The Raving Theist

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Under Who?

September 19, 2005 | 10 Comments

A brilliant solution to the Pledge problem, from Brian Flemming.

Comments

10 Responses to “Under Who?”

  1. Jean-Paul Fastidious
    September 20th, 2005 @ 12:53 am

    I agree with Flemming that the entire Pledge was misguided from the beginning, and continues to be, regardless of the God bit added later. What bugs me the most about the God bit though is not so much that it’s there, but where it was added.

    The line in the original Pledge (and revisions up till 1954) was: “one nation indivisible”.

    All those words are part of one singular concept, of a nation united not divided (as was the case during the Civil War, which presumably prompted its inclusion).

    So, when the God squad decided that they needed to God the Pledge up a bit to show those godless Commies the whatfor, what did they do? They literally divided that line in half and shoved in an unrelated and devisive clause. The only way you could screw up the intent of the words of the Pledge more would be to change the last line to “with liberty, oppression, injustice and justice for all”.

    I mean, they could have done this:

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

    That doesn’t sound any worse than the current version and it doesn’t trample all over the original sentiments like some lumbering oaf.

    As it is, “under God” is offensive to competent pledge revisionists!

  2. Frank
    September 20th, 2005 @ 9:54 am

    I’ll have to agree with Flemming that the pledge of allegiance should be trashed entirely. Francis Bellamy was a socialist to the core and his primary motivation for the pledge was fostering in children an attitude of blind obedience to the state. He viewed people as subject to the state rather than the state as the primary tool for the protection of liberty. The pledge is not patriotic it is nationalistic. In fact, prior to WWII school children pledged while making a Nazi-style salute (read about this at lewrockwell.com). The images are pretty chillling.

    G.K. Chesterton said America was the only nation ever founded on a creed, that creed being the recognition of man’s unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Pledging allegiance to the flag and republic gives an individual the impression that our foundation is the state and, at the very least, implies we agree with all of the actions of the state (after all, we’ve pledged our allegiance to it).

    Forget the whole “under God” debate. Ditch the pledge and ditch it now.

  3. hermesten
    September 20th, 2005 @ 10:35 am

    “Forget the whole “under God” debate. Ditch the pledge and ditch it now.”

    Frank, we are in 100% agreement. It’s a repellant notion that “free” people should pledge allegiance to a flag and a State. My allegiance is to the concept of liberty and justice for all –not to any symbol, or State.

  4. MBains
    September 20th, 2005 @ 11:03 am

    It’s a repellant notion that “free” people should pledge allegiance to a flag and a State.

    Relatively speaking, that is an absolute to which I completely adhere.

    I pledge myself to reason and will suffer every consequence of my inability to fulfill this pledge.

  5. hermesten
    September 20th, 2005 @ 11:10 am

    “I pledge myself to reason and will suffer every consequence of my inability to fulfill this pledge.”

    Exactly. And “reason” is a better term for this concept than “liberty and justice.”

  6. Nigel Pond
    September 20th, 2005 @ 1:29 pm

    As a British emigre to the US, I have never understood the purpose of Pledge — why does the US need its citizens to pledge allegiance to piece of cloth — no other Western nation feels a similarly need? Do the proponents of “under God” not realise that they are in danger of falling foul of the exhortation against graven images by paying homage to what is, in effect, their golden calf?

  7. Nigel Pond
    September 20th, 2005 @ 1:29 pm

    As a British emigre to the US, I have never understood the purpose of Pledge — why does the US need its citizens to pledge allegiance to piece of cloth — no other Western nation feels a similar need? Do the proponents of “under God” not realise that they are in danger of falling foul of the exhortation against graven images by paying homage to what is, in effect, their golden calf?

  8. hermesten
    September 20th, 2005 @ 3:06 pm

    “As a British emigre to the US, I have never understood the purpose of Pledge….”

    The purpose is group identification and tribalism, conformity, and subordination.

  9. Frank
    September 20th, 2005 @ 3:07 pm

    Nigel — as one of the Christians who regularly posts here allow me to answer. I have long considered the pledge of allegiance an act of idolatry when Christians do it. It first occurred to me during a “patriotic” service around July 4th. The Church is specifically designed to glorify God and all around me I saw Christians glorifying veterans, government institutions … anything but God. Then they all paused for the pledge of allegiance and it hit me like a ton of bricks. The flag had become an idol. It was perfectly evident that many of them took more pride in the flag than in God. The Word of God, when preached, did not inspire the same enthusiasm as the pledge.

    So, as to your question about whether or not proponents of “under God” realize they are in danger of worshipping an idol: I will say that many of us are coming to realize this but too many more have not. It is a shame.

  10. Joe
    September 20th, 2005 @ 4:35 pm

    I’m an atheist, but I have always found it strange when Christians say god bless america………….isn’t this against everything Christ taught, such as we are all brothers etc, etc……….

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