July 03, 2002
Thoughts on Some Recent Comments...

The following was originally going to appear in the comments section of Sarah's article on 07-03-2002 until it sort of took on a life of its own. It sort of morphed into it's present state because, as usual, I have far too much to say on these topics.

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The largest problem that I have seen in relation to this issue is that too many people are trying to make this a patriotism issue. Let me set the record straight. No one is trying to slam the Pledge of Allegiance. We are merely stating that the thrice-altered one is slanted toward one religion. This means that the government is endorsing one religion and that is the real issue. Attacking on the patriotism front will do no good in this instance.

If you want to argue heritage, remember that the original incarnation is older and the current one is actually younger that the Pledge as a whole. We are simply looking at the possibility of returning it to the traditional Pledge as it existed in it's original incarnation before it was altered to narrow it down to profess faith in one religion.

We treat each other certain ways that are not equal. Yes this is sad but true. Does the fact that we do treat each other poorly sometimes justify it? I was discussing this with a friend the other day and he said, (paraphrased) "If people do not like feeling singled out because they are different from the majority, tough. They made the decision to be different. They should grow thicker skins." I have to say that I hate that viewpoint. This is one of my best friends, but I have a serious point of contention with the belief in a mob mentality.

To quote from Wade Johnson's History of the Pledge:

1892 - His 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. ]

32 years later

1924 - The National Flag Conference, under the 'leadership of the American Legion and the Daughters of the American Revolution, changed the Pledge's words, 'my Flag,' to 'the Flag of the United States of America.' Bellamy disliked this change, but his protest was ignored.

30 years later

1954 - Congress after a campaign by the Knights of Columbus, added the words, 'under God,' to the Pledge. The Pledge was now both a patriotic oath and a public prayer.

48 years later

2002 - The Supreme Court is preparing to look at the validity of the 1954 alteration.

What do I think it should say?

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with equality, liberty, and justice for all."

Is there equality for all? Is there liberty for all? Is there justice for all?

There is a quote from Robert Fulghum that I like to refer to when this question arises:

Americans prefer definite answers… Yes or no. No grays, please.

In Indonesia, there is a word in common use that nicely wires around the need for black and white. Belum is the word and it means "not quite yet." A lovely word implying continuing possibility. "Do you speak English?" "Belum." "Not quite yet." "Do you have children?" "Belum." "Not quite yet." "Do you know the meaning of life?" "Belum." "Not quite yet."

It is considered both impolite and cynical to say "No" outright…Perhaps. Maybe. Possibly. Not yes or no, but within the realm of what might be.

In answer, belum. Not quite yet.

(Pronounce it "bay-loom")

We are not quite there yet. Does that mean that we should not change things today since we are no there? Look at where we are at compared to the Dark Ages? We could still be leading Crusades to forcibly bring Christ to the masses. We have grown beyond that. This is merely another step in our growth as a civilization. The statement of "Under God" is meaningless. If a person says it and does not mean it, it is meaningless. If a person does not say it, then they are being singled out. While I agree that there is a limit to how much you should insulate people who single themselves out, I do not agree with government-mandated, religious division. Americans are not God-fearing, but some God-fearing people are Americans. You might say that Americans should be God-fearing. That's fine for you, but by law the government can't decide that for us.

Posted by at July 03, 2002 04:02 PM
Comments
::wild applause:: Nicely said, Brian. Posted by: Scott on July 4, 2002 09:22 AM
well for my englsih class we are debating. i got stuck with pro on saying the pledge of allegiance in public schools. it was hard but i found some intersecting facts on it. in school i dont really say the pledge. i stand up, but dont recite it. I just feel that I should be saying it. Most part because of the words "under God". Well with this debate its kinda changed my mind about it. Well i think that the words under god were actually put in the pledge to show some type of religious beliefs of some kind. If it wasnt for that then there wouldnt be any reson for putting it, right? I guess what Eisenhower was trying to do was put some faith in our country, trying to make it a country with freedom of peace and war. I believe the word god means creator. I guess in the pledge if they wanted to mention a specific god they would have said something like "under jesus", or "under zeus". These are just examples of the gods of some religions. The Pledge doesnt really say that does it? Maybe it means under no god, for those who doesn't believe in any type of a god or relgion. when the pledge was being made, i doubt they wanted it to be such an outrage in opionins. they probably considered putting a specific "god" but knew that people wouldnt like it. it took many years for someone actually to take it to court to and say that saying "under god" is unconstitutional. i guess todays society is realizing the problems more then they did back in the days. why didnt they make it a big deal back then? eh? i dont know that....i guess i still have to learn in my ideas of what we are today. Posted by: karla on February 26, 2003 07:42 PM
well for my englsih class we are debating. i got stuck with pro on saying the pledge of allegiance in public schools. it was hard but i found some intersecting facts on it. in school i dont really say the pledge. i stand up, but dont recite it. I just feel that I should be saying it. Most part because of the words "under God". Well with this debate its kinda changed my mind about it. Well i think that the words under god were actually put in the pledge to show some type of religious beliefs of some kind. If it wasnt for that then there wouldnt be any reson for putting it, right? I guess what Eisenhower was trying to do was put some faith in our country, trying to make it a country with freedom of peace and war. I believe the word god means creator. I guess in the pledge if they wanted to mention a specific god they would have said something like "under jesus", or "under zeus". These are just examples of the gods of some religions. The Pledge doesnt really say that does it? Maybe it means under no god, for those who doesn't believe in any type of a god or relgion. when the pledge was being made, i doubt they wanted it to be such an outrage in opionins. they probably considered putting a specific "god" but knew that people wouldnt like it. it took many years for someone actually to take it to court to and say that saying "under god" is unconstitutional. i guess todays society is realizing the problems more then they did back in the days. why didnt they make it a big deal back then? eh? i dont know that....i guess i still have to learn in my ideas of what we are today. Posted by: karla on February 26, 2003 07:43 PM
well for my englsih class we are debating. i got stuck with pro on saying the pledge of allegiance in public schools. it was hard but i found some intersecting facts on it. in school i dont really say the pledge. i stand up, but dont recite it. I just feel that I should be saying it. Most part because of the words "under God". Well with this debate its kinda changed my mind about it. Well i think that the words under god were actually put in the pledge to show some type of religious beliefs of some kind. If it wasnt for that then there wouldnt be any reson for putting it, right? I guess what Eisenhower was trying to do was put some faith in our country, trying to make it a country with freedom of peace and war. I believe the word god means creator. I guess in the pledge if they wanted to mention a specific god they would have said something like "under jesus", or "under zeus". These are just examples of the gods of some religions. The Pledge doesnt really say that does it? Maybe it means under no god, for those who doesn't believe in any type of a god or relgion. when the pledge was being made, i doubt they wanted it to be such an outrage in opionins. they probably considered putting a specific "god" but knew that people wouldnt like it. it took many years for someone actually to take it to court to and say that saying "under god" is unconstitutional. i guess todays society is realizing the problems more then they did back in the days. why didnt they make it a big deal back then? eh? i dont know that....i guess i still have to learn in my ideas of what we are today. Posted by: karla on February 26, 2003 07:43 PM
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