Wednesday, September 14, 2005
Here we go again. On Wednesday a federal judge in San Francisco ruled that reciting the pledge of allegiance in public schools was unconstitutional. This of course opened the floodgates for a nationwide panic! Now, across America our religious denizens are huddled in their homes both outraged over the decision of this “non-moral” judge, siding with a heathen (for Gods’ sake), and for their poor children who will have to go to school now without the reinforcement of their daily affirmation of citizenship. Woe to the masses. This is truly a black day.
I was at work when I heard the story. Newt Gingrich was interviewed on FOX NEWS about it. He was appalled at the decision and hoped that the president’s speech later would give some direction to the country. I almost hope that the president goes on tonight and DOES address this issue. I hope he says something to this effect “Honestly, I have no response for this court’s decision. Frankly people I have a war in Iraq, a city in Louisiana that is underwater not to mention thousands of displaced people to worry about, an oil crisis and bear market. Guys…I have badder fish to fry. Besides I am not the one who makes changes or interpretations in law. You people are thinking of the Supreme Court and, as I recall, they dodged this case only a few years ago. Now, I promise that if Congress decides to put a bill on my desk regaurding the matter then I will give it some consideration but right now I don’t have the fucking time.” I know it won’t go down like that, but one can always hope.
I never really saw the point in the pledge to be honest. Yeah, yeah, I know it is supposed to be about patriotism and honoring the soldiers who gave their lives and reaffirming our youngsters with “American” ideals. However, lets try and be honest for a moment. It isn’t. At least lets look at the origins of it. It was basically started out as a gimmick used to sell monthly periodicals and flags. Then instituted by our government to help Americanize the youth. Think about the words for a second. Nowhere in there does it say anything about our forefathers or fallen soldiers or our fundamental notions of a free and democratic society. Besides most kids don’t know what more than half of it means. “…And to the republic, for which it stands.” Ask any kid what that really means and I’ll bet they couldn’t tell you. In fact I’ll bet most high school students couldn’t tell you with any real acuracy.
I’m not opposed to God and I’m not opposed to patriotism but I am opposed to blind institutionalized propaganda. You don’t need for kids to stand up every morning and do this because you did it and your parents did it, that isn’t a good enough reason. This is a dogmatic practice at best. In a truly free society you shouldn’t have to pledge your allegiance to anyone or anything. Why don’t we stop all this crap and discuss what this is really about, prayer in schools and separation of church and state.
I know our forefathers believed in a God and I know that the word God appears in many of our founding documents and currency. What our forefathers believed isn’t the issue. They weren’t trying to subtly say that religion has its place in our government, just because they believed in a God. Again, they were the ones who were trying to make a free country without religious sway one way or the other. That was the overall goal people. Why did they leave England?
Honestly, do you think the religious people out there would be pissed if instead of the word God (which is obviously Judeo-Christian) we had the word deity on everything? Of course they would. They want their God recognized above all others.
So where do I stand? Well you’d think I would be siding with the judge in San Fran right? Not really, I don’t think this is any kind of real issue at all. Say the pledge, don’t say the pledge…whatever. Just don’t force anyone to take part in something they don’t want to. Personally, I never stood for the pledge when I had the choice and I didn’t care what others thought. You can’t make someone believe in something like this just by going through the motions, be it religion or be it patriotism. This is a non-issue that the press and some groups (religious and Atheist) are taking WAY out of proportion.