Sunday, July 17, 2011

God and the Pledge

I would argue that removing the two words “under God” from the pledge of allegiance is one of the pillars of atheist activism in America, along with getting rid of “In God We Trust” from money and maybe an openly Atheist president. Personally, I think some recent presidents were closet atheists, and the last five are certainly proof that there is no God.

But I have a little problem with the “One Nation, Indivisible” movement being advertised on billboards, bumper stickers and blogs. I certainly wouldn’t oppose such a change, by any means. Rather, I take issue with the pledge itself and how it’s administered.

What the hell is with putting your hand over your heart and standing? They even have you face a flag, a la facing Mecca. Is there a real reason for this, like does the magic of an oath not work if you’re sitting and picking your nose, facing an inspirational poster? Why do people take a pledge by standing and putting their hand on something, but they pray by kneeling and putting their hands together? This also has me wondering where people put their hands when taking an abstinence pledge…

I don’t like hardly anything written in the pledge of allegiance itself, either.

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,”

I don’t want to pledge allegiance to a flag. This strikes me as an eerily empty religious ritual.

“and to the republic, for which it stands,”

… in case you didn’t realize that the flag is symbolism…

“one nation”

… and its several incorporated and unincorporated territories…

“under God”

Do I really have to mention the first amendment here?


I’m calling bullshit here, because not only have we literally divided once before, we’re also sharply divided today along political, geographic, and economic lines.

“with liberty and justice for all.”

… those who can afford it.

I’m not suggesting atheists end their “One Nation, Indivisible” campaign, I’m just saying I have problems with more than two words in the pledge.

So, what would I suggest replacing the pledge with? Some snarky, pro-atheist, pro-liberal agenda parody that vaguely follows the meter of the original?

Well, since it’s primarily said in schools and government buildings, how about we replace the pledge with teaching and real work?

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