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The Pledge & Our Public Schools

Vandeervecken

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Once again the Ninth Circuit Court has ruled in favor of Michael Newdow and others, that it is unconstitutional for our nation's schools to have a morning recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Ever since various Christian organizations, most notably the Knights of Columbus of the Roman Catholic Church, were successful in adding the words, “Under God,” with the specific intention of making it a morning devotional, our nation’s school children have been getting coerced into saying a state-sanctioned prayer every morning. Make no mistake, I will show that indeed was the main purpose of altering the text of the pledge that had been in use for most of a century at that point.

As he signed the bill into law changing the text of the pledge President Dwight Eisenhower said, "From this day forward, the millions of our school children will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural schoolhouse, the dedication of our Nation and our people to the Almighty." The legislative history of the 1954 act stated that the hope was to "acknowledge the dependence of our people and our Government upon … the Creator … [and] deny the atheistic and materialistic concept of communism." One of the leading proponents for the change was Rev. George M. Docherty, pastor of the Presbyterian church in Washington that Eisenhower attended. In February 1954, Docherty gave a sermon—with the president in the pew before him—arguing that apart from "the United States of America," the pledge "could be the pledge of any country." He added, "I could hear little Moscovites [sic] repeat a similar pledge to their hammer-and-sickle flag with equal solemnity." Perhaps forgetting that "liberty and justice for all" was not the norm in Moscow, Docherty urged the inclusion of "under God" in the pledge to denote what he felt was special about the United States. Yet today there are those who still try to claim that the addition of those words, and the saying of those words daily by our children, has no religious content, nor was any ever intended. Of course, and quite contradictorily, I might note they also claim that removing those words and restoring the pledge to what it had been before 1954 would violate their religious rights. How can it be that the words have no religious meaning when said, but if unsaid they have religious meaning? I’ve yet to hear anyone give a rational explanation for this dichotomy of thought.

I’d like to go back for a moment to what Rev. Docherty had said about the pledge in its pre-1954 text. Again he said, " the pledge "could be the pledge of any country." and, "I could hear little Moscovites [sic] repeat a similar pledge to their hammer-and-sickle flag with equal solemnity." Frankly I think he is right. The practice of making kids say unthinking pledges to the state seem more attuned to what one would expect in Stalinist Russia or Hitler’s Germany than what should be expected in a free republic. In thinking about this issue I have come to two conclusions. The first is that Pledge be done away with in our public schools because it has been turned into a coercive prayer and endorsement of Judeo-Christian monotheism. Secondly and more importantly it should be removed because it is nothing more than the brainwashing of children. School children really have no idea what it means to pledge one's allegiance to anything. It is long past time to remove this relic of the Civil War era with its Cold War addition from our schools.
 
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trea·son
Violation of allegiance toward one's country or sovereign, especially the betrayal of one's country by waging war against it or by consciously and purposely acting to aid its enemies.
A betrayal of trust or confidence.

The following words were spoken by the late Red Skelton on his television program as he related the story of his teacher, Mr. Laswell, who felt his students had come to think of the Pledge of Allegiance as merely something to recite in class each day.

Now, more than ever, listen to the meaning of these words.

"I've been listening to you boys and girls recite the Pledge of Allegiance all semester and it seems as though it is becoming monotonous to you. If I may, may I recite it and try to explain to you the meaning of each word?"
I
me, an individual, a committee of one.
Pledge
dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self pity.
Allegiance
my love and my devotion.
To the flag
our standard, Old Glory, a symbol of freedom. Wherever she waves, there's respect because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts freedom is everybody's job!
United
that means that we have all come together.
States
individual communities that have united into 48 great states. Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose; all divided with imaginary boundaries, yet united to a common purpose, and that's love for country.
And to the republic
a state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people and it's from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.
For which it stands, one nation
one nation, meaning "so blessed by God"
Indivisible
incapable of being divided.
With liberty
which is freedom -- the right of power to live one's own life without threats, fear or some sort of retaliation.
And Justice
the principle or quality of dealing fairly with others.
For all
which means, boys and girls, it's as much your country as it is mine.


Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country and two words have been added to the pledge of Allegiance...

UNDER GOD

Wouldn't it be a pity if someone said that is a prayer and that would be eliminated from schools too? God Bless America!



I personally don't have a problem changing the Pledge back to the way it was originally written. My problem is the complete removal of it. Folks who wanted to add the words "Under God" to the pledge didn't try to remove it because it didn't have those words. They petitioned to change it. Why are these folks against the words "Under God" insistant on removing the Pledge in its entirety rather than just those words they object to?
My personal belief is that those words were added to separate us from communism. They certainly weren't & aren't a morning Christian devotional. It may be true that kids don't really know or understand what they're saying. Isn't that a shame? Don't you think it should be taught & explained to them rather than just removing it? I think Red Skelton's explanation is pretty darn good. Not exactly how would explain it. However, children need to be taught what it means to love, honor, respect, & to pledge allegiance to their country. And, why it's important.

Rome thrived when Romans thought it a wonderful thing to be Romans [. . .] it disintegrated when they no longer valued being Roman.
-- Classics scholar/author Victor Davis Hanson.

With this incessant drive to remove the Pledge of Allegiance, in its entirety, from public domain is the act of devaluing America; And, its citizens. This act is nothing short of treasonous.
 

Vandeervecken

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Mark A Shrider said:
trea·son
Violation of allegiance toward one's country or sovereign, especially the betrayal of one's country by waging war against it or by consciously and purposely acting to aid its enemies.
A betrayal of trust or confidence.
Exactly how is this relevant? You might also note this is a dictionary definition, not the legal definition of treason in the United States. Treason is VERY narrowly defined. In fact it is the one and only crime defined in the Constitution itself.


Mark A Shrider said:
I personally don't have a problem changing the Pledge back to the way it was originally written. My problem is the complete removal of it. Folks who wanted to add the words "Under God" to the pledge didn't try to remove it because it didn't have those words. They petitioned to change it. Why are these folks against the words "Under God" insistant on removing the Pledge in its entirety rather than just those words they object to?
Actually we are on the third revision. I explained my reasons for wanting it removed, why then do you wonder what those reasons are? Did you bother to read it?

Mark A Shrider said:
My personal belief is that those words were added to separate us from communism. They certainly weren't & aren't a morning Christian devotional. It may be true that kids don't really know or understand what they're saying. Isn't that a shame? Don't you think it should be taught & explained to them rather than just removing it? I think Red Skelton's explanation is pretty darn good. Not exactly how would explain it. However, children need to be taught what it means to love, honor, respect, & to pledge allegiance to their country. And, why it's important.
Explain away the words of those behind the change that I quoted then. Pay particular attention to the words of the President as he signed it into law.

Mark A Shrider said:
With this incessant drive to remove the Pledge of Allegiance, in its entirety, from public domain is the act of devaluing America; And, its citizens. This act is nothing short of treasonous.
Tell me exactly how it is treasonous. Does it wage war upon the United States? Nope. Does it give aid and comfort to our enemies in time of war? Well as we have not been at war legally since 1946 that one is out. Those are the only two possibilities for something to be treason under the law. Your claim is on its very face completely asinine.
 
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Vandeervecken said:
Exactly how is this relevant? You might also note this is a dictionary definition, not the legal definition of treason in the United States. Treason is VERY narrowly defined. In fact it is the one and only crime defined in the Constitution itself.
OK, you have a point that a dictionary defintion & constitutional law definition are different.


Vandeervecken said:
Actually we are on the third revision. I explained my reasons for wanting it removed, why then do you wonder what those reasons are? Did you bother to read it?
No matter what version we're on I did say the original didn't I? What part of original don't you understand?

OK, so you think it's brainwashing; basically. But, you seemed more concerned about the Judeo Christian references than anything else & that was the brainwashing you appeared to be objecting to. Again, removing the Pledge in its entirety makes no sense & appears to be anti-American.


Vandeervecken said:
Explain away the words of those behind the change that I quoted then. Pay particular attention to the words of the President as he signed it into law.
You're funny. On one hand you folks don't believe that "ALMIGHTY" or "CREATOR" is in reference to the Christian God but for this argument you do.


Vandeervecken said:
Tell me exactly how it is treasonous. Does it wage war upon the United States? Nope. Does it give aid and comfort to our enemies in time of war?
No, in itself it does not wage war on the USA. However, it does give aid & comfort to an enemy who would be at war with us regardless of any declaration on our part. The fact is that we are at war & it was done so with congressional approval.


Vandeervecken said:
Well as we have not been at war legally since 1946 that one is out.
Oh, please explain this one.
 
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Vandeervecken

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Mark A Shrider said:
OK, you have a point that a dictionary defintion & constitutional law definition are different.
And since we are dealing with matters of law, will you stipulate the latter is the relevant definition?

Mark A Shrider said:
No matter what version we're on I did say the original didn't I? What part of original don't you understand?
I'm quite sure you'd not like the original pledge. For one it makes no mention at all of the United States. Here is the original 1892 text of the pledge:

"I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Mark A Shrider said:
OK, so you think it's brainwashing; basically. But, you seemed more concerned about the Judeo Christian references than anything else & that was the brainwashing you appeared to be objecting to. Again, removing the Pledge in its entirety makes no sense & appears to be anti-American.
I am more concerned about the blatant violation of Constitutional rights in forcing kids to say a prayer yes indeed. That does not make me unconcerned with the wrongness of any form of the pledge. I just give precedence to violations of the Constitution.

As to removing the pledge being unamerican, I wonder how many pledge defenders know its true history. For instance did you know its author Francis Bellamy was one of the leading Socialists in America? I know most of you that wear your patriotism on your sleeve think socialism is unamerican, can you resolve the dichotomy?


Mark A Shrider said:
You're funny. On one hand you folks don't believe that "ALMIGHTY" or "CREATOR" is in reference to the Christian God but for this argument you do.
As the people who made the change specifically say that it was made to give a morning devotional to the Judeo-Christian God, I simply believe them. It wouldn't matter anyway. God in its singular form would still respect establishment of monotheism as the officially sanctioned government belief system. This renders all other forms of religion as being not state approved.

Mark A Shrider said:
No, in itself it does not wage war on the USA. However, it does give aid & comfort to an enemy who would be at war with us regardless of any declaration on our part. The fact is that we are at war & it was done so with congressional approval.
Exactly how does advocating the removal of a rote recital of what amounts to the children of unthinking nonsense give aid and comfort to an enemy in war? Please be very specific. The fact is we are not at war. We are only at war when Congress declared war. Congress has authorized a use of force, but they have not declared war.

Mark A Shrider said:
Oh, please explain this one.
We have not been in a declared state of war since the official rescinding of the declarations of war that were issued concerning World War Two. We have not been at war since then. Ergo it is 100% impossible for anyone to give aid and comfort to an enemy that legally does not exist.
 

Hornburger

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I think "Under God" should be taken out of the pledge. If you pledge allegiance, aren't you also pledging that you believe in God? That's discrimination against atheists. It's like, if you don't believe in God, then you're not a real American. The only reason the phrase was added was to seperate us from the atheist communists. That threat is long over with, so such propaganda is not needed.

Remove it!
 

Vandeervecken

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Hornburger said:
I think "Under God" should be taken out of the pledge. If you pledge allegiance, aren't you also pledging that you believe in God? That's discrimination against atheists. It's like, if you don't believe in God, then you're not a real American. The only reason the phrase was added was to seperate us from the atheist communists. That threat is long over with, so such propaganda is not needed.

Remove it!

I agree with you. Just more Christians trying to find more ways to get the government to spread propaganda for them.
 
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