Are We Seriously Still Saying the Pledge?

I’ve come to be used to the daily morning announcements at my school that say “if you would like to stand for the pledge, please do so now…” and most mornings I don’t notice as I’m in the hallway walking to the piano rooms while they’re doing it, but yesterday it was brought to my attention yet again as they said it at a Diversity Conference I attended.

“If you so choose to we will now say the pledge” they went and I immediately thought “seriously?”

First of all, nationalism doesn’t really have much to do with diversity. Sure, I can buy the argument that it shows that there’s diversity within the nation, but since they never really state that was the intention you can’t expect that to be the message that comes across from saying it.

As we all know, the controversial bit of the pledge comes with the “One nation under God” part which indicates worship of a monotheistic deity. This would seemingly exclude all those who don’t worship a monotheisitic deity. Well, OMG, excluding diverse religions or irreligion would seem to actually hurt the whole diversity idea!

Admittedly, done more out of anger than reason, at the end of that sentence I was compelled to let out a blasphemous “boo” which prompted a circle of heads to turn in my direction with glares, an also-seated Wiccan kid to grab my mouth and prevent me from speaking, and a Hispanic girl in front of me to turn ’round and say “I respect your rights, but that was highly disrespectful, you’re at a diversity conference, you need to respect other people’s religion” to which I said “as an under-represented minority due to unbelief I find the Pledge highly disrespectful”.

So it came across more as an insult to Christianity than anything else and it wasn’t effective communication, etc. I admit all this but submit to you that if I were to express my discontent with their choice to exclude me it was going to be limited to sound-byte form.

Whatever. I’m making the point of my three-letter protest clear now since I didn’t have the luxury of a non-sound-byte response then. It’s the height of hypocrisy to say the pledge and claim diversity, even if you don’t make other people say it, because that line still affirms that it is one nation under a monotheistic deity. In fact, I think it’s worse to preface it with “if you wish to say the pledge” because you have acknowledged there are people that clause excludes and have chosen to say it anyway.

And for my own sake and credit, couldn’t they have paused to think for a second what I really meant by my protest rather than to have jumped to the conclusion I was intentionally trying to offend worshippers of the Abrahamic religions? I suppose stirring thought with a heat-of-the-moment sound-byte is just the best you can hope for.

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10 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by joe on January 31, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    can non believers say this with believers at the same time, “one nation under batman” or will we get thrown in jail, or can it be “one nation under the people” witch would be the best way, i think .

    thanks;

    joseph logston

  2. My son, likewise, refuses to sing our (Canadian) national anthem because of the “God keep our land” line. To me, it’s a song (and I’m an atheist). To him, it’s a principle.

  3. Posted by Wazza on February 3, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    The original ran “One nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”, which has much better flow than with those two extra words crowbarred in.

    Here in NZ, the national anthem is basically all about “God of Nations”. Everyone just mouths along. We’re all well aware that it’s a piece of victorian tripe that even Christians get embarrassed about, but it’s a nice tune, at least.

  4. Posted by Sovereignty of the USA on February 4, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    So are you one of those who doesn’t believe in the Constitution but in one-world socialism? Hmm.

  5. @Sovereignty Yes. I most certainly support the efforts of the Illuminati.

  6. Posted by Nemo on February 12, 2010 at 12:37 am

    “Under God” isn’t the only bad part (although it’s the worst). The whole thing is a loyalty oath… recited daily. It’s nuts. It needs to die.

    Sovereignty, I’m not sure who you’re responding to or what your point was intended to be, but you do realize that “under God” was an unconstitutional late addition, and that the Pledge was in fact written by an actual socialist — right?

  7. I agree with most of this article, but I really don’t see where you’re coming from with this part:

    “In fact, I think it’s worse to preface it with “if you wish to say the pledge” because you have acknowledged there are people that clause excludes and have chosen to say it anyway.”

    The Pledge is just a statement of personal belief. By choosing to say it, you don’t discriminate against others with different beliefs, you just state your own. There is no reason why you should not state your beliefs just because they do not encompass everyone else’s beliefs. Also, I’m not sure what this preface is worse than. I’m pretty sure you’re not suggesting that people just say, “Say the pledge now.”

  8. Okay, that wasn’t very well-written, so let me clarify. I don’t think that saying “I pledge allegiance” etc. excludes anyone. That’s equivalent to saying that “I am a vegetarian” or “I support John McCain” is exclusionary. I don’t see anything wrong with the pledge. But if you are saying (and, now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure this is what you’re saying) that broadcasting the pledge across the campus of a public school is inappropriate, then I would agree.

  9. Posted by LubbockGay on March 18, 2010 at 12:00 am

    I’m like the young man in the northeast who refuses to say the pledge, for now. I am gay, and refuse to say “with liberty for all” as long as some of my civil rights are outlawed!

  10. [...] with its focus on creating people whose Human Sensibility is all about "anti-fascism.") Are We Seriously Still Saying the Pledge? So, the Communist American Pledges are presented AT THE SAME TIME the old Pledge is vilified. [...]

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