Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Freedom of Speech sure can be slippery.

I am a communist.

...and an atheist.

...a fascist.

...unpatriotic.

....ungrateful to those who have fought for all the freedoms we have today.

Or so I'm told.  Because I'm of the opinion that it's a bad idea to legislate forced recitation of  The Pledge of Allegiance in public schools.  When you leave a comment to that effect on a local news story about the topic, you get the residents of the reddest state in the union all riled up.

Let me quote myself.  "It's not really a pledge of anything if it's forced. Forcing loyalty is only tyranny."

I know, I know.  We all did it as kids.  We all stood up in the mornings facing an American flag printed on nylon fabric and glued to a dowel to pledge to be invisible.  All part of a good education. 

Then, after the pledge and before attendance, at least until I was in the second grade, the teacher led all of us in prayer.  We stopped that year (1981-1982) because everyone was confused on which God we were supposed to pray to in government run education.  It was decided it was OK to not pray at all.  Pray on your own time.  Yes, even you.   Right about the same time Nutrasweet was released to the public.  Coincidence?  I think not.

The Pledge became somewhat more of a muddy matter when we all got to the seventh grade and instead of putting hands to hearts, there was always a few girls and some boys who would use the opportunity to cup one of their boobs.  I'll admit it.  I did it once or twice.  Training bras are such a novelty even if they all come with pink bows in the center.

Point is, there is no one way to breed or express love of country and it should never become a matter of propoganda.  When you force a pledge the pledge becomes meaningless.  It requires the freedom to not say a thing, to protest, to not pledge, a freedom protected by the constitution, for it to have any dignity or grace.

Am I communist?  No.  I don't think human beings are any good at being square pegs.  We will always find some thing or someone that matters more to us in context.  Not everyone deserves to not be given a trophy any more than we all deserve one.

Am I an atheist?  No.  But there are plenty of folks out there who think that what I believe to be God is as good of a reason as any to damn me to hell or at least tell me I should move out of country.  But, you know what?  Even if I didn't believe in a higher power of some sort I'd still pay my taxes.

Am I a fascist.  Yes.  Wait.  No.  Does that even mean what it used to?   

Unpatriotic?  No.  I stand for the flag every Fourth of July parade no matter how much the local scouting troop lets it droop.  I do not cup my boob while it passes.

Ungrateful when it comes to our troops?  I'm the wife of a disabled Desert Storm veteran (Army, 3rd Infantry Division) and I'm about to send my wet behind the ears high school senior son into the Navy.  You want to thank him for their service?  Then thank them.  They fought for you and not necessarily a symbol for you.

What is that old saying?  I may not agree with what you have to say but I'd fight to the death for your right to say it?

Or not say it.

Have a collage of Rick Santorum made entirely out of gay porn.

Made ya look.

1 comment:

  1. I think that it's ironic that the religious right took the words "under god" and wedged them right between the words "one nation" and "indivisible", thus dividing our nation for decades to come when it really didn't need to be divided at all. The pledge was fine prior to 1954. I've already ranted about this topic plenty. It's the last topic I blogged about before my life became incredibly busy. http://bjorgequeen.blogspot.com/2011/10/get-up-stand-up.html But I won't say the words now. I won't encourage my children to say the words. And had the pledge remained unchanged, I would say the words and I would encourage my children to do so.
    To anybody who wonders why this is an issue: Imagine that instead of Eisenhower adding the words "Under God", Obama added the words "a nation full of atheists". That's right: One nation, a nation full of atheists, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. Now how do you like it? Now how is it no big deal? Now how is it not worth complaining about? Now how should you just shut up about it and keep with the status quo? Atheism will not to be banished by a popular vote or executive decision. Sorry.

    ReplyDelete

Absent Minded Archives