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Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Pledge

A lot of my misguided brethren are up in arms over a court ruling that the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance infringe on the rights of school kids who are expected to stand up and recite it every morning (often garbling it — I remember when I thought it said “and to the republic for witches’ stands”).

A couple of thoughts...

First: the words “under God” do not appear in the original pledge — they were added in 1954, at the urging of Republican role model Joseph McCarthy (yes, that McCarthy). It’s important to remember that religious demagoguery is certainly not a new force in American politics; it has always been lurking in the tall grass, ready to bite any politician that strays from the broad middle. Removing those words simply restores the Pledge to its original form.

Second: welcome, my brethren, to the push-back. You have worked tirelessly for generations, attempting to establish your theocratic dystopia, and crying “persecution!” when you are simply not allowed to impose your beliefs on other citizens or our government — eventually, you provoke the wrong people and they won’t be intimidated. For every “Sponge Dob” Dobson and Pat Robertson trying to push non-Christians to the margins of society, there’s going to be a Madeline Murray O’Hair or Michael Newdow pushing back at us. Naturally, it doesn’t end there: I imagine that Newdow is getting death threats tonight, and we know Ms. O’Hair came to a bad end.

Third: this could be the work of God Himself. Personally, I think that the 1963 Supreme Court ruling that banned required prayer in schools (kids can pray on their own, and “they took prayer out of schools” is simply a Big Lie) was the result of God running out of patience. Why would God want His name taken in vain, through kids forced to pray in segregated schools? I think if Christians in general had been in front of the civil rights movement, rather than far too many white Christians fighting for the status quo, we might have a very different situation today. But now, we have segregation by class — poor school districts get the cast-offs of wealthy ones, and Christians largely either don’t want to see or (especially in the wealthy areas) actively oppose any kind of revenue sharing. Again, if Christians were in front of a movement to insure equal education for all in this country, we would be living in a different country.

Behold, this was the sin of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters were arrogant, overfed, and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.
--Ezekiel 16:49


Perhaps we are being judged. But not with a hurricane.

2 comments:

  1. An absolutely excellent post! You summed up so much in just a few paragraphs!

    We are being judged...and whichever heaven we believe in - may they have mercy on those of us that keep trying to do right.

    Thanks for this tonight.

    /Sally

    ReplyDelete
  2. That is fantastic!!

    First week of school and my daughter was forced to pray. For safety and then for lunch...

    It's a way to stop the fundamental extremists from waging anymore of their personal Jihads against, race, other religions/beliefs/ideas, gender, sexuality, and compassion as well as it's a good start to saving our planet - since many of us aren't expecting some diety to wax on wax off and make it all better after we've polluted it without thought or concern for tomorrow. When people put more stock in some "after life" that somehow seems to absolve them for living decently in this one.

    One Nation under G-d? No. One Nation under a crud load of reconstruction due to all the damage and I'm not talkin about hurricanes or terrah.

    With deep respect and friendship, Janet

    ReplyDelete

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