our country's history! "It's ALWAYS been that way!" we'll say, "Why are you complaining about it now?" I think, personally, that if you have served in the military you have a stronger sense of discipline and a greater respect for the U.S.A. and the traditions of this country. And let's face it, the Pledge is part of the country and it's traditions. Has he ever been in the military? Have you? I cannot and will not guess as to what his feelings would be if he had been. All I was trying to say was there is a stronger sense of patriotism if you are military. Maybe that's why Jill and I agree. At least you're willing to admit your prejudices. In answer to your question, no, I have never been in the military. I cannot speak for Newdow on the issue. I fail to see how it impacts the issue, however. I'm assuming you haven't talked to many embittered Vietnam vets. Disciplined? Yes. Greater sense of patriotism? In a lot of cases I'd say no. Personally, I try not to rely on easy stereotypes to form my opinions of others and concentrate more on their actions and their words. Not all ex-military are particular disciplined nor patriotic, just as not all non-military people aren't as well. I have three Uncles who are all ex-military and have varying degrees of both discipline and patriotism. I know first hand that military service is no guarantee of a greater sense of either trait in people who participate in it. I take offense when people attempt to brush aside my sense of patriotism simply because I never served in the military and I hold a viewpoint that is contrary to their own. That would be like me saying that you aren't as much of a mother to your kids if you work for a living. Obviously a mom who stays at home has a MUCH greater sense of motherhood than one who leaves their kids at daycare all day. As for: "Haven't you, personally, seen at least one person that is homeless? Seen one person sleeping on a park bench? I have and more than one." I'm at a loss as to how this relates to the topic. I've known a number of homeless people in my time, some of who were exceptionally patriotic despite their plight. Not sure what you're point about them might be, however. Posted by: Les on July 3, 2002 05:44 PM
Kat, when did I say that atheists were unpatriotic? My point of view is that the military personnel that I personally know are proud of the country and the traditions. I have kids and I have to say that I never forced them to say the pledge, or anything for that matter in school. I'm always the one that stands up for her kids, the one that "rocks the boat". To the point where they don't tell me everything because they know I will go off about the injustice of it all! The guy that brought up the lawsuit, even said in the CNN interview that he didn't think his kid was being ostracized for not saying the pledge. My kids stand up and respect the flag, they say the pledge. Why? Because they have been taught that it's proper. It's part of the routine. Do you really think that changing "under God" will change the way the schools view the morning announcements? Les, "As for: "Haven't you, personally, seen at least one person that is homeless? Seen one person sleeping on a park bench? I have and more than one." "I'm at a loss as to how this relates to the topic. I've known a number of homeless people in my time, some of who were exceptionally patriotic despite their plight. Not sure what you're point about them might be, however." The point is that not everyone is created or treated equally. In this day and age, you would think that the government would see that and actually do something about it. My remarks were not questioning if homeless people are patriotic. I don't even know how you got that out of the sentence. As for "Christians vs. the rest of you heathens"...do you really feel that people see you as a heathen because you don't believe in the same God that they do? I for one don't...but we are total polar opposites. "That would be like me saying that you aren't as much of a mother to your kids if you work for a living. Obviously a mom who stays at home has a MUCH greater sense of motherhood than one who leaves their kids at daycare all day." You don't even want to go there with me. That's another topic. Posted by: Simply Sara on July 3, 2002 07:22 PM
sara, the man who brought the case is an atheist and probably has never served in the military. you are the one who brought up the military personnel being more patriotic than the rest of us. and yes, i think removing under god from the pledge will change ths chools view on morning announcements. they won't be able to force their beliefs on the students anymore. i'm glad that you never make your kids do anything. that's great. and yes, people who believe in god have called me a heathen, told me i'm going to hell, that i'm a commie since 9-11, that i'm teaching my kids the wrong morals and just because it's what were were taught to say in school doesn't make it proper. it's not right!. i don't belive in your god! my kids dont belive in your god! why do i and my kids have to pledge and oath to your god? your god who according to the bible turned people to salt, threw fire and brimstone did very inhumane things to the people he supposedly created. why would i want my kids to pledge to that kind of oppressionism? you want to praise god? do it at church. school is not the place to praise him. Posted by: kat on July 3, 2002 08:05 PM
As for "Christians vs. the rest of you heathens"...do you really feel that people see you as a heathen because you don't believe in the same God that they do? I for one don't...but we are total polar opposites. It's not a matter of belief; it's a matter of experience. I have had supposedly upstanding Christians spit in my face, tell me what a waste of space I am for being a godless heathen, and tell me to "get the hell out" of their country. But maybe you're right; maybe those people didn't really view me that way. Perhaps they hadn't had their morning coffee yet. Incidentally, by not being a Christian I am, by definition, a heathen and pagan. As is anyone else who doesn't practice Christianity, Judaism, or Islam. Somewhat to be expected considering that most English dictionaries have had Christians at the helm defining the words for centuries. Not viewing me as a heathen is contradictory to the teachings of most Christian sects. The point is that not everyone is created or treated equally. In this day and age, you would think that the government would see that and actually do something about it. My remarks were not questioning if homeless people are patriotic. I don't even know how you got that out of the sentence. I agree that not everyone is treated equally by other people or the government, but I'm still not catching what you mean by "not everyone is created... equally". And yes, I would think the government would see this and actually do something about it. It appears to be trying, in admittedly small steps, but progress is progress. Of course, it appears that not everyone agrees on the progress. I see this decision about the Pledge as another small step towards people being treated more equally, you seem to think that this somehow treats people of faith unfairly. The irony is you're sitting here telling me that people are treated unfairly and the government should do something about it as an argument against the government doing something about people that are being treated unfairly. "That would be like me saying that you aren't as much of a mother to your kids if you work for a living. Obviously a mom who stays at home has a MUCH greater sense of motherhood than one who leaves their kids at daycare all day." You don't even want to go there with me. That's another topic. Actually, it was meant as a very appropriate comparison intended to point out the flaw I see in your reasoning. To say that an ex-military person is by default more likely to have a greater sense of patriotism is no different than to say that a stay at home mother has a greater sense of what it is to be a mom. It certainly sounds like a logical argument, but it's really just a sweeping generalization that doesn't have any basis in reality. Posted by: Les on July 3, 2002 09:47 PM
Wow, I don't even know where to start. Serving one's country is no barometer on anything, unless you're advocating a fascist state, a la Heinlein's "Starship Troopers," wherein you have to join the military to become a citizen. I was offended by "under God" in the early 70's, and said the Pledge without the words, little knowing I was saying it as it was meant to be. As I approach forty, I feel that the removal of the words is a sign that we're moving in the right direction -- we are a secular nation, not "under God," though as I admitted, being pagan, I wouldn't mind seeing us united "under Cernunnos" . . . ::a joke:: With an Administration that is bowing to the religious Right in power, I fear that we are approaching the founding of Gilead, from "A Handmaid's Tale" and that frightens me. The words, "With liberty, and justice for all" is probably the most important phrase in the Pledge for this reason. I really do wish folks would understand that this isn't some political correctness agenda. It's bigger than that -- this is about the very fiber of our country. Posted by: Scott on July 4, 2002 09:30 AM
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