Friday, August 3, 2012

Our Socialist Pledge - Or, why the 2002 9th Circuit decision won't destroy America

A friend recently intimated to me that America is under attack, somehow, or no longer America, or that our freedom of speech was damaged, because "you can't even say the pledge of allegiance anymore in America!"  This was eventually refined to the idea that you can't say the "real" pledge of allegiance, the original one (you know, the one with "under god" in it) in schools any more.

I have several of problems with that. They are, as usual, factual problems. They will, probably, and as usual, be dismissed with "Well, that's your OPINION!" by friends (and non-friends) who disagree with my factual observations.

But, as usual, opinion's got nothing to do with it... These are the FACTS.

First, you can still say the pledge of allegiance - even the un-American "under god" version - anywhere you damned well please.  The circuit court ruling she was probably reacting to says, quite correctly, that it's a violation of the separation of church and state for a teacher to lead a pledge with those words in a publicly funded school.  Private school? Pledge your ass off.  Or, alternately, if little Billy Brainwashed wants to add the words "under god" as he repeats it back, that's absolutely fine too.

Flasehood one, buried.

Now, as to the "original" and "real" parts...

First, as I've said before, there's little I can think of that's as un-American as taking a bunch of children who are legally too young to form consent, and making them recite an oath of fealty every day.  The founding fathers, I would guess, would be absolutely HORRIFIED at the idea.  (Full disclosure: as implied by the phrase "I would guess..." that part is, of course, opinion.  The pledge is un-American. That's opinion, backed by factual evidence, but opinion no less.  What follows is NOT.)

Maybe that's why, for the first 166 years - the first 70% of our history, and, I think you'll agree, the 70% closer in history to the lives and intents of our founders - there was NO official pledge of allegiance.

A (and pardon me, because I'm going to all caps something, expressly for any Teahadists in the audience) A Christian SOCIALIST minister named Frances Bellamy wrote it in 1892 - already half way into our history, to date - it gained popularity, and was adopted by congress fifty years later, in 1942.

A pastor invented the pledge of allegiance? Why I am shocked... SHOCKED, I say!

But wait... It didn't include the words "Under God".  Oh, no.

In 1948, an Illinois lawyer named Louis Bowman, on Lincoln's birthday, lead a Sons of the American Revolution meeting with an altered version of the pledge, adding the words "under God"... And justifying it by joining a group that claims Lincoln (Who, by the way, said "The bible is not my book, and and Christianity is not my profession (translation into modern American English: "The bible is not my book, and I don't profess to being a Christian") said those words in the Gettysburg Address. (Lincoln's notes don't include it, some press transcriptions do.)

But, of course, that does't mean that's when the words changed.  Remember congress adopting it officially?  They adopted it without the god reference.

People tried to get it amended, of course, but it wasn't working.  Then, some other preacher gave a sermon - again, on Lincoln's birthday, again going with the argument that Lincoln said it... A little while later, on June 14, 1954, Ike signed the amendment that had recently passed congress.

So, only for the last 58 years has our national oath of fealty even contained the words "under God"... Less than half of the time since it was written... Less than 25% of our nation's history.  Hardly "Founding Fathers" stuff.

Falsehood two, buried.

Lastly, this was not a Supreme Court decision - those scaredy cats have been studiously and judiciously - no pun intended - staying well away from this subject for years!  This was a 9th circuit ruling, which means the injunction only holds in 9th circuit states - Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington.

Have we covered everything?  Let's see...

1) You can still say "under god".  Your government paid teacher just can't MAKE you say "under god"... So, one would hope, most anyone could see that's decidedly NOT an abridgment of free speech.  Kind of exactly the opposite.

2) This pledge was NOT part of America's foundation and fabric, and was added quite a ways into the game, so it's decidedly NOT an attack on the foundation and history of the United States... Kind of exactly the opposite.

3) And, this is apropos of nothing, but I can't get enough of saying it... The Pledge of Allegiance was invented and initially promoted by a socialist who thought "Capitalism" was an inherently sinful false theology or religion, sponsored and popularized by Satan! You can't make this stuff up!

4) Even after our Socialist Pledge was adopted officially, it didn't get "under god" added until the cold war.

5) It's not a US ruling, but a circuit injunction... So, in most of the U.S. it's still safe to force children to practice a little Christian Socialism* every morning.  (No, I'm not saying Christians are socialists (Though, Jesus kind of was) that's just what the ideology this particular preacher belonged to called themselves - Christian Socialists.)

5) Did I mention it was socialist? The pledge? lol... I really can't tell you how much that little fact tickles me.  I mean... Really.  When you picture a bunch of children in an indoctrination center, solemnly promising to obey and defend the mother land... Don't you kind of automatically think of socialist and communist nations?


  1. Thanks for your comment it was good to get your feed back you are the first person to comment on my blog. You seem almost adversarial in your tone, I dont even know you. What first struck me about you is your anonymity. If you notice I list my real name and a picture of my self. Im not trying to hide behind a blog. What arrested my attention was your use of the analogy cultural diabetic. I recently used that hmmm what did you hear it?. Where did you first come into contact with it, it is quite a powerful metaphor. Moreover you have accused me of plagiarism. But you didn't tell me who I plagiarized? I would be glad to give credit where credit is due.
    As a college student I am quite familiar with the definition of plagiarism considering the college is always beating that tired drum. I would be glad to hear yours. If copying and pasting an article; while at the same time citing it with sources is plagiarism, then 90% of the material in the world is plagiarized and i am guilty. I have a whole lot of my own work on there, like the 48 page essay I wrote on "Is America a Christian nation why or why not?" "legislating morality" This blog is for my apologetics courses, I post articles and links in response to questions that are raised in the q&a sessions. I dont live in blogisphere, this is a tool for Pastors, and new Christian converts. The most perturbing issue to me is how you as an atheist, are raising a question about ethics. How clever you atheists are. You want to affirm the existence of moral values, yet deny them to others at the same time. Don't force your ethics on others. Sound familiar! Moreover I would like you to explain to me how you smuggle this ethic of plagiarism in. Is there anything wrong with anything? Who says so? You! Objective moral values exist only if God exists, objective moral values do exist, therefore God exists. You can challenge that syllogism. But its airtight. I look forward to carrying on a conversation with you and learning from you. Tell all your freinds and family about my blog. But you need to treat people with gentleness and respect. We discuss ideas not people ,challenge the ideas, please. Richard Dawkins has declared there is no such thing as evil, therefore there's no such thing as good. It was after reading the athiest's declared G.K. Chesterton that he became a theist. Thank-you for keeping the argument of Gods existence alive, we Christians always win out in the arena of ideas. Sincerely D.E. Sherwood

    1. "What first struck me about you is your anonymity."

      What anonymity? My name is directly under each of my posts, just as yours is.

      "I would be glad to hear yours."

      I don't have my own definitions of words... I just use the proper ones. Further, of course, I didn't say you were guilty of plagiarism... I merely mused about whether it was a sin. I wonder if a guilty conscience caused you to assume more was said than was?

      In any case, from what little I've read of your 'blog, you're not guilty of plagiarism... Merely copyright infringement. Whole different sack of cats, that, no?

      "The most perturbing issue to me is how you as an atheist, are raising a question about ethics. How clever you atheists are."

      Yes... So clever, being able to tell the difference between Ethics - based on actual reality, philosophical ideas of right and wrong as actually experienced by actual people, and "morals" - rules of right and wrong handed down, by fiat, by an imaginary being.

      Perhaps it would be less perturbing to you if you'd expand your understanding of the terms you use. Try... "Rights from Wrongs" perhaps, as a first step?

      But, then, that is a bit strenuous. Perhaps starting with Wikipedia would be better?

      "Objective moral values exist only if God exists, objective moral values do exist, therefore God exists."

      Good thing you're studying apologetics and not logic.

      "Richard Dawkins has declared there is no such thing as evil, therefore there's no such thing as good. It was after reading the athiest's declared G.K. Chesterton that he became a theist."

      Wait... Are you... Do you mean to imply that Dawkins is a theist?

      "...we Christians always win out in the arena of ideas."

      That is just flat out hilarious. There's no denying that as comedy genius. Unless you mean crushing ideas... Then, yes, you historically win... At least in the short term.

  2. Replies
    1. Aside from the obvious fact that it won't work in a society of a functional scale, not a thing.

      Of course, that's why there's never actually be a socialist nation, and no serious politician is fighting to form one. The smart kids know it won't work in reality.

      Of course, there -have- been dictatorships that called themselves "socialist". This is approximately as relevant as sewing a striped tail to your arse and calling yourself a raccoon.

      There have also been capitalist nations with social services that the dishonest and the ignorant have called "socialist"... Which is as relevant as taping a beak and feathers to a ham and calling it chicken.

      But no actual, real live socialist nations. Ever.