Anyone who really knows anything about me will know that I take my allegiance to this country very seriously. That I label myself a patriot. I support the troops- not just because I have multiple family members and friends that serve or have served but because they provide a service I know I could never do. I like living here and while I think it might be fun to learn how to live in a different country
I would never give up my US Citizenship, my love for America, the 4th of July, Apple Pie, Baseball, or my freedom of speech. However, I would quickly give up our public education system as it continues to be ground into the dirt by the uneducated and the aging.
A history lesson that I was never taught in school is the story of the creation of the Pledge of Allegiance. The Pledge of Allegiance was written in August 1892 by the socialist minister Francis Bellamy. The original simply stated:
I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands,
one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
That’s it. Overtime people wanted it adjusted to note that the flag was the American flag, and that people weren't pledging allegiance to the country they immigrated from. Fine. Let’s pledge to this country, the one we live in which so graciously allows us to do so and in contrast allows us to not.
Saying the pledge is in no way required. There is a Flag Code but it is unenforceable. You can’t be sent to jail for not saying the pledge, for not removing your cap, for not placing your hand on your heart. There is a rhyme and a reason for the way the flag is flown, how it is folded, and for the very pledge we recite in its presence.
Currently the pledge of allegiance is this:
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.
And therein lies the rub. The lie, the misdirection and the history lesson that wasn't. Under God was added to the pledge in 1954. That is 62 years after it was written. That is 60 years ago meaning under God has been a part of the pledge for less time than we've have the pledge! The statement was added in as a way to combat communism. Not because this country has freedom of religion, and not because the founding fathers said so, not because the minister that wrote the pledge added it in because of his love for his ‘creator’ but because Congress in the 50’s wanted a way to tell other countries during the Cold War that this country isn't godless.Unfortunately, people now take it to mean that this country was founded on a belief in God, and not just any belief but a conservative Christian belief. Bellamy (the minister who wrote that pledge) did so during his post at the Youth’s Companion a magazine where he was tasked with creating a patriotic program for school children to coincide with the 400th anniversary of Columbus ‘finding’ America. He lobbied Congress to adopt the holiday and the president issued a proclamation declaring Columbus Day a holiday. Oddly enough, most places around the US no longer celebrate Columbus Day as it is seen as a denigration of the native and indigenous people of this country. Yet we still recite the pledge written to celebrate it and on top of that have edited the program to fill an anti-Cold War agenda that no longer serves the public interest.
The pledge has been tied up in controversy almost since the beginning. At the 50th Anniversary of the pledge in 1942 it was adopted as part of the national flag code and legislators around the country began requiring school children to recite it daily. In 1943 Jehovah’s Witnesses (one of the many religions covered under the First Amendment’s declaration to the freedom of religion) maintained that reciting the pledge violated their prohibition of worshipping icons and images. In 1943, the Supreme Court ruled in the Witnesses' favor, supporting the idea that no schoolchild, or anyone else, should be compelled to recite the pledge. Because of their love of God and their belief in their religion to not idolize symbols or icons, they didn't feel they could pledge to this item, a flag, and the Supreme Court agreed. That is the correct protection afforded them through the Constitution.
It was 10 years later that under God was added after lobbying by the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic fraternal organization and signed into law by Eisenhower. Proponents claim that the pledge’s reference to God is a nod to historical tradition not religious doctrine. But then – tradition means it would have already been happening for several of the past generations and in this case it was not. Instead it was added later to combat something else, to rub our country in another’s face. To be assholes.
I do not agree with people sitting during the pledge, creating a raucous to disrupt it, and I hate when people refuse to take off their caps. I remember a time some youths at the high school were sitting and gabbing during the National Anthem. When asked why, they said it was because they didn't have to because this was not their country. They were from Mexico, their parents had brought them here over the Rio Grande with coyotes to a country where they had a better chance of success, a better opportunity for education yet to them this wasn't their country and they didn't respect it. That was not okay with me. That type of attitude and behavior is despicable, disrespectful, and ugly. But for religious reasons, for non-religious reasons, for whatever reason you may have feel free to not say the pledge. But by George or God or Bob or Buddha respect it and what it stands for. Respect this country – one of the only where you can have a voice that disagree with the politicians and leaders. And then use that to your advantage, the advantage of your children and friends and neighbors and educate yourself before you make a fool of yourself.