Third Party & Independents Archives

Pledge of the Ignorant

So Americans have traded in a highly inept GOP for a party that hasn’t controlled Congress since 1994. While I’m not highly optimistic they will run from a centrist approach, it is imperative that the Democrats who ran a “mainstream” campaign represent America as they should, and discourage behavior like that of some student leaders in California who just recently banned the Pledge of Allegiance from their meetings.

I hope we don't see more of this as a result of the Democrats winning Congress:

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Student leaders at a California college have touched off a furor by banning the Pledge of Allegiance at their meetings, saying they see no reason to publicly swear loyalty to God and the U.S. government.

The move by Orange Coast College student trustees, the latest clash over patriotism and religion in American schools, has infuriated some of their classmates -- prompting one young woman to loudly recite the pledge in front of the board on Wednesday night in defiance of the rule.

If only these fools would realize that swearing loyalty to God is exactly how we go about not swearing an uncomfortable level of loyalty to the U.S. government. But they malign the Pledge as if it were a conservative conspiracy to force Christianity upon hoi polloi.

Adherence to an organized religion is not at all what the Pledge is about. We say "one nation under God" to recognize our independence from a mortal leader with absolute authority over us. So if you have a problem with our government, or President Bush in particular, reciting the Pledge is a great way to express it!

Kudos to Christine Zoldos, the 18-year-old political science major who didn’t cower to the liberal ignorance in California and ignored the ban. It's good to know there are patriots in all parts of the country.

I'm getting tired of the endless assaults on the Pledge of Allegiance, and I hope the new Democrat-controlled Congress will take a stand against the ideological extremists on their side of the political aisle by publicly supporting the Pledge - especially in our schools where today's youth could use a little morality.

Posted by Scottie at November 10, 2006 4:36 PM
Comments
Comment #194541

This is going to be an unpopular position…but I believe that Freedom Of Speach is not only the freedom to say what you want (except for “Fire” in a crowded theater)but also the freedom to NOT say what you want.

Yes, it may be our personal pledge to our nation, but if some people don’t want to say it, so be it. That’s their right.

No one…NO one has the right to FORCE you to say anything you don’t want to.

Posted by: Jim T at November 10, 2006 9:45 PM
Comment #194549

Scottie,

I don’t know if you are familiar with the Pledge’s history.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance#History

“The Pledge of Allegiance was written for the popular children’s magazine Youth’s Companion by socialist author and Baptist minister Francis Bellamy on September 7, 1892. The owners of Youth’s Companion were selling flags to schools, and approached Bellamy to write the Pledge for their advertising campaign. It was marketed as a way to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus arriving in the Americas and was first published on the following day.

Bellamy’s original Pledge read as follows: I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all., and was seen by some as a call for national unity and wholeness after the divisive Civil War. Bellamy had initially also considered using the words equality and fraternity but decided they were too controversial since many people still opposed equal rights for women and African Americans. Bellamy said that the purpose of the pledge was to teach obedience to the state as a virtue.

After a proclamation by President Benjamin Harrison, the Pledge was first used in public schools on October 12, 1892 during Columbus Day observances. The form adopted inserted the word “to” before “the Republic”….”

I agree with Jim that this is a First Amendment issue.
I especially enjoyed the “teach obedience to the state as a virtue”, part.
I guess you just can’t force patriotism on some people.

Posted by: Rocky at November 10, 2006 10:53 PM
Comment #194552

Rocky, thanks for the info, I knew that the phrase “under God” was a recent addition. I find it hillarious that it was a socialist who wrote the thing. Damn Commies. Funny how saying it never made me feel patriotic or more American, but reading the writings of Jefferson and Adams does.

Posted by: gergle at November 10, 2006 11:19 PM
Comment #194554
I’m getting tired of the endless assaults on the Pledge of Allegiance, and I hope the new Democrat-controlled Congress will take a stand against the ideological extremists on their side of the political aisle by publicly supporting the Pledge - especially in our schools where today’s youth could use a little morality.

I hope so to Scottie, But somehow I think they’ll lead the charge against the Pledge of Allegiance and religion. Particular with Pesoli in charge.

Jim T
No one…NO one has the right to FORCE you to say anything you don’t want to.

Your right. Also NO ONE but NO ONE has the right to keep you from saying anything you want. And this is what these idiots are doing.

Rocky
The phrase ‘under God’ was put in the Pledge in about 1954 or 1955. It was put in to distinguish us from the ‘Godless Communist’.
While I see nothing wrong with Under God in the pledge I’ve said it both ways and see nothing wrong with the original either.

Posted by: Ron Brown at November 10, 2006 11:50 PM
Comment #194556

Ron, wasnt it the idiot McCarthyites that insisted on the wording “under God”.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 11, 2006 12:15 AM
Comment #194569

Sounds like a private group of student citizens. They have every right to conduct their meetings anyway they choose. Those who don’t care for the way they run them, need not be members.

Many conservatives are always looking for ways attack those who prevent them from forcing their values on others.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 11, 2006 2:41 AM
Comment #194581

You know what I’m sick of? Issues like this. I don’t care. I’m sick of issues like this becoming wedge issues. If you don’t like it go down there, and talk to the school. The government has more important things to do, and you should have more important issues to think about. Stop blaming Democrats for some school doing what’s perfectly legal for them to do. Personally, I don’t think they should ban the pledge, and I think it’s silly. But more importantly, I don’t care and don’t want to talk about this stuff anymore. Issues like this have dominated people’s thoughts too long. If you live to make the pledge of allegiance mandatory, then so be it. I think it’s pathetic. Republicans have been driving the rest of the country crazy by focusing on issues like these ad nauseum.

The words “under God” were only added to the Pledge in 1954. Just wanted to clarify that. It wasn’t written on Moses tablets or anything. And is has NEVER been mandatory.

Some history via Wikipedia, much of which contradicts what’s written in your post:

Pledge of Allegiance is a promise or oath of allegiance to the United States as represented by its national flag. It is commonly recited in unison at public events, and especially in public school classrooms, where the Pledge is often a morning ritual. In its present form, the words of the Pledge are “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.”

According to current U.S. custom, as codified by the United States Congress, persons are expected (but not legally required) to recite the Pledge.

The Pledge of Allegiance was written for the popular children’s magazine Youth’s Companion by socialist author and Baptist minister Francis Bellamy on September 7, 1892. The owners of Youth’s Companion were selling flags to schools, and approached Bellamy to write the Pledge for their advertising campaign. It was marketed as a way to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus arriving in the Americas and was first published on the following day.

Bellamy’s original Pledge read as follows: I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all., and was seen by some as a call for national unity and wholeness after the divisive Civil War. Bellamy had initially also considered using the words equality and fraternity but decided they were too controversial since many people still opposed equal rights for women and African Americans. Bellamy said that the purpose of the pledge was to teach obedience to the state as a virtue.

Though the Knights of Columbus tried, they were unsuccessful in their attempts to persuade the United States government to amend the pledge to also read “under God”. It was a Presbyterian minister who made the difference in 1954 by preaching a sermon about Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The minister was George MacPherson Docherty, a native of Scotland who was called to succeed Peter Marshall as pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church near the White House, where, in 1863, the same year as the address, Lincoln attended and even rented a pew. After Lincoln’s death, the pew that he rented became somewhat of a national monument. It became customary for later United States presidents to attend services at the church and sit in the Lincoln pew on the Sunday closest to Lincoln’s birthday (February 12) each year.

Posted by: Max at November 11, 2006 6:16 AM
Comment #194585

As a Liberal, I have no problem with the Pledge of Allegiance, and nor do most Liberal Americans, by my guess. Democrats are not the utter radicals that Republican and Right-Wing Demagogues portray them as.

It’s highly ironic that they use this issue as a wedge issue to turn one set of Americans against another. One would expect those people to remember the lines in the pledge about this being one nation, indivisible. Given, as it’s been said above, that the pledge was intended to foster unity among the different people’s and regions of the nation, its ironic that it’s been used to turn one set of regions against another.

Let these folks give up on the pledge. That’s their right under the Republic’s laws. Let’s not betray the underlying idea of the pledge by using it to sow disunity and pit one part of the country against another.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 11, 2006 9:01 AM
Comment #194600

What does this have to do with Democrats, or liberals for that matter?

This was, what sounds like a democratic decision made by group of students for the students. If they wanted to get together an pledge allegiance to a pair of underwear on a flag pole, that is their right and their bussiness.

Posted by: JayJay at November 11, 2006 12:09 PM
Comment #194605

There’s a big difference between saying that the meetings will no longer start with the recitation of the Pledge, and banning the Pledge from being said at the meetings. The news article says it was banned. That’s an anti-free-speech action, and these student trustees should be ashamed of their ignorance and authoritarianism - and so should the spokeswoman the article quotes.

Of course, I am glad to see the general theme of the comments here turns to pointing out that this is a bogus issue designed to divide people. It sounds like these three student trustees are looking for some symbolism - a quick way to express their angst. What better than a beret and a headline-catching (but empty) ban on the Pledge?

Posted by: Wulf at November 11, 2006 12:34 PM
Comment #194606

This issue tells the most about those who raise it. The belief that a pledge can be assaulted exposes a certain confusion about reality in and of itself.

How can someone else’s decision about how they relate to making a pledge have anything to do with my ability or desire to make that pledge? This sounds like some sort of gangster or thug oath of loyalty test, to me. I personally never want to belong to a group that wants me to swear an oath. I might swear one under my breath at them, however.

Posted by: gergle at November 11, 2006 12:35 PM
Comment #194615

I think all this pledging, saluting, swearing, and flag waving is just a lot of symbolic nonsense.

Those that don’t like it could simply stand there and wait until it is done (simply don’t participate, or omit the religious parts, etc.).
Those that like it could simply mind their own business and not try to force others to participate if they don’t want to.

And saluting, pledging, swearing, and flag waving does NOT prove patriotism.

This issue is NOT that important.
Neither group has the right to force their beliefs onto each other and should simply try a little tolerance.

Besides, this nation has many more pressing problems.

It would be great if Congress and voters could focus on more important things, stop trying to legislate morals, and do what it takes to make sure Congress starts producing real results, and stops fueling the circular, distracting, petty partisan warfare, and other less important wedge issues that prevent progress on more important issues.

Posted by: d.a.n at November 11, 2006 1:27 PM
Comment #194619
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, Creeps in this petty pace from day to day To the last syllable of recorded time, And all our yesterdays have lighted fools The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle! Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player That struts and frets his hour upon the stage And then is heard no more: it is a tale Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.
— Macbeth, Scene V. Posted by: Adrienne at November 11, 2006 1:56 PM
Comment #194625

j2t2
I don’t really know if McCarthy and his bunch insisted on ‘Under God’ being put in the pledge or not. I was a 8 or 9 year old kid at the time and really not paying that much attention to the news. But I think they suggested it and Congress and Eisenhower went along with it.
I do know that during that time folks where seeing commies under every rock. I was a time of real paranoia. I doubt that it would have taken very much arm twisting to get the phrase put in the pledge.
The idea was as I recall when it was added was to let the world know that we were a nation ‘Under God’ and like them ‘Godless Commies’.
Like I said, I’ve said the pledge both ways and neither one bothers me.

Posted by: Ron Brown at November 11, 2006 2:19 PM
Comment #194626

Whooops!
That should have been “not like them ‘Godless Commies’”.

Posted by: Ron Brown at November 11, 2006 2:21 PM
Comment #194628

d.a.n., your “producing results “list is great.I agree this deal with the college kids is “much ado about nothing”. I would put the energy dependence problem much higher on your list, in fact I would think it should be up there with Iraq.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 11, 2006 2:27 PM
Comment #194633

j2t2,

Yes, you may be more right than anyone knows.
Our energy vulnerability could be the catalyst for an economic disaster we’ve never seen.
Fortunately, the U.S. has a lot of land, and that land, if necessary, could grow a lot of biofuel.
Our energy vulnerability could even become a national security issue.
We should have started a long time ago, and government could have led the way, but it put fell prey to corpocrisy, corporatism, and the influence of some with vast amounts of money that had other designs.

Energy is a very important part of the nation.
The list was only somewhat prioritized, but you are right, so I’m moving Energy Vulnerability up on the CONGRESS To-Do LIST.

Posted by: d.a.n at November 11, 2006 3:14 PM
Comment #194655

David:

Sounds like a private group of student citizens. They have every right to conduct their meetings anyway they choose. Those who don’t care for the way they run them, need not be members.

I guess then that freedom of speech is not important to you. You seem to be saying that in a private group, freedom of speech can be banned.

What would you think if a private group of student citizens decided to ban black members, or homosexual members? Would your stance be the same…that if someone does not wish to abide by the rules of the group, then they need not be members?


Posted by: joebagodonuts at November 11, 2006 8:15 PM
Comment #194665

JBOD,

Whose freedom of speech was banned? The post says that a woman stood in front of the board and loudly recited the pledge. It doesn’t say anywhere that she was stopped or arrested or that there was any type of action taken against her at all. In fact the full article says that the woman will be at every meeting of the board to recite the pledge. Sounds like she is excercizing her right to freedom of speech to me.

Posted by: JayJay at November 11, 2006 9:49 PM
Comment #194675


I think the woman should abide by the rule while providing good arguments for changing it; or she should leave the group.

What if I were to go to church tomorrow and exercise my freedom of speech by reciting verse from the Satanic Bible.

Posted by: jlw at November 11, 2006 10:47 PM
Comment #194721

JBOD, freedom of speech is limited in its protections by the Constitution. I am not obligated to open my home to Jehovah’s witnesses to extol their speech to my children, for example. Private companies and organizations are not obligated by the 1st Amendment to deliver up the platform of a board meeting or presentation by the CEO to all the employees, to any individual wanting to recite bible passage or Pledge of Allegiance.

The 1st Amendment is designed to protect political speech from being squelched by the government. This is a very important understanding to grasp about the 1st Amendment.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 12, 2006 7:49 AM
Comment #194730

David, its also a very good reason to be concerned about the privatization of the government.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 12, 2006 10:58 AM
Comment #194853

Scottie,

I have equally disturbing news. A friend of mine said he doesn’t say “bless you” when people sneeze in his presence. He says “good one” instead.(Liberal bastard)
With all the problems that the United States must face in the near future, this one somehow takes precedence. With the decline of morality in our young people I soon fear that if I yell “Marco” in my backyard pool, there will soon be(because of the liberal agenda) no one to reply “Polo.”
Let’s keep fighting the “War on Christmas” and “Flag Burning” epidemic that have rocked this once great nation.
Let’s worry about the placement of a piece of rock w/ the 10 commandments or covering the breast of statues.
Come on!

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at November 13, 2006 11:01 AM
Comment #196491

Hey, I have an idea. When it comes to the phrase “under God”, liberals can simply say “over God”. This would not break up the rythmn of the Pledge, and no one would probably even notice! I would think most liberals would be happy with this solution.

JD

Posted by: JD at November 26, 2006 1:22 PM
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