December 14, 2006

Cultural Tyranny

Most of the controversy over the primitive "Pledge of Allegiance" has been over the words "Under God". This affirmation of nationalism is being taught to young children before they have the chance to develop the thinking skills neccesary to determine the morality and ethics of their homeland government.

The Pledge of Allegiance was written for the popular children's magazine Youth's Companion by socialist author and Baptist minister Francis Bellamy on September 7, 1892. It was an advertising campaign to sell flags. (On a side note, the original salute to the flag was similar to the salute used by soldiers of Nazi Germany, it was called the Bellamy Salute.)

The words "Under God" did not appear in the original advertisment.

Even if the offensive words "under God" were removed, the Pledge of Allegiance would still be reprehensible. It is a generalized, undefined, unlimited oath of loyalty, which cannot be ethically meaningful or legally binding.

(Notice the resemblance to an undeclared, global, perpetual war of terror?)

When an oath is declared (to tell the truth or defend the Constitution) some specificity is required for an informed and intended decision to make that pledge.

Even then, such a promise is not infinite. For example, a soldier who has sworn his duty cannot be compelled to commit an atrocity.

The Pledge of Allegiance is oxymoronic. It ends with a proclamation that vaguely glorifies liberty and justice, but the pledge begins with a proclamation that is anathema to liberty and justice: swearing fidelity to symbol, rather than meaning and giving honor to nation, rather than ethic.

Anyone who recites this pledge is, knowingly or obliviously, either a slave or a liar. Requiring teachers to lead a daily/weekly convocation ritual among the youngest children required to attend is (totalitarian brainwashing?, cultural tyranny?)

Until the pledge is abolished from most public settings, it would be helpful for parents to teach their children to wait outside any classroom until the ritual is over and then attend class to learn critical thinking.

I pledge allegiance to the Earth
And the kingdoms she contains
And to the body of the solar system
And her shining heart, the Sun
Maintainer of all life
And I pledge allegiance to the timeless, living Creator of the Universe
Which is inside me, and outside me
And everywhere


Anonymous said...

Oh.My.God. What a MARVELOUS pledge that is. Indeed.
And thanks so much for the compliment on Janis. One of my faves.

Pam said...


I did not know they still did this in the schools. My older daughter starts kindergarten next fall. You bet I will ask about this!! And she will NOT be forced to participate.

LOVED your pledge at the end. That's a pledge I can get behind!!

Blueberry said...

The Pledge does rather make me cringe. And thanks for the wiki link on the origins, I love that stuff, even more cringing seeing the previous salute. Also surfed around from there and learned some more great trivia on related stuff. For quite a few years as a kid I wasn't allowed to say the pledge or salute the flag (or anything) because of being Jehovah's witnesses. Same reason we didn't do Christmas.

I will pledge allegience to the earth and the universe... but will leave it be right there. If something really is bigger than you, it's hard to know which direction it's in to point at it.

BBC said...

I wrote a pledge to the world once (I suppose a lot of people have), but it's buried in one of my many documents.

Anonymous said...

Why must we pledge anything to our govt. Shouldn't those who run our govt be held to the pledge and oath they make to the govt and us?

It's me, Pop from Morning Martini and I'm still stuck in beta commenting hell

Hifi said...

More info, see:
Patriotism for All

supergirlest said...

AMEN TO THAT!!!!! i LOVE LOVE LOVE your pledge at the end!

i find it odd, that over the years when this has come up in random conversations that no one ever believes me when i tell them the origins of the pledge...

i've long thought it quite odd that children be forced to recite this, blindly - before they even really know what it means! stockholm syndrome. again.

Anonymous said...

As I mentioned in the email, this pledge sounds so much like Anthony DeMello.

I should read him again.

He makes a lot of sense.

Puts the fondamentals into perspective.

Have a great day!

Steven Novak said...

I don't pledge my alliegance to anything other than boobs.