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Pledge of Allegiance - Page 2

post #31 of 51
Sunlion, I just reread my post, and I hope I didn't sound like I was being mean, I think you have a right to your opinion as does everyone else. Guess it is just a touchy subject for me right now. I hope I didn't offend you. That was not my intent.
post #32 of 51
I agree with you Deb, who says? Just because we don't always "stump" for Jesus online, doesn't mean we don't love Him for what he did for us. Maybe if we don't "flame" people to get our point across, were just whimps, or heaven forbid, unChristian? I gave up posting for some time and then came back and read several post. The same ole stuff is going on. Can I get under your skin, get a barb in maybe.
Maybe say something but just under the line and not totally out of line, then...I was only kidding.
OK, I've sounded off, I feel better and I'm ready to get to bed so I can get up and go to church in the morning.
Any flames, I'll read tomorrow.
post #33 of 51
Jeano, I do understand what you are saying, and I agree, but I was just addressing the fact in point of America, and I think you are are addressing a much bigger issue. (although I do agree with you)
post #34 of 51
I hope I didn't upset anyone....
Since when did schools stop pledging the flag? I haven't said the Plegde of Allegiance since I was in grade school. In high school we weren't required to say it. Here's my thought: I am patriotic, but I don't think it should be required to say it in schools. I don't think it should be forced, either. Just because we don't say it doesn't mean we don't like America. I am proud to be an American and enjoy the freedom. I couldn't imagine not having freedom! The same thing goes for religion being preached in schools. I think it is wrong.... There are so many different religions, that I don't think it is appropriate... there is someone always bound to be insulted, etc. I remember also last year sometime I read on another BBS that there was a law that was going to allow California school systems to teach to accept gay children & that it was ok. Now, imo, that is just plain wrong to bring something like that type of topic into schools......

I hope I haven't started something........ just stating my opinion
post #35 of 51
Tigger, you brought up many valid points, and I respect your opinions!
post #36 of 51
I voted no, but I'm not an American so you don't have to count my vote

Coming from a country that has been at war with its neighbors practically throughout its existence, I don't feel the need to encourage patriotism at our schools. We don't have anything like this pledge or prayers and I wouldn't like them to start it here. People here are very aware of their patriotism and I don't feel that there is a need for added encouragement at schools.

Actually, the challenge here is to teach children to respect other nations around us and to keep hoping for peace. It is far more important IMO to teach them about the brotherhood of human kind and to discourage radical nationalistic tendencies (which are closely related to patriotism and have very different implications here). So, again, you don't need to count my vote as it doesn't necessarily reflect on the American system.

As for Christian prayers... well, I have family in the US and I know that had I been living there I wouldn't like my children to be forced to pray for Jesus. Not all Americans are Christians and I think it's not fair to impose the faith of the majority on the minorities. I think that saying that children of other failths won't have to pray the Christian prayers is not enough - kids can be very cruel towards anyone who's different and the children who will be silent while they're friends pray can suffer later on from bullying and such or just generally feel outsiders. This by the way, has nothing to do with the pledge IMO.
post #37 of 51
We are talking about an allegiance to the flag. It is a pledge, not a prayer, and the only reason the line "One Nation Under God" even exists in the original version, is because when the Pledge was initially written, the nation was together under one God. There were no immigrants in the nation at the time, there were no alternative religions. It was written to let everyone know that the allegiance was swaying from the King of England to the United States of America.

If you have a relationship with God, any God, you do not have an "allegiance" to that power, you have an "alliance" with that power. To ask school kids to stand once a day in school and take one minute out of their day to pledge to this great country, is not in my opinion out of line. When I was in school there was the pledge, there was also prayer before meals in the cafeteria, and later as I moved up in grades there were organizatons like Campus Crusade for Christ, Horizon Club and many other organizations that were asked to come into the campuses because there was a very real communist threat back then and the fear was that the kids would be swayed to communism because there were no other outlets to look at.

If children do not want to say the Pledge of Allegiance, then they can stand and say nothing. We are at war now and patriotism is at an all-time high. Again, this has nothing to do with religion, it has to do with pride in the great country. I just wonder what is next? Change the national anthem to another song more PC? I sure hope not!
post #38 of 51
post #39 of 51
I will most definitely back every word you spelled out so eloquently in your last post as I couldn't agree more! Amen to that!
Love & Peace,
post #40 of 51

I'm not offended, but I want to give you a good response, so I'm going to think about this a while and get back to you. It's hard to have the minority opinion, and I want to present it in a way that it makes sense and is not offensive. Plus, I want to be clear that I am talking about our culture as a nation and about Western culture in general, not about people's personal beliefs. In fact, I am Catholic, so I'm hardly anti-Christian. But as other non-Christian religions grow in popularity and size, we are losing hegemony, which is threatening to some people. And some aspects of our national identity are shifting to represent that change. Lack of institutional prayer in school doesn't seem like a big loss, if we value our respect for individual diversity and the separation of church and state. National values do not always reflect personal values - as no doubt all pacifists have noticed in the past 2 months.

Anyway, it's kind of a big topic and I'd like to give you a response that explains why I've reached that conclusion, so it's going to take a little while. Unless you'd rather I didn't, you're call. And I'm not offended if you don't want to hear it.
post #41 of 51
I agree with many of your posts, there are valid reasons for separation of church and state. As a nation, we are a melting pot and as was stated previously, the beliefs of the majority should not be fostered on the minority. However, children are like sponges, they absorb a lot of information.

It is up to the parents to teach right from wrong but I'm not seeing a lot of that lately. More likely, I see parents defending bratty self-centered behaviour and defy anyone to discipline these kids. My point is, if children don't have love and respect for their parents, who are they going to respect? Today's brats are tomorrow's leaders.

There may be no correlation but when I was growing up, I recited the Pledge of Allegience and sang the National Anthem. That's not to say I always agree with this Nation's policies -- but I have a vote to make my opinion known. Our freedom as American citizens gives us the right to speak out and address injustice.

You see, no matter what religion, creed or race, you are still an American. Somewhere, this nation lost that unity... we are now a nation of strangers who don't speak the same language, don't follow the same religions, and have no common ground other than we are citizens of the same nation. Teach the children about the one thing we have in common, love of a free nation. Remember our history... united we stand, divided we fall.

post #42 of 51
When I first learned the Pledge of Allegiance — and throughout my primary-education years — it went like this:

I pledge allegiance to the flag
Of the United States of America;
And to the republic for which it stands:
One nation, indivisible,
With liberty and justice for all.

During those years, I went to church every Sunday. Now, going to church every Sunday doesn't make a person religious any more than standing in a garage once a week makes someone a motor vehicle — or anymore than flying a flag makes one patriotic. Substance, not form, is what matters. My faith was in no way impeded by the absence of reference to a diety in the Pledge.

During the tenure of the Eisenhower administration, the Pledge was changed from the one I'd learned: the "under God" words then being inserted. So, during my secondary-education years we all recited the new Pledge every morning at school.

I vote "no" in this particular poll, but that doesn't make me unpatriotic. I continue my patriotic duty every day: The president wants us to spend money and I do, as my creditors will confirm; I obey the law of the land in all things; I've served my country in a combat zone, which makes me a military veteran for life.

Yes, I have a small flag mounted outside my bedroom's second-storey window; and it's there for two reasons: to show solidarity with those who live in the areas struck by terrorism; and to announce that a citizen, rather than a "renter," lives here. (Has anyone ever filled out a form which doesn't ask whether you own or rent? It seems a strangely-important question, doesn't it?)

People of all ages are free to pray or not pray whenever they wish. People are also free to recite the Pledge of Allegiance whenever they wish. Making such things mandatory for those in our primary and secondary schools engenders, in my opinion, tendencies toward nationalism and theocracy. Freedom of religion also means freedom from religion; and in government facilities, which is what public schools are, I find any imposition of prayer distasteful. And the same goes for mandatory references to a god.

During the 1980s, it was fashionable for businessmen and executives to wear red neckties. When I'd ask what the red color meant, they'd nearly always respond: "It's a symbol of the blood we're willing to shed for our country," or similar words. Where, then, were these selfsame people during the Viet Nam War or Korean War? "I was in college," was the nearly-uniform reply. Few, if any, had served in the armed forces. Whose blood were they willing to shed, anyway?

So, as the cliche rightly points out, one can't tell a book by its cover. Pledges and prayers have their rightful places; but those places need to be more carefully chosen. When I went to get my Social Security Administration card during the 1950s, I was required to sign a loyalty oath. I thought it strange at the time; and I wonder if such McCarthy-era oaths will now return in the guise of patriotism.

I shall defend my country via force of arms again, if need be. But I shall not do so in order that paranoia can grip the nation. In the public sector, mandated displays of patriotism and religion are refuges I shall not seek.

post #43 of 51
Although I am not an American, I thought that was well said Mr. Cat. No one should be forced to make any public reference to God. Schools are educational facilities, and religion has no place there, IMO
post #44 of 51
Ohhhh... I don't want to do this because I'm really not good at debate! I hate confrontation!!!! But...

First off, let me say that I deeply respect everyone's opinion. The arguments here have been eloquent and well thought out, and are obviously written by highly intelligent people. So don't take anything I say as a personal attack on anyone! I just feel the need to throw my 2 cents in here...

If you look at the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, it plainly gives a freedom of religion. But no where is there a freedom from it.

Imagine, if you will, a nation with a right to a freedom FROM religion. That, to me, would mean that (albeit an extreme example, totally possible) churches would have to hide their steeples and message boards. Television evangelists would not exist. No one would be able to talk about their religion, or share their thoughts. Because if any of these things happened we would be infringing on another's freedom FROM religion. (I know this wasn't very eloquent, but please take it as it is meant!)

Our nation's freedom OF religion protects those that want to practice their religion, whether they're doing it at home, at church, at work, or in school. Yet, at the same time, it provides protection to those that do not want participate by giving them the freedom to choose which religion they want to practice... even none at all .

I hope I made my argument clear and concise. I welcome comments from anyone that disagrees with this, just as I welcome support from those that agree!
post #45 of 51
And one more thing....

Since I was off the subject of the Pledge in that last post; I think I was the one that started all this freedom of religion stuff in the first place due to a much earlier post... I appologize for that, my mind was wandering at the time. I was just thinking of the reason that I keep hearing the Pledge is not said any more is because of the "One Nation Under God" line. Maybe, just for the sake of NOT arguing, we should remove the "Under God" part, and then what would the conflict be?

I honestly don't think there's any harm in saying "Under God", and I really think it adds to the Pledge, but I think it's more important teaching our children patriotism and if that means removing "Under God" to get our schools to start reciting it again, then fine!

I'm gonna' shut up now.
post #46 of 51

Personally, I think your statement was well thought out.

If we are such a free nation, why can't we as individuals with our "freedom" recite that line or leave it out. It doesn't have to take an act of Congress to make a decision for yourself or our children. This, like any discussion can go on forever, but honestly, the freedom of choice lies within each of us; as long as that freedom is not abused to inflict harm on anyone.

As far as the Pledge of Allegience goes, I do feel that it should remain in the schools, if you don't want to say it, then don't. However; if you are here as an American; in my own humble opinion, I do believe we should respect the country that allows this freedom we take for granted more often than not.

If I were visiting another country and they played their national anthem, I would stand up out of respect. I may not sing the words, or believe in their culture, but to repsect another's belief (as long as it doesn't inflict harm) is extremely important in the practice of diplomacy.

Love & Peace,
post #47 of 51
There will not be any separation of church and state. The Delay bill will ask that before the House and the Senate convene, the members will meet for prayer. I for one am excited at the possibility that these leaders are seeing that a unity toward God must exist if things are to be accomplished in the right light. It has passed the House and is on it's way to the Senate according to the CBN news. They are also asking that the day before Thanksgiving become a reconciliation day for the United States, hopefully so those with regrets can go to their loved ones and friends and make up for past misdeeds and come out stronger for it. A postive way for the society to go IMO.
post #48 of 51
I just have one more quick thing to add, after reading all the new posts here....Hissy your post on the last page before this one was excellent!!!! You have such a way with words, and you really said exactly what I myself was thinking!!! Thanks!
post #49 of 51
Thread Starter 
I just want to say that I agree with Hissy. If you don't want to do it, just stand there and say nothing.

IMO, if you have a problem with the "Under God" part, leave it out. But the Pledge itself shows that this nation is indivisible and STRONG, pledging liberty and justice for EVERYONE. No where does it mention that is it one GOD we are pledging our allegiance to.

So, with that, I say "To each his own".

post #50 of 51
I agree, Donna!!!!!!!
post #51 of 51
I remember when I was a child and we were taught in school to love and respect the flag. We all knew the words to the patriotic songs, and on our way to and from school the school bus resounded with the voices of innocent chidren singing the praises of our nation. All school children knew the rules of displaying and caring for our flag...the symbol of the nation we were taught to love and respect. I date myself by saying that I remember having to to alter the daily pledge of allegiance by adding the words "under God". We were the post-war baby boomers, and we were caught up in the left-over ferver of world war II. As time passed, that patriotic ferver faded. Many years later I taught school and was, myself, guilty of neglecting to teach the values I was taught as a child.

Our nation is far from perfect, and thankfully we live in a place where we are free to express our dissatisfaction.

I am sometimes dissatisfied with my brother, and express myself loudly and clearly. But just let someone else express the same sentiments and I will be right there to defend the brother I love. In the same token I am not ashamed, but proud to be an American. Although I disagree with some of the policies, and am sometimes distrustful of the intentions of our leaders...I will speak up and defend the country I love.

IMO the pledge should be said in every classroom across the United States, but no one should be forced to say it.

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