Third Party & Independents Archives

Are you FORCED to live here?

Talk about the straw…
Banning the pledge because it MIGHT offend Muslims???

I must point out that NO MUSLIM asked for the ban on the Pledge of Allegiance.
In fact, Muslims were offended by a move, by one individual, trying NOT to offend.

'Pledge of Allegiance'

'(CBS) Most children growing up in the US memorize the Pledge of Allegiance. But, in one Oregon elementary school, the kids won't be allowed to recite it at an end of the year assembly.

The principal banned it that day so as not to offend Muslims.

One resident of Portland, Oregon was a little surprised when she received an e-mail from her stepson's school principal.

The e-mail said that the children would not be reciting the pledge because of its reference to God.

Instead, the students would memorize and sing the Preamble to the United States Constitution.

But it's not just non-Muslims who were offended.

At least one Muslim community leader says he feels the same way. Muhammad Najieb says that 'God'
is central to the Muslim faith, and there are several references to him in
every prayer.

Portland school officials say the principal was trying to be sensitive, but some Muslims say the ban caused hurt feelings, and may foster bitterness and division within the community.'

It isn't just this. What would happen to the world as we know it if we drill for oil as we expect other countries to do? IMO - We would become the #1 supplier of oil and EVERYTHING would change for the better.

Our country has gone from 'majority rules' to a single person can change our nation based on 'I'm a Minority'.

Granted, there are times when that ONE PERSON who starts the fight is correct. Slavery. Women being allowed to vote. Inter-racial marriage. Black Civil Rights.
What if the guy who wants to have sex with children proves he is a minority and his 'rights' are being violated?

Atheists can be silent during the Pledge - or simply skip the words 'under god'. They can even make up their own Pledge and say it in their heads as the official Pledge is being recited.

I am happy Muslims were offended by this. It shows that they love the United States and respect the country they have become a part of. ( I am still against putting footbaths in every public area just for them. I don't believe they will go to hell for missing a bath because they did not expect everyone else to provide this ritual.)

Changing the values that our Nation was founded on is where the line should be drawn.
We are still the Nation 'everyone' wants to move to and become a part.
If we continue to change all we are and who we have been, WE will no longer be the Nation people want to be a part.
Why is it that people who were born & raised in the United States believe we are completely screwed up, but people flock here from all over the world knowing this is the best place to live?
A 'feel good' Nation. Sure, I want people to feel good. I just want them to earn that feeling not have it handed to them.

Posted by Dawn at June 19, 2008 11:07 PM
Comment #256075

Good article; however, I wonder some times if we should define “God” as the Self-Awareness and Self-Knowledge of that which is shown and proven to be Unalienable Right Regardless by All Humans. Maybe than citizens would not be so easily swayed by the beliefs of others.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at June 20, 2008 12:17 AM
Comment #256076

Dawn, the pledge of Allegiance is from the 1890’s and the fifties, not our founding fathers.A brief history can be found here

I am an atheist. I did not consider myself an atheist as a child. My parents did not go to church or talk much about God. My grandparents, and aunts and uncles did, however.

The pledge of allegiance did bother me in school, partly because of the God reference and also because of the “Allegiance” to a political body. I considered both to be indoctrination and abhorrent to what I considered our founding fathers concept of freedom.

Frankly, I don’t see it as a large issue, since it is minimally invasive. But since you brought it up, why would you be offended by having Christians and those imbued with patriotic fervor simply stand in silence? You don’t have to live here, after all.

Posted by: googlumpugus at June 20, 2008 12:20 AM
Comment #256077

Majority rules and minority rights.

That’s what America is about.

My family is Christian, and NOT trinitarian as is the vast majority of those who claim Christianity. It drives me nuts that while my son loves to sing, if he sings in the school choir, then he’ll be required to sing trinitarian songs (Christmas, etc.) in order to get a good grade.

Could I complain? Surely, and I might win, too. But I won’t. I will draw the line, however, when those who work for the school pressure my son to participate in holidays in which we do not believe, for it is our right - our MINORITY right - to not be forced to participate in religious activities that would violate our religious precepts.

And BTW - one of those precepts is that we follow the law of the land (so long as they are not against the laws of God). We take this seriously - if we commit a felony, ANY felony, we can be expelled from the Church (but we can return, of course). I only wish our oh-so-religious evangelical politicians would take the commands of the Bible as seriously as we do.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at June 20, 2008 12:43 AM
Comment #256078


When I was in High School, the boy next to me never said the pledge, but he stood there silent with his hands by his sides.
One day I asked him why he never said the Pledge. He said because he didn’t believe in God. I asked - But do you believe in our country? After that he stood silent but put his hand over his heart.

Like you, we did not go to church. My Dad believed God is in our hearts. My Mom started going to church again when my Dad & her Mother were dying. She needed it.

Why did the God reference ‘bother’ you? It didn’t bother me. I say it. It has nothing to do with any certain religon to me. It has to do with being good to each other. respecting everyone.

I do not go to church to this day, but I am not an atheist.
I just won’t accept the claims of those who tell me I will go to hell if I don’t congregate once a week and give a share of our income to support the church.
I have no idea how we got here. I just don’t have a problem with acknowleging a generic God if it makes us a better people.
I also don’t believe we are pledging to a ‘political body’. We are pledging to be the best we can be, and the only place in the world where people can come to be themselves.

Posted by: Dawn at June 20, 2008 12:44 AM
Comment #256080

I don’t see it as a big issue either , sort of like the manger thing they can stay and also i feel the same way about the Greek Philosophers.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 20, 2008 12:54 AM
Comment #256081

‘Could I complain? Surely, and I might win, too. But I won’t. I will draw the line, however, when those who work for the school pressure my son to participate in holidays in which we do not believe, for it is our right - our MINORITY right - to not be forced to participate in religious activities that would violate our religious precepts.’

You talk about yourself & your family. Does your son have a problem with singing those songs? Is he singing them because he has to or because he likes them? Does he complain because he thinks it will please you?
I hope that you will accept your son when he grows up and chooses to become a catholic or a muslim.

‘And BTW - one of those precepts is that we follow the law of the land (so long as they are not against the laws of God).’

Have you murdered someone? Do you think it is okay?
I am NOT against being able to go kill the bastard that molests my daughter.
He has more rights than she has/we do.
That has nothing to do with God — it is a law made by ‘civilized man’.
I am against murdering just for fun.

Posted by: Dawn at June 20, 2008 12:58 AM
Comment #256088

Ah yes Dawn the results of unintended consequences come home to roost. You of course do know that during the McCarthy era the words “under god” were added to the pledge. Since then its been something like this on and off for years. Why not just lead the charge to get rid of the McCarthy era addition and the problem would go away. Afterall the pledge is about Country not Church.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 20, 2008 1:39 AM
Comment #256089

I like Christmas. I’ve gone to church with friends.

Atheism came slowly to me. My first experience with church was a Sunday School with a neighbor. In the class the teacher began talking about miracles and Jesus.

I was raised in reality. I never believed in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. This same neighbor once told me his dad told him worms come out of his ears at night. When I told him his dad was joking, he told me he knew when his dad was joking and it was true.

I spoke up in that Sunday Class telling the Sunday teacher that her stories weren’t truth, just something that some believe. She politely told me to shut up. I was about 5.

In my experience, many people are offended if you tell them you aren’t Christian in this country. They look at you differently, as though you are some sort of heathen, or evil being.

It was only as I got older and more sure of my convictions that I began to tell people I was an atheist. I still don’t go about expounding it.

It bothered me, because I don’t believe it. It’s the same as saying the nation is under a fat spaghetti monster (to use a Dawkins reference). The same idea about placing one’s hand over the heart and expressing fealty to a republic. It feels like a Hitler salute to me. I don’t defend this country because it’s America. I defend the idea of Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. I defend reason and respect. That isn’t always America.

Jefferson wasn’t a Christian per se. He was a deist. It’s a misunderstanding of the ideas that the founding fathers based our Constitution upon to say they are Christian. Yes, their backgrounds and educations were Christian based, but their ideas were much broader than Christianity. An interesting group of quotes by our founding fathers about Christianity is found at this site

Posted by: googlumpugus at June 20, 2008 1:46 AM
Comment #256093


Those aren’t the only ‘misunderstandings’.

My ‘understanding’ of our country is to work hard, believe in your God of choice or not, respect each other, and you will succeed or at least maintain your life/household.

The question/debate is what is ‘better than our fathers had’. We have lived to do as good as or better - financially - than our parents.

Our country has become a service nation. We are being told no American will take these jobs.
My brother was paid to change lightbulbs in a guy’s carport … he paid him $300 to do it. $100 per lightbulb … my brother told him that was too much .. the guy offered him more cause he could take it off as a deduction on his business. My brother took the $300 for 5 minutes work. He would be insane if he didn’t. THAT was 2 years ago!!!
Wouldn’t we all love to change bulbs for $100 each??

Both of my brothers had issues with the fact that our Dad was making more money than they could earn by just collecting retirement from GM. Our Dad paid into that retirement … as far as I know new hires do not have that option.

EVERYTHING is screwed up. The last thing we need to worry about right now is whether or not gay couples can get married. ( I accept civil unions but not marriage. ‘Marriage’ is between two people who can reproduce. Nothing to do with religion.)

Somehow the Republicans have been blamed for all of our ills … Clinton started NAFTA and the DEMS will not drill on or off our shores.

Everything our ‘leaders’ do is based on their careers — not what is best for us.

Posted by: Dawn at June 20, 2008 2:12 AM
Comment #256094

OK. We have an example of one school principle that’s a complete and total boob!


Obviously pledging “allegiance” to the flag of our nation has absolutely NOTHING to do with religious belief!

Maybe if the word GOD had stayed out of it we wouldn’t be having this pointless conversation, eh?

Separation of God and Politicians ;^)

Posted by: KansasDem at June 20, 2008 2:14 AM
Comment #256095



Posted by: Dawn at June 20, 2008 2:23 AM
Comment #256097

NAFTA was the vision of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton did push it through , I Don’t Blame all the Republicans just as i don’t Blame all the Democrats there were some damn good ones on both sides.I’m a middle of the road person I believe in balance and when i see one side go too far off the spectrum i speak up.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 20, 2008 2:42 AM
Comment #256100

Thanks for your post Dawn Good night.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 20, 2008 3:00 AM
Comment #256106

Dawn -

Such bitterness.

I don’t claim to be wise. I will love my sons no matter what, just as any good parent should.

I’ve tried to teach them not so much to achieve great goals, but to understand the world and the people around them, and to be happy.

To be happy, one must count one’s blessings. I may not have personally lived in poverty, but most of my adopted family does live in poverty beyond that which we normally see here every day in America. But you know what? They’re happy, and are so because they count their blessings. Life is not perfect for them, but they know they have it much better than the squatters less than a hundred yards away who line the railroad track as far as the eye can see.

What my family does not know is that they also have it better than many moneyed, educated families here who might, just might spend a pleasant hour or so with each other between work, commute, and all the other pressures and obligations of modern American life.

My wife’s grandmother died a couple years ago. She lived out her final years nearly blind and unable to walk, confined to a cot in a stifling, unventilated room in a compound. But you know what? Unlike the old folks living out their days waiting to die in nursing homes across America, every single day my wife’s grandmother was able to hear her grown children, her grandchildren, and even her great-grandchildren, and they spoke to her every day.

Poverty, Dawn, means different things to different people. Blessings are sweet indeed, but only when they are counted, and often…and then they are so sweet that they can compensate for much bitterness.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at June 20, 2008 5:02 AM
Comment #256124


“Somehow the Republicans have been blamed for all of our ills”

Yeah, right. For years before Bush, everything was the “liberals” fault.

“Is he singing them because he has to or because he likes them?”

Perhaps he just likes to sing.

“the guy offered him more cause he could take it off as a deduction on his business.”


Dawn, I see this as just another example that sh*t happens. This isn’t a right or a left thing. This is just another case of an over zealous moron.
We all see things daily, done by non Christians, that could be ascribed to Christianity, it has nothing to do with religion, they do it merely because it is the right thing to do.

You see the blame for everything wrong placed at the feet of the right, yet there are still shrill voices out there that blame the left.

Are we so polarized that we see only blame?

Yes, people still want to come to this country. These still are the poor, the huddled masses.
The rich can live anywhere they choose, their money lives in a tax free shelter somewhere in the Caymans.
The poor of the world still perceive that America has streets of gold. That couldn’t be because for years the most popular TV program on the planet was “Bay Watch”.

Posted by: Rocky at June 20, 2008 9:51 AM
Comment #256125

the whole pledge thing is silly. it has already been visited by the SCOTUS when Jehovahs Witnesses refused to salute the flag due to conflicts with their faith. Minnersville School District v. Gobitis in 1940 I don’t understand the big deal, having been raised by Witnesses, I would stand respectfully and silently upon the recitation. Why can’t muslims do the same? Political Correctness has gone too far in my opinion, whats next?

Posted by: napajohn at June 20, 2008 9:54 AM
Comment #256133

“Both of my brothers had issues with the fact that our Dad was making more money than they could earn by just collecting retirement from GM. Our Dad paid into that retirement”

Welcome to the new world order of the repubs/conservatives. What do you think us left of center types have been so upset about the past 3 decades Dawn? Doesnt the new world order sound just like the old world order from the turn of the last century?

“EVERYTHING is screwed up. The last thing we need to worry about right now is whether or not gay couples can get married.”

“Somehow the Republicans have been blamed for all of our ills “

Are you serious? You do recall that while screwing everything up the repubs and conservatives of the 109th managed to spend time trying to get a marraige amendment added to the constitution.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 20, 2008 11:01 AM
Comment #256136

The words “under God” were added in the fifties, to further highlight America’s being different from godless communism.

There was a kid in my class who was always silent. He just didn’t want to participate, but he was bugged a lot about it. It’s not just a matter of standing silently, unfortunately. At least, it wasn’t for him.

It bothers me. It wasn’t originally a part of the pledge, and it’s out of keeping with the constitution, which says anyone is free to worship as they please, or not. I think this is such an amazing thing about our country. I’m proud of it.

How would you feel if you were asked to praise Allah every day? You might feel a bit put off - like you weren’t really a part of this country. But our country welcomes all denominations. You don’t have to worship God to be a proud American.

Posted by: Max at June 20, 2008 11:18 AM
Comment #256141

Dawn, it is a mistake to confuse government action with private citizen action, federal law and rules with local jurisdiction and prerogative. Your article seems to confuse these.

What a school chooses to do in celebration and observance of graduation is for that school or district to decide provided its actions are legal. If there is dissent, it is to be handled at the local level.

No need to make a literal ‘federal’ case out of this.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 20, 2008 11:56 AM
Comment #256142

Max, in the Army, the few times I was called upon in a group to recite the pledge, I replaced the word God with Buddha in a muffled voice, and no one knew the difference. Problem solved, no compromise of personal integrity or peace and harmony required.

I agree with legislative efforts to remove the word God from the pledge at government sponsored events, (private organizations still enjoy free speech in this country, thank Buddha) but, frankly, my country has bigger issues and problems than this to deal with. So, I say go along in a manner that doesn’t compromise one’s integrity, and work the bigger issues if activism is in one’s blood.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 20, 2008 12:02 PM
Comment #256161

Dawn: The liberals and the conservatives are allies. They are like an old married couple who bitch at each other constantly but, would never contemplate divorce because they both need each other. When the conservatives go to far, the voters replace them with liberals and vice versa. In this way, they act as a safety valve.

The safety valve is designed to give two and only two alternatives and to prevent any third alternative such as revolution. While their retoric would seem to suggest that they are political enemies, this is really not true. The conservatives promote corporate capitalism and the liberals try to keep it somewhat under control to prevent it’s totalitarian nature from taking over.

Posted by: jlw at June 20, 2008 1:41 PM
Comment #256171

Nice post Dawn, thank you for bringing it to our attention. Pushing personal political agendas onto others or being fearful of a special interest groups attack, are a sad thing indeed.

But, you aren’t supposed to be writing of such things. If people were made to realize that they will see more of this type of thing, and much much worse, they may question their vote for the Saint who will end the war and give everybody “free” healthcare.

“In other words, the House of Representatives have just voted down the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution”

Looks like the 2nd Amendment has a little more company.

“And with the help of Democrats”

But yet, you will still vote for the Democrat and nothing will change.

Posted by: kctim at June 20, 2008 2:16 PM
Comment #256186

Since my post has now disappeared, I guess I’ll never know what jlw had to say in reply to my comments.

Posted by: Veritas Vincit at June 20, 2008 3:33 PM
Comment #256201

Veritas, comply with our rules for participation and your comments won’t disappear. Your privilege to comment here depends on your compliance with our Rules. See the Rules for Participation link below the Comment Entry Box.

Any further discussion of this matter should take place in email, also according to our Rules for Participation.

Posted by: Managing Editor at June 20, 2008 7:42 PM
Comment #256274

From Tyndale’s Obedience of a Christian Man: “The greatest number come and ever came and followed even Christ himself for a worldly purpose”. In 1536, he was strangled and burned for saying things like that and writing the b word book in English. Christianity and Islam have mostly been used as excuses to persecute others. I always skipped “under god”, though in a parochial school. It’s easy for even a child to recognize the origin of intolerance and hatred, without being unitarian or atheist.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 21, 2008 10:58 AM
Comment #256312

Objective of a catalytic converter is 2CxHy + (2x+y/2)O2 → 2xCO2 + yH2O ,

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 21, 2008 10:35 PM
Comment #256313

Oops! to Complete the process of combustion.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 21, 2008 10:37 PM
Comment #256314

in the process of a cleaner burn it trades off the removal of hydrocarbons for co2 and water vapor.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 21, 2008 10:40 PM
Comment #256315

wrong page ):

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 21, 2008 10:42 PM
Comment #256317

As a practicing Christian, I say that if they want to stop the pledge of allegiance, that’s their business. Why does everybody have to continue it, if that’s not what’s in their hearts.

When it is in people’s hearts, its a beautiful thing. When it’s not, it’s background noise drone. Lest you think Liberals are monolithic about this, I was in a hall full of them during the State Senate District conviction, and there was real pride there when we recited the pledge and sang the anthem.

I’d say there should be a discussion about this among the parents of the district, the policy considered publically and people having a nice civil talk about it.

It annoys me sometimes when folks treat this as some crisis. It’s not. What would really be wrong is if all we teach our kids to do is recite words, rather than live out their meaning. The values that our country was founded upon were the values that said that your values would not be crammed down my throat, and mine would not be crammed down yours.

The best way to honor that is for people to talk with each other about these things, not as if it were the end of the world, but rather a difference to be worked out.

Personally, I think the pledge is safer when people aren’t making a political issue out of it. So long as its just a ceremonial invocation, “under God” remains relatively inoffensive, as concerns the mandate for government to be neutral on religious affairs. As soon as you insist that it’s got serious bearing on the moral quality of the nation, it becomes more symbolic of a certain group’s special interest, and a clearer target for those whose basic problem with it lies with the intrusive nature of such browbeating.

Let it be a nice quiet little civil thing. Let it be generic and accepted by all as representing all. Stop making it a football in the culture wars.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 21, 2008 10:49 PM
Comment #256330

” Dawn said Both of my brothers had issues with the fact that our Dad was making more money than they could earn by just collecting retirement from GM. Our Dad paid into that retirement … as far as I know new hires do not have that option” That’s Right For over fifty years the price was factored in the car for your Dads Retirement, and it still could be, in the 1950s and 1960s and 1970s my pop use to pull people off the street and say you want a good union job “he owned a business” that’s how it was..

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 22, 2008 3:24 AM
Comment #256381

SD, any pledge of allegiance only becomes offensive when it is forced upon people. As long as Americans do not feel coerced into, or by its recitation, and feel free to recite it with words of their own choosing, there is nothing offensive about it. I replace God with Buddha. Atheists omit the reference to god. And as long as there are no repercussions for the exercise of this freedom, there is no problem with the pledge.

In other words, I agree with you. Let freedom ring!

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 22, 2008 4:09 PM
Comment #256665

1st of all,this is ” AMERICA “!
2nd of all,enough of the pointless ” Dialogue “!
3rd Who care’s if ” MUSLIM’S ” are offended by
our ” Plege of Allegiance “!,this is our Country
not Their’s. And if they are so easily “offended”
they can carry their “BUTT” right back where they
came from,where-ever that may be! Any american who
travel’s to their “COUNTRY” would have to Respect
their way of Life offended or not.

CASE CLOSED………………………………..!

Posted by: j.i.m. at June 24, 2008 6:29 PM
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