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Source: (consider it) Thread: Pledge of Allegiance
Tulfes
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I speak as a Brit and no anti American sentiment is intended or should be read into this post. Just curiosity.

I have always been confused by the US Pledge of Allegiance.

First of all, how can you promise loyalty to a Flag?

It may mean that loyalty is being promised to the state (=country) represented by the flag (the USA) or to the citizens/inhabitants of that country. But the use of the word "and" immediately before "to the republic for which it stands" suggests that loyalty is being promised both to the flag AND to the country/people ("republic") represented by the flag. So we're back to promising loyalty to a flag with the symbolism absent, meaning exactly what?

What "God" is meant in "one nation under God"? Is it the God of Christianity or some other God? If it is the God of Christianity, can the pledge be made by atheists or non-Christians? Is an alternative wording available for such persons?

I get the "indivisible" bit. I just wish that we in the UK could acknowledge that we are better as a nation together than in separate bits.

The liberty and justice for all is a fine sentiment.

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Stetson
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quote:
What "God" is meant in "one nation under God"? Is it the God of Christianity or some other God? If it is the God of Christianity, can the pledge be made by atheists or non-Christians? Is an alternative wording available for such persons?

I don't think it is specified in the Pledge, or anywhere else, which God is being referenced there. But the movement to insert God was heavily influenced by Christians, and it's probably safe to say that they wanted the public to assume the Christian God.

quote:
can the pledge be made by atheists or non-Christians? Is an alternative wording available for such persons?

I don't know(not American). Since it's often recited in groups, it might be a little awakward to get around those words, though I suppose you could just keep your mouth shut for them.

And I just have to ask...

Is there an atheist-friendly version of God Save The Queen?

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Enoch
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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
... Is there an atheist-friendly version of God Save The Queen?

No, but then, the Queen is both officially and, on the evidence of her Christmas broadcasts which have been getting steadily more overtly Christian in recent years, personally, a Christian believer.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

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Albertus
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And, despite disestablishment in Wales and NI, the state is still culturally Christian. Anyway, I suspect that the kind of atheist who'd make a fuss about singing 'God' is probably likely to be the kind of contumacious person who'd make a fuss about singing 'Queen'. So tough cheese and sucks to them.

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Nicolemr
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There is a movement to remove the "under God" phrase from the Pledge and restore it to it's original form. Don't know how much traction it has, but it gets posted on facebook occasionally.

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On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
And, despite disestablishment in Wales and NI, the state is still culturally Christian. Anyway, I suspect that the kind of atheist who'd make a fuss about singing 'God' is probably likely to be the kind of contumacious person who'd make a fuss about singing 'Queen'. So tough cheese and sucks to them.

I'm not really for or against the word "God" being in any particular patriotic text. It's just that Tulfes concern about atheists and the Pledge seemed kind of odd, coming from a country with the same issues in its national song.

It would be like an American asking a French person "Don't pacifists find the the militaristic language in The Marseillaise offensive?"

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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Albertus
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Oh no, I didn't think it was something you were bothered about.
And lots of rather gratingly and plonkingly pacifist Welsh people have AFAIK been perfectly happy to sing about our gwrol ryfelwyr ('manly warriors') who shed their blood for freedom. Tho' i do recall some comment about that, but nothing came of it.

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Og, King of Bashan

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quote:
Originally posted by Nicolemr:
There is a movement to remove the "under God" phrase from the Pledge and restore it to it's original form. Don't know how much traction it has, but it gets posted on facebook occasionally.

If facebook posts and petitions were indications of the validity or a movement . . . (I don't know how to finish that, but you get my drift.)

Honestly, I don't know how often the Pledge is even said anymore, outside of Republican breakfast meetings. We used to say it every morning in elementary school, but I had heard so little about it recently that I assumed it had faded out of use. I haven't said it in years- I think the last time was when I was a guest at a Rotary club meeting. Maybe I would encounter it more in the suburbs or in rural areas. Am I just sheltered in my urban existence?

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
And, despite disestablishment in Wales and NI, the state is still culturally Christian. Anyway, I suspect that the kind of atheist who'd make a fuss about singing 'God' is probably likely to be the kind of contumacious person who'd make a fuss about singing 'Queen'. So tough cheese and sucks to them.

From what I've seen the fuss comes from those can't abide others quietly not singing it. See, for example, the furore over a Mr J Corbyn doing just that.
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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
And, despite disestablishment in Wales and NI, the state is still culturally Christian. Anyway, I suspect that the kind of atheist who'd make a fuss about singing 'God' is probably likely to be the kind of contumacious person who'd make a fuss about singing 'Queen'. So tough cheese and sucks to them.

Rubbish, bullshit, poppycock and harrumph. There are those of us, atheist, non-theist, theist non-Christian and even (shock, horror) Christian! who believe in disestablishment. Some of these might justifiably complain about enshrining God in government.
Personally, I could give a toss about the song, but do feel religion has no place in official state business.
ISTM, that the Pledge of Allegiance is more serious, in that it is a pledge and America is supposed to be disestablished.
quote:
Originally posted by Arethosemyfeet:
From what I've seen the fuss comes from those can't abide others quietly not singing it. See, for example, the furore over a Mr J Corbyn doing just that.

Exactly

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Martin60
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"I feel surrounded by Christians who very much like the idea of an American God and a middle-class Republican Jesus, first and foremost concerned about Our National Security and Our Way of Life. “The Lord is My Shepherd” becomes “The Lord Is Our President,” elected by use for our national interest, or “The Lord Is Our Secretary of Defense,” ready to sacrifice 10,000 lives of noncitizens elsewhere for the safety of U.S. citizens here.
…
In Jesus’ day, “Caesar is Lord” was the political pledge of allegiance, required in a way not unlike “Heil Hitler” was required…in Nazi Germany. To call Jesus “Lord” meant that there is a power in Jesus more important than the power of the king of the greatest state in history. To say “Jesus is Lord” was then (and should be now!) a profoundly political statement — affirming the authority of a “powerless” Jewish rabbi with scarred feet over the power of Caesar himself with all his swords, spears, chariots, and crosses."

A Generous Orthodoxy by Brian McLaren p82

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Love wins

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Stetson
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Buddha wrote:

quote:
ISTM, that the Pledge of Allegiance is more serious, in that it is a pledge and America is supposed to be disestablished.

Valid points, but Tulfes didn't raise the disestablishment issue in his OP. His point about "One Nation Under God" was not that it violated the First Amendment, but that it might be unpalatable to atheists. That's what I was replying to with my "God Save The Queen" counterexample.

I don't know how coercive the singing of GSTQ usually gets in the UK these days. Are there any situations where it is included as part of official protocol, and people are expected to sing along, at risk of being in shameful violation of social custom? If so, then the difference between that and a pledge might not be that great.

But, like I say, I really don't know what the customs are around that song.

[ 15. April 2016, 19:14: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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SusanDoris

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As soon as someone comes up with three syllables to take the place of, 'God save our..', then I think it would not be long before the improved version would become accepted. I do hope this happens before my life runs out, but I'm not holding my breath! [Smile]

If ever I had to go to court or something, I would use the non-God wording of swearing to speak the truth.

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I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

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Albertus
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
And, despite disestablishment in Wales and NI, the state is still culturally Christian. Anyway, I suspect that the kind of atheist who'd make a fuss about singing 'God' is probably likely to be the kind of contumacious person who'd make a fuss about singing 'Queen'. So tough cheese and sucks to them.

Rubbish, bullshit, poppycock and harrumph. There are those of us, atheist, non-theist, theist non-Christian and even (shock, horror) Christian! who believe in disestablishment. Some of these might justifiably complain about enshrining God in government.

Ah yes, but I think you're American, aren't you? What applies in older polities doesn't necessarily apply there. You have different ideas about these things and a different cultural background. You're children of a particular moment of the Enlightenment.

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LeRoc

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quote:
SusanDoris: If ever I had to go to court or something, I would use the non-God wording of swearing to speak the truth.
FWIW I'm with you here. (I'm not even very comfortable with swearing itself.)

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I know why God made the rhinoceros, it's because He couldn't see the rhinoceros, so He made the rhinoceros to be able to see it. (Clarice Lispector)

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Stetson
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Susan wrote:

quote:
As soon as someone comes up with three syllables to take the place of, 'God save our..', then I think it would not be long before the improved version would become accepted. I do hope this happens before my life runs out, but I'm not holding my breath!
Maybe I'm just extrapolating a bit too much from the Canadian scene, but I'd wager that any attempt at taking "God" out of "God Save The Queen" would get considerable pushback from certain sections of the British public.

Unless, of course, things like the Fleet Street "War On Christmas" panic-mongering are all taken by their readership as clever satires on conservatives.

[ 16. April 2016, 07:05: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

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Belle Ringer
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quote:
Originally posted by Tulfes:
First of all, how can you promise loyalty to a Flag?

What "God" is meant in "one nation under God"? Is it the God of Christianity or some other God? If it is the God of Christianity, can the pledge be made by atheists or non-Christians? Is an alternative wording available for such persons?

The pledge as initially written and used for decades did not include "under God" or any other reference to any religion. Thst phrase was added as a political statement, anti Communist, who were often referred to as "those Godless communists" so "under God" was a self boasting "we are better than they are", not a humble statement of submission to God nor a recognition that God (not us and our bully stick) is in charge.

This was an era - mid-50s - when Jewish kids (maybe 1/3rd of my school) were required to sing Christian songs in school music programs on the grounds we aren't singing for the words just for the beautiful music. I guess no Jewish music was considered beautiful? Anyway, the idea of accomodating those of a different religious persuasion (or none) was minimally honored. And socially you had to go to church - in one job we were told we have to go to church to help uphold the employer's public image as nice people.

As to the flag, you may have noticed the war song adopted as national anthem focuses on the flag. Maybe flag focus is what you get when there's no Queen? [Smile] I'd rather pledge allegiance to the Constitution but it's isn't as decorative in appearance.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Belle Ringer:
quote:
Originally posted by Tulfes:
First of all, how can you promise loyalty to a Flag?

What "God" is meant in "one nation under God"? Is it the God of Christianity or some other God? If it is the God of Christianity, can the pledge be made by atheists or non-Christians? Is an alternative wording available for such persons?

The pledge as initially written and used for decades did not include "under God" or any other reference to any religion. Thst phrase was added as a political statement, anti Communist, who were often referred to as "those Godless communists" so "under God" was a self boasting "we are better than they are", not a humble statement of submission to God nor a recognition that God (not us and our bully stick) is in charge.
Along those lines, it was also thought to be a useful litmus test in the McCarthy-era "hidden commie" scare. It was believed no true communist would be able to utter the words "under God" and so they'd be able to uncover all those hidden commie spies lurking everywhere. It would be funny in it's naiveté if it didn't have so many tragic consequences (blacklisting, etc).

So something that sounds so pious turns out to be anything but.

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Kelly Alves

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Exactly. It is a divisive shibboleth. It impels dishonesty of people who don't believe in .God, or who do not believe that the nation should be united by religion.
I tend to not say that part when the Pledge is invoked.

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I cannot expect people to believe “
Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
Kelly Alves, somewhere around 2003.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
And, despite disestablishment in Wales and NI, the state is still culturally Christian. Anyway, I suspect that the kind of atheist who'd make a fuss about singing 'God' is probably likely to be the kind of contumacious person who'd make a fuss about singing 'Queen'. So tough cheese and sucks to them.

Rubbish, bullshit, poppycock and harrumph. There are those of us, atheist, non-theist, theist non-Christian and even (shock, horror) Christian! who believe in disestablishment. Some of these might justifiably complain about enshrining God in government.

Ah yes, but I think you're American, aren't you? What applies in older polities doesn't necessarily apply there. You have different ideas about these things and a different cultural background. You're children of a particular moment of the Enlightenment.
Interesting reply, but it doesn't answer anything
I said.
Let me put it more simply: God does not belong in government.

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I put on my rockin' shoes in the morning
Hallellou, hallellou

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
Exactly. It is a divisive shibboleth. It impels dishonesty of people who don't believe in .God, or who do not believe that the nation should be united by religion.
I tend to not say that part when the Pledge is invoked.

It also implies divine right and manifest destiny.
Both of which are ridiculous.

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I put on my rockin' shoes in the morning
Hallellou, hallellou

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Kelly Alves

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Maybe this is saying the same thing, but as a kid I thought of it as bribing God. We endorse you with this public pronouncement, you have to materially bless us.

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I cannot expect people to believe “
Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
Kelly Alves, somewhere around 2003.

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Augustine the Aleut
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Belle Ringer notes:
quote:
I'd rather pledge allegiance to the Constitution but it's isn't as decorative in appearance.
Belle Ringer may quote in her support that oaths of office in the US contain the words ...to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States suggesting that it is the structure and supporting ideals which are the goal of allegiance, rather than a symbol.
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Alan Cresswell

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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
I don't know how coercive the singing of GSTQ usually gets in the UK these days. Are there any situations where it is included as part of official protocol, and people are expected to sing along, at risk of being in shameful violation of social custom?

I can't remember the last time I sang it. If a situation arose when it was expected that I sing it, I hope someone provides the words.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by SusanDoris:
As soon as someone comes up with three syllables to take the place of, 'God save our..', then I think it would not be long before the improved version would become accepted. I do hope this happens before my life runs out, but I'm not holding my breath! [Smile]

If ever I had to go to court or something, I would use the non-God wording of swearing to speak the truth.

There's never any need to do other than affirm. Which I've had the honour of doing.

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Love wins

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andras
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
I don't know how coercive the singing of GSTQ usually gets in the UK these days. Are there any situations where it is included as part of official protocol, and people are expected to sing along, at risk of being in shameful violation of social custom?

I can't remember the last time I sang it. If a situation arose when it was expected that I sing it, I hope someone provides the words.
When not avoidable I simply sing the modern verse which starts Not on this land alone, But be the mercies known From shore to shore.

Looks like I'm politely joining in, but avoids any allusion to the ridiculous House of Windsor and its members.

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God's on holiday.
(Why borrow a cat?)
Adrian Plass

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Stetson
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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
I don't know how coercive the singing of GSTQ usually gets in the UK these days. Are there any situations where it is included as part of official protocol, and people are expected to sing along, at risk of being in shameful violation of social custom?

I can't remember the last time I sang it. If a situation arose when it was expected that I sing it, I hope someone provides the words.
Thanks for the input. That would be my experience with O Canada as well, but then again, I never go to sporting events.
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Crœsos
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Leaving aside the specifics related to the mention of God, how about the fact that the ritualized public recitation of a loyalty oath is just creepy? Related analysis from Fred Clark:

quote:
“Hey, honey, let’s reaffirm our wedding vows to celebrate our anniversary.” That might be nice. “Honey, I insist that every day you stand, place your hand on your heart, and reaffirm our wedding vows before breakfast” is just creepy control-freak behavior that has nothing to do with anything like love or devotion.
At least they got rid of the salute they used to do. For some reason it became controversial in 1942.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Lamb Chopped
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Much depends on the way your local culture understands the repetition. I'm thinking, for example, of the Boy Scout pledges and laws and what-have-you that they repeat at meetings mainly as a) a kind of aid to group cohesion and b) an aid to ethical focus. At least that's what's going on locally here.

The pledge of allegiance is basically the same wherever I've lived. Nobody is making it the subject of a witch-hunt, or getting tied up in knots about it as if it were Scripture (which it clearly comes way below, in terms of authority and value). It functions as a reminder of things to be grateful for, an aid to group cohesion, and a warm fuzzy. Certainly there are freaks for whom it functions differently (at least, I see them on Facebook, so I assume they exist IRL [Ultra confused] ). But it doesn't have to be that way.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down!

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Pigwidgeon

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quote:
Originally posted by Crœsos:
At least they got rid of the salute they used to do. For some reason it became controversial in 1942.

Except, of course, at Trump rallies.

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"...that is generally a matter for Pigwidgeon, several other consenting adults, a bottle of cheap Gin and the odd giraffe."
~Tortuf

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
I'm thinking, for example, of the Boy Scout pledges and laws and what-have-you that they repeat at meetings mainly as a) a kind of aid to group cohesion and b) an aid to ethical focus.

I'm quite often present at allegiance-pledging occasions (Scouts mostly, plus the occasional sporting-type event, and school when I had a child in public school.) I don't, because I'm not American, so it would be a lie. I stand, with my hands at my sides, whilst pledging is going on around me. Nobody has ever said anything.

(I last sang GSTQ on Memorial Day weekend, in church, when "My country 'tis of thee" was listed. [Big Grin] )

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Kelly Alves

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I put my hand on my heart, but I usually keep silent as well.(Very rarely I sub at conservative Christina schools where the Pledge is part of the morning routine. Either I keep silent during the whole pledge, or I drop silent at "under God." But I just can't say it with any authenticity.)

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mousethief

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I'm a public school teacher and do not say the pledge. I put the flag on the back wall of the room so the students are facing away from me. Well, the ones who say the pledge.

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Enoch
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Has there ever been an issue in the US as to whether, by making the pledge to an inanimate object, it infringes the Second Commandment against idolatry? I can't help thinking that over here, not just the JWs but quite a few other Christians, Jews or these days, Moslems would have an issue of conscience with it.

When there was some discussion on the Ship a year or two ago which referred to the pledge, I was surprised to learn that apparently foreigners were not excused from saying it, and that some authority figures in the US could not see why this was either odd or a problem.

Mind, also rather odd, the US at one time used to feel no compunction about conscripting foreigners into its armed forces, something that most other countries would be likely to take steps to avoid. Not only might they be disloyal, but they might picked up official secrets while they were there.

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cliffdweller
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
When there was some discussion on the Ship a year or two ago which referred to the pledge, I was surprised to learn that apparently foreigners were not excused from saying it, and that some authority figures in the US could not see why this was either odd or a problem.

Yes. It's mostly ignorance-- the default assumption seems to be that everyone either is an American citizen or wants to be. My husband is an immigrant who has chosen not to relinquish his Canadian citizenship-- we often sit in meetings and roll our eyes when someone, trying to sound diverse, says something like "after all, we're all Americans!" otoh, there are American citizens with non-European heritage who experience the reverse...

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Kelly Alves

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Where did you get the idea that people in the US are compelled to say the Pledge? Especially since several of us have already said we don't say it?

At certain public events the Pledge is used to begin things, but the formal routine is for the leader to say, " we ask that you stand and join us in the Pledge of Alligience."

Using it in a public setting creates a social pressure to join in, but nobody is forced to do it, and even the social pressure has raised enough first amendment issues that at most public events they have switched to just playing the National Anthem , where all you have to do is stand to be socially proper.

As for idolatry-- definitely this has been raised as a reason for refusing to recite the Pledge, and again, as a reason people protest its public use. Honestly, by the time I got to junior high (1983) the schools I attended were not using the Pledge to start the day anymore. In fact, the last time I remember doing it was in about second grade, so maybe teachers were beginning to quietly opt out before I knew what was happening.

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I cannot expect people to believe “
Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
Kelly Alves, somewhere around 2003.

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Stetson
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quote:
I can't help thinking that over here, not just the JWs but quite a few other Christians, Jews or these days, Moslems would have an issue of conscience with it.

I've sometimes wondered if the Pledge issue would play out differently in US public opinion if people knew that the legal cases against it had been launched by Jehovah's Witnesses, not by hippies and Communists.

I mean, I realize that JWs are somewhat off-the-beaten-path of mainstream US society, but they're still more-or-less Christian(trinitarian purists aside), and apart from shirking patriotism, pretty respectable members of the middle-class.

When GHW Bush went after Dukakis about the Pledge in '88, Dukakis mumbled a few words about just following the Supreme Court rulings, a reply which didn't seem to help him much. I wonder how it would have played out had he instead said something like "Well, as a matter of fact, Mr. Vice President, I DON'T think Christians who have a problem with saluting a flag should be forced by the government to do it."

Would the meat-eating patriots Bush was targetting have thought "Damn it, he's right, the government can't make people go against their beliefs". Or would it just be "Those are the guys who wake me up in the morning and have those freaky pictures of Jesus nailed to a pole!! Damn straight they should be forced to salute the flag! And shoot 'em if they refuse!"

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[ 17. April 2016, 18:47: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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Dave W.
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
Has there ever been an issue in the US as to whether, by making the pledge to an inanimate object, it infringes the Second Commandment against idolatry? I can't help thinking that over here, not just the JWs but quite a few other Christians, Jews or these days, Moslems would have an issue of conscience with it.

Wikipedia has an article on the pledge which describes the legal challenges brought by Jehovah's Witnesses and others.
quote:
When there was some discussion on the Ship a year or two ago which referred to the pledge, I was surprised to learn that apparently foreigners were not excused from saying it, and that some authority figures in the US could not see why this was either odd or a problem.

As a matter of law, no one can be required to say it; from the majority opinion of a 1943 Supreme Court case mentioned in the Wikipedia article:
quote:
"If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us."
quote:
Mind, also rather odd, the US at one time used to feel no compunction about conscripting foreigners into its armed forces, something that most other countries would be likely to take steps to avoid. Not only might they be disloyal, but they might picked up official secrets while they were there.
"At one time"? I'm not at all sure that most other countries would be different; the Wiki article on the UK National National Service Act of 1939 says it "enforced full conscription on all males between 18 and 41 who were residents in the UK."

(I'd be interested in reading the text of the Act itself, if anyone knows where to find it.)

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Tulfes:
I speak as a Brit and no anti American sentiment is intended or should be read into this post. Just curiosity.

I have always been confused by the US Pledge of Allegiance.

First of all, how can you promise loyalty to a Flag?

My theory: The flag is to the US as the crown is to the UK. It is the unifying (in theory, at least) symbol of the nation that is (in theory, at least) above politics. So where (in the movies, at least), the British might fight "for King and country," here "flag and country"—or simply "flag"—can be substituted pretty easily. The British national anthem is about the Queen, ours is about the flag. Honor and respect are, in various way, shown the Queen there and are shown the flag here.

Allegiance is not, of course, really pledged to the piece of cloth itself. But the flag is about as weighty a symbol as we have in the US. Bottom line—we rejected having a monarchy, so something had to fill the symbolism gap.


quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by Lamb Chopped:
I'm thinking, for example, of the Boy Scout pledges and laws and what-have-you that they repeat at meetings mainly as a) a kind of aid to group cohesion and b) an aid to ethical focus.

I'm quite often present at allegiance-pledging occasions (Scouts mostly, plus the occasional sporting-type event, and school when I had a child in public school.) I don't, because I'm not American, so it would be a lie. I stand, with my hands at my sides, whilst pledging is going on around me. Nobody has ever said anything.
One of the adult leaders in my son's Scout group was English, and he did as you describe. He was careful every now and then to explain to the boys why he did so, especially when they were really young.

And at least around here, it is still said daily in public and private schools. It is also said at the beginning of things like city council meetings, and definitely political gatherings, both Republican and Democratic.

And yes, most people I know who have issues with "under God" simply stay quiet through those words.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
Would the meat-eating patriots Bush was targetting have thought "Damn it, he's right, the government can't make people go against their beliefs".

No. The meat-head patriots are all for the government forcing THEIR religion on others. As witness some of the rhetoric surrounding Donald Trump's presidential campaign.

They're just opposed to the government trying to prevent them from forcing their religion on others.

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Golden Key
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Back in the '60s, comedian Red Skelton did a serious piece on the pledge and "under God". It was a big deal, at the time--even put on a vinyl record. I'm not saying he's right, but it had an impact on me, at the time: because he was so emotional about it, he was someone I respected, he was a Christian, and he did comparatively clean comedy. (Go easy on me, please--I was a little kid, and trying to figure stuff out.)

Text and video here (Red-Skelton.info).

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Augustine the Aleut
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quote:
Originally posted by Enoch:
*snip*
Mind, also rather odd, the US at one time used to feel no compunction about conscripting foreigners into its armed forces, something that most other countries would be likely to take steps to avoid. Not only might they be disloyal, but they might picked up official secrets while they were there.

The US, through its Selective Service System, still does register resident non-citizens for a draft, should a call be made. In the 1970s, Canadian students in the US were registered and sometimes drafted (theoretically they were
exempt, but local practice was ....uneven).

I did notice that FTM transgendered persons were not required to register.

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Anyuta
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No to defend the pledge, which I find ridiculous in general, but it does say "and to the republic for which it stands.." in other words, you are pledging allegiance to the nation, not just the flag.

Still stupid to include the flag at all, in my opinion, but there you have it.

Growing up we stood up every morning in class, one kid would have the honor of holding the flag, and the rest of us would say the pledge, and then sing some patriotic song. Knowing those songs comes in handy on certain occasions, and I think group singing in elementary school is a good thing (even if it's singing praises to "a grand old flag".) It never occurred to anyone to question this practice (well, how would I know that? I don't. I guess it's an assumption because no one complained, and because it was a fairly homogeneous community).

At Christmas time we sang Christmas carols (both religious and secular) and also Hannukah songs (because we had a large number of Jewish students). I can still remember all the words to "oh, Hanukah, oh, Hanukah, come light the menorah, let's have a party, we'll all dance the hora".

I can deal with pledging to the flag, but it really bothers me to see a flag in church, where it's essentially an icon not of God but of the State.

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Kelly Alves

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Some churches have an American flag to one side of the altar, and the so- called "Christian flag" to the other. That bugs me.

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I cannot expect people to believe “
Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
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Brenda Clough
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Ours has an American flag on the pulpit side and the state flag on the lectern side. It has been like this for ever, and I doubt if any change could ever be made. My idea is, there are bigger battles to be fought. (Also, they do process the flags up and down every now and then -- on the Fourth of July, and also for funerals of military persons, so they might as well be handy.)

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leo
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The more I read about this, the more I am convinced I'd refuse to say the pledge, just as i refuse to sing 'God save the queen'.

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Nicolemr
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Some churches have a "Pledge to the Christian Flag", which makes me want to gag.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Nicolemr:
Some churches have a "Pledge to the Christian Flag", which makes me want to gag.

I have encountered that, and I agree whole-heartedly.

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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Eutychus
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According to the incredibly named Dutch Sheets, one of the speakers at the LA Coliseum event to herald in revival on the anniversary of the Azusa street revival, it's the Pine Tree Flag, mostly because of the words "An Appeal to Heaven" on it...

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Albertus
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quote:
Originally posted by andras:
quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:
quote:
Originally posted by Stetson:
I don't know how coercive the singing of GSTQ usually gets in the UK these days. Are there any situations where it is included as part of official protocol, and people are expected to sing along, at risk of being in shameful violation of social custom?

I can't remember the last time I sang it. If a situation arose when it was expected that I sing it, I hope someone provides the words.
When not avoidable I simply sing the modern verse which starts Not on this land alone, But be the mercies known From shore to shore.

Looks like I'm politely joining in, but avoids any allusion to the ridiculous House of Windsor and its members.

Never had you down as a Jacobite, but you live and learn. [Biased] BTW does anyone on here know whether there is a 'proper' Jacobite anthem for England/Scotland/Ireland? I haave an idea that national anthems, as we know know them, came in some time after the Revolution of 1688, but I'm not sure.
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