Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Pledge of Allegiance

I saw a posting earlier asking if I support the Pledge of Allegiance. I just thought I'd share my thoughts as I remember them the first couple of hundred times I recited it. My thoughts will be represented in parenthesis.

"I pledge allegiance, (What's allegiance mean? What's pledge?) to the flag, (okay with that part, there it is up there) of the United States of America. (Cool. Everybody's doing it so I'm apparently supposed to as well so I won't get picked on. What's United States mean?) And to the republic, (What's a republic?) for which it stands, (I'm standing. There's the flag. I'm confused about that part.) one nation under God, (Resisting the almost indomitable urge to look up and see if I can see him there. Nobody else is. I better not either.) invisible, (INVISIBLE? Okay, I don't even know what it is or what I'm doing talking about it but now I can't even see it.) with liberty and justice for all. (What ever that means.)

It's not disrespect. Just a confused six year old taking an oath to something he knows not what of and couldn't possibly understand. This is what children think when you throw things at them that they have absolutely no knowledge of and no way to understand in any meaningful context. This is what I thought while reciting it.

It is not that the concepts are difficult. It's that I didn't know the words. Nor did I have any possible way to evaluate them in the context which they were intended. If you love this county and understand, along with its oath of allegiance, you have my full support in taking the oath. If you don't love this county and don't wish to swear you allegiance to it you also have my support in not doing so.

It is cruel to force someone to swear an allegiance to something, anything, when they don't understand what it is they are swearing to. It is cruel to force them to swear an oath to something that they don't wish to support. An oath is meaningless, quite literally as well as practically, under those circumstances.

If you want your children to take the oath I hope you will teach them all of the words of it so they will understand it. You should also teach them the history of this country in its proper context and ask them for their willing participation. Otherwise it's just meaningless words at best. Hypnotism at worst.

One other thing you should consider, the Pledge of Allegiance, was written by a Socialist, Francis Julius Bellamy, in order to indoctrinate school children into the fundamentals of Socialism. Really. Look it up.