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Under God

Frank Paynter
07:02 PM ET (US)
When I was a kid the flying ace veteran "attendance officer" at my high school hauled me out of the auditorium and threw me up against the wall and 'splained to me with his cigarette breath in my face about why he had a problem with me playing grab-ass with my buddies while the pledge was being recited, him being a patriotic veteran and all. Well, I come from a house full of patriotic veterans, various uncles drinking themselves to death over the horrors they saw liberating the camps, dad with medals up the gazatch (incl. the combat infantryman's badge of which he was proudest), my bro just as highly decorated as a 101st airborne heavy weapons platoon sergeant in Viet Nasty, a conflict I protested after my discharge from the USMC... shit. I knew then and I know now that the PlejAlleejuns is jingoistic cant. I take great pride in my American citizenship and have great hope for continuous improvement of our seriously messed up system, but this wag-flaving symbolistic nonsense is a wall we run into that inspires fear in otherwise loving and thoughtful hearts. When they come for me, the bottom line is I still don't take oaths. It's my country, and my loyalty belongs to the people and the land, my respect to the constitution and the courts, not to some banner stolen in a weird capture the rag contest in Florida last fall.
steve himmer
05:30 PM ET (US)
I seem to be saying this all over the place today, but one thought I can't get away from in all this is the significance of an atheist bringing the lawsuit. As the US becomes marginally more tolerant of other religions, ie 'legitimate religions such Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism, the atheist is still culturally left out in the cold. There seems to be a greater sympathy/understanding among Americans for those who worship the 'wrong' god(s) than there is for those who worship no god. Hence the idea that 'Under God' can refer to the pledger's personal deity/ideology whether it's Allah, Jesus, or Rev. Moon they are actually asking to sanctify their oath to a flag. The idea of believing in/worshipping nothing seems to be harder for many to get their heads around.

Never mind the gall of a commie atheist--the very folks we inserted 'Under God' to differentiate ourselves from--turning it around on us like this.

Just thinking.
fishrushPerson was signed in when posted
01:19 AM ET (US)
I just re-read AKMA's thoughts on this issue. If anyone finds a credible argument contrary to his position, I'd love to see it.
tom's rubbishPerson was signed in when posted
12:18 AM ET (US)
All de-pledged allegiances have been transferred to a tax haven in the Cayman Islands. Pick yours up over there, under god, by the pool.
Marek J
11:17 PM ET (US)
Well, I don't have any background with the Allegiance. I grew up in Poland (remember?) so this topic is completely foreign to me. I think the whole idea 'Under God' is pretty funny. What is this 'Under God'? thing. Is it like 'under the bridge?' Who came up with this? Why not 'With God' or 'alongside God' or something like 'One Nation, Where God is somewhere there but we don't know where but we are might as well say that we don't know and just to be sure we'll say Under God, and we think he/she/it That God is indivisible and so are we, the nation I mean, the one we are placing under the God we think is there Above there somewhere, and let's throw Liberty and Justice there as well. Yeah. Cool." --- And I think Kent is absolutely right. I think that all those nullified allegiancees (I mena the people who alegienced themselves) should now sue the government for wrongfullness or somethig like that.
Edited 06-27-2002 11:20 PM
Jeneane Sessum
07:18 PM ET (US)
who loves kent? I do!
fishrushPerson was signed in when posted
06:05 PM ET (US)
Does this court action void all the formerly pledged allegiances to the flag? What are all those people going to do that believed they were properly allegianced, but now wake up to discover their pledges have be nullified? And what about those marginal people who’ve held off from pledging their allegiance to other flags only because they’ve already pledged their allegiance to our flag so many times? Won’t this give them a legal loophole to cross over to some dark side? Plus, what are the kids going to do with all that extra time in school? Won’t they be getting into a lot more trouble?
tom's rubbishPerson was signed in when posted
01:50 PM ET (US)
That is a much larger and more powerful point you make, Jeneane, and one I think our friend AKMA among others would agree with.

To say "under God" is acceptable because its "content" is, really, not much of anything...negligible, really...is to endorse the bankruptcy of speech that enables every form of bogosity now endorsed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the RIAA and Kenneth Lay.
Edited 06-27-2002 01:54 PM
Jeneane Sessum
12:37 PM ET (US)
Ah, okay. I decided not to tackle this on my own blog. so why not say two-cents' worth here. As a kid, and now with my own kid, I've always had an uncomfortable feeling about the Pledge. Not because of the "one nation under God" line as much as the notion of pledging my allegiance to a flag.

I don't pledge my allegiance to the flag of this or any country because allegiance implies unfaltering agreement, unwavering support, right or wrong; it's divisive; it removes all notion of us being global citizens first. I think it's also contrary to what "God-fearing conservatives," should be doing, in a Christian sense. Shouldn't they be pledging their allegiance to God first, not a piece of cloth or the political underpinnings the flag represents? It seems to me Idolatry, which "etymologically denotes Divine worship given to an image, but its signification has been extended to all Divine worship given to anyone or anything but the true God."

With that being said, I'm not so sure reciting the pledge in schools is unconstitutional, but I think that pressuring or mandating that children should or must pledge, is unconstitutional.
tom's rubbishPerson was signed in when posted
09:42 AM ET (US)
You say what?

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