Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Pledge ruled unconstitutional

This is interesting. While I don't really have any problem with the Pledge (I said it for years and I turned out ok), when the words "Under God" are in there, it seems to me it's pretty hard to argue that it's not unconstitutional.

I don't really understand what the point of a pledge of allegiance is supposed to be, anyway. It always seemed a little strange to me that a country so obsessed with freedom would want to force little kids to participate in something that I can't really describe as anything other than blatant indoctrination. Having said that, though, like I said before, I don't really have any big problems with it.

I do think it's kind of silly that this is the kind of shit people spend their time worrying about. On either side.

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15 comments:

Robert Bayn said...

I just don't like this brain washing of kids so young with the pledge of alliegence, then again parents will do the brain washing too. Over all it's not a big deal.

beakerkin said...

It is a stupid issue on all sides and in the big scheeme hot air.
Let me know when they get around to issues that impact Americans daily lives.

Toast said...

I'm an atheist. My wife and I are planning to have kids. I don't want my kids having to stand up and recite a patriotic pledge to their country that some imbeciles felt the need to insert their stupid fairy tale into after the fact.

And if it's so inconsequential, then it shouldn't be a big deal to change it back to the way it was.

Toast said...

And before anyone suggests it, no, I don't want them to have to sit at their desks excluded or wait outside in the hall either.

Robert Bayn said...

Toast there's a good movie coming out that you might find interesting,


http://www.thegodmovie.com

Toast said...

Thanks, Robert. That looks pretty interesting. Hell, if they snagged Dawkins, it has to be good...

lil smooth gi says n said...

pledging allegiance 2da flag seems kinda like idol worship. n if it is bout freedom, why do dey force da poohbahs in school 2do it? n if dats so wonderful, how bout all da adults doin it in der offices n everywhere. n if u sleep late, u get outta bed n say it. ok everybuddy, it's 8 am, time 4da pledge of allegiance n den 4 hours of suck up 2da teacher/boss or whoever before snack time. enjoy ur freedom n hava cheerful day !

Fixer said...

OT, John, I can't find your email address anywhere (probly my old eyes) but could you send me an email please?

STP said...

I was always ok with the pledge as it is mostly harmless. I recall it being an exercise in going through the motions as a kid. Still, it strikes me as being borderline on the constitutionality question. Remember what's on our money. On a sidenote, also remember that the "Under God" line is relatively current, added in the 50's as a response to the godless communists.

John Howard said...

Hey fixer, I can't send email from work, or if I did it would have the wrong address, so I can send you one when I get home. But if you read this before then, it's

johnhoward00 AT yahoo DOT com

I thought it was on my profile, but apparently it isn't. No wonder I never get any email.

John Howard said...

Like I said, I think it's pretty harmless too, but I don't think it's anywhere near the borderline, I think it's clearly over.

And even though I really didn't care that much, the more I hear people being so outraged about this decision, the more I do care. People need to stop and think why we want kids saying the stupid thing in the first place. And if it's so great, then like lil smooth gi says, we should all be doing it.

Robert Bayn said...

Jon Stewart had a great take on this last night, God was added to the pledge back when we was battling Godless germans, and we wanted to prove god was on our side, now we are battling relgious fanatics, maybe we should change it to something more correct for america.

"In oil we trust"

manxome said...

Agreeing with Toast. If it's no big deal to put up with saying it, then it should be no big deal to NOT have it in the schools at all, except as part of any other lesson informing students that it exists.

I'm an atheist, with kids, and it's not silly to me in the least. My kids get to decide, as they gain knowledge over time, just where they stand on this. Yet there are those who, against my requests, feel that it is their sole purpose to save my own kids from the likes of me. There are those who treat religion as the default and we are supposed to opt-out. Frankly, I thought it was opt-in. Churches come in mightly handy for that, not my public elementary school.

I've had lots of conversations with my son lately, as he has decided that he is an atheist. I wish he weren't so sure already. I have shared my views with him on the defensive against disrespectful in-laws and school indoctrinations, all the while still trying to be respectful and not indoctrinate him myself.

He shouldn't have to make these choices in his school, at an age where authority isn't questioned and peer acceptance is a big influence. He's just too young to be expected to stand up with confidence to assert his constitutional rights.

He knows, after he hears parents at an assembly shout "god" during the pledge after the initial Newdow decision, after he walks past "In God We Trust" as he enters school every day, that he doesn't have to say the pledge, or stand up for it. He has chosen to just not say the word "god" in the pledge, or in the song "God Bless the USA" from this past Monday's assembly.

No big deal?

I think it is a big deal. His choice is to pretend he's going along with it, vs. the choice of standing out and being ridiculed when he is not made to withstand that yet, at his age.

It's a sucky choice, and a horrid lesson.

John Howard said...

Fixer, I sent you an email to the address on your blog, but it came back undeliverable.

Fixer said...

I'll use the one above as soon as I get to my laptop. Thanks, JRH.