Tuesday, July 25, 2006

What's wrong with the pledge?

Actually, I do have problems with the pledge of allegiance.

Those of you who have read previous posts may have an idea why
I don't care for the pledge. I am a Localitarian, which may help explain
my position.

First, it is appropriate to print the current pledge here:

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.

I will disect and comment upon the pledge, but first will discuss who
performs it.

American children daily repeat it in schools. Most younger kids
probably don't understand what it means; I certainly didn't understand
its full implications then. It is thus invalid when repeated mindlessly.

Also, if a person makes a pledge, why should they have to repeat it
endlessly? If it must be repeated, was the first pledge meaningless?
Or are the following pledges meaningless? All it does is indoctrinate
children in a similar manner used by more totalitarian countries.
A person should wait until adulthood, after fully understanding the
pledge, before making that moral commitment.

The pledge was written by a National Socialist, Francis Bellamy,
which should raise warning flags in itself.

Here is a description of the "Bellamy Salute", from Wikipedia:

At a signal from the Principal the pupils, in ordered ranks, hands to the side,
face the Flag. Another signal is given; every pupil gives the flag the military salute
-- right hand lifted, palm downward, to a line with the forehead and close to it.
Standing thus, all repeat together, slowly, “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the
Republic for which it stands; one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all.
” At the words, “to my Flag,” the right hand is extended gracefully, palm upward,
toward the Flag, and remains in this gesture till the end of the affirmation;
whereupon all hands immediately drop to the side.
(quoted from The Youth’s Companion, 65 (1892): 446–447.)
It is very similar to the infamous Nazi salute, and was later dropped
for that reason.

Now I will disect the parts of the pledge I don't like:

I pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands,

Isn't that somewhat anti-American and anti-individualistic, to pledge
an oath of allegiance and obediance to the central government? And
if "the republic for which it stands" becomes totalitarian, are we
supposed to follow our oath or abandon it, in which case it becomes
meaningless?

one nation under God,

Actually the "under god" section, although the most debated, is the part
I have the least problem with, even though I'm a religous agnostic.

indivisible,

I have already challenged this idea in previous posts. I do not think this
country is or should be indivisible. That's potentially like throwing
people who hate each other into the same room and locking the door.

Perhaps this post has either made you think twice about the pledge,
or else send a bunch of hateful messages into my comments area. That's
why my email address isn't displayed in my profile. However,
Koodooziez has a blog in my profile you might like to check out if you're
into video games.




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