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Saturday, May 24 - 6:36pmSanction this postReply
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I received a message from a conservative religious organization called "Grassfire Nation," exhorting me to reaffirm my support for "one nation under God." Since they have a website for comments and questions, I replied as follows:

 

Dear Mr. Connor and Grassfire:

 

The original wording in the Pledge of Allegiance was simply "one Nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all." It wasn't until 1954 that the phrase "under God" was added when President Eisenhower signed it into law. In so doing, he said that the phrase symbolized "the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty... reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America's heritage and future."

 

The addition of that phrase marked an unfortunate change to an otherwise honorable pledge, for it suggested that Eisenhower viewed the United States as something very close to a theocracy.

 

My understanding of our country's heritage is quite different -- that the United States welcomed people of all beliefs, religious or otherwise, so long as they respected the principles of "liberty and justice FOR ALL," which would include liberty and justice for atheists as well as for theists.

 

But if so, then the phrase "under God" has no place in the Pledge of Allegiance. To make this point even clearer, suppose that the Pledge had said, "one nation under Hinduism, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." Would a Christian feel included? No? Then neither does an atheist under the current wording of the Pledge.

 

Respectfully,

 

William



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Saturday, May 24 - 6:47pmSanction this postReply
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That was bloody beautiful Bill!



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Saturday, May 24 - 7:11pmSanction this postReply
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Yes, but even the original pledge has profoundly collectivist origins: http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/whats-conservative-about-pledge-allegiance.



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Saturday, May 24 - 10:11pmSanction this postReply
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Here is Francis Bellamy's original version:"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

 

I understand that he was a Christian socialist, but the pledge itself needn't be construed as collectivist.  What's wrong with "one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all"?  I understand that an anarcho-capitalist wouldn't agree with it, nor a "states-rights" person who opposes a national government.  However, neither of those views is consistent with Objectivism.  "One nation indivisible" can simply mean a single constitutional republic, and the phrase "liberty and justice for all" is perfectly consistent with individual rights. 

 

One could certainly argue against forcing school children to recite this pledge as a mindless ritual without understanding its real meaning, but there is nothing wrong with pledging one's support for a national government that is dedicated to the protection of liberty and justice for all.  

 

(Edited by William Dwyer on 5/24, 10:13pm)



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Saturday, May 24 - 10:22pmSanction this postReply
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Thanks Jules!  That means something, coming from a Canadian! ;-)  Not to highjack this list, but how about them Stanley Cup playoffs, eh!  Can Montreal recover without their stellar goalie, Carey Price?  

 

. . . Okay, back to the Pledge of Allegiance!  Btw, do you guys have a Pledge of Allegiance?  Or is it just "Oh Canada"?

 

(Edited by William Dwyer on 5/24, 10:25pm)



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Saturday, May 24 - 11:44pmSanction this postReply
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I don't know!!

Holy man did the Chicago Blackhawks ever get stomped tonight!!!!

No pledge, only when entering the military or gaining citizenship.

 

We used to have to sing God save the queen when we were kids but now only the national anthem.

 

(Edited by Jules Troy on 5/24, 11:48pm)



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Sunday, May 25 - 12:00amSanction this postReply
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Most Canadians know a lot about America however most are so damned oblivious as to how and why the DoI was and is such an amazing and important document.  I view the Pledge as a reaffirmation OF that document as well.  I believe that we don't have one so as to not remind Canadians that we are a colony of the Brits.  It's an odd mix.  Many of our laws are right out of British common law that also in many ways has absorbed some "American flavour" due most likely to many of our shared values and proximity due to our shared border.

 

There have been some amendments to our constitution as well.  I wish they would photocopy and implement yours and do it right.



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Sunday, May 25 - 7:37amSanction this postReply
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there is nothing wrong with pledging one's support for a national government that is dedicated to the protection of liberty and justice for all

then that pledge is never gonna get recited - there's no such government ;) prove me wrong :P

 

wait: it get's recited each and every day - all over the world ... even that Turk is coming to Germany to recite it before thousands of frenetic fans ... guess I'm the only fool who's not with the program :D

oh well - at least I'm right about the 'all' - as long as I'm the last one to hold out in my foolishness ;)



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Sunday, May 25 - 8:39amSanction this postReply
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Would you accept a pledge of allegiance to a nation of equal rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness? -- a pledge of allegiance to the ideal upon which the country was founded? 



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Sunday, May 25 - 9:26amSanction this postReply
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Bill,

I'd consider a pledge to the ideals of such a country - their various implementations are sadly lacking ... as for building a nation on such ideals that's always fraught with two little problems: not everybody agrees on the ideals that make up such foundations and almost nobody adheres to those ideals once the nation is formed

my pointed innuendos aside: I understand your point of holding firm to sth, committing to values and ideals, however I do not see those being realized in any form of organized society, nation, government ... if I did have a pledge it would be to the individual - what each and every one can make of her/himself - everything else is at best a compromise and at worst a catastrophe in it's foundation

have you never wondered why all these pledges are made for nations, societies, higher beings - and almost always broken (if understood at all) by the very people most fervently shouting that pledge?

Vera



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Tuesday, May 27 - 7:03amSanction this postReply
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I would gladly join a mob dedicated only to defending the idea that I and all of us had a right not to join mobs.   I would do so because I'd want that right for me and my loved ones.

 

Lather, rinse, repeat.



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