Pledge of Allegiance

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Pledge of Allegiance

Postby ArchAngel » Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:51 am

Saw some stuff on facebook and I was tempted to comment, but I figured I wouldn't get nearly the compelling dialogue as here. So, skip the offended-relatives-town and head straight to interesting-conversation-ville.

The Pledge of Allegiance strikes me as vaguely un-American.
And by vaguely un-American, I mean completely un-American.

I know about the history, about adding "under God" to separate us from the godless communists, and originally created by a socialist to sell flags to schools (all of my history saavy friends, go ahead and correct/affirm this), but despite all that, it stinks of instituted nationalism and not actual 'Muricanism.

Because I'll be darned, I'm a proud American, and I'm even down with a healthy dose of American Exceptionalism, but I'm not just not comfortable reciting the pledge.
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Re: Pledge of Allegiance

Postby oregorn1997 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 12:53 pm

So you don't like it solely because of its mention of God? I think I understand your point of view, and I even partly agree. I don't think that we should feel forced into any sort of participation of religion, regardless of whether or not our nation was "founded" upon that same religion.

What's your opinion on our National Anthem?
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Re: Pledge of Allegiance

Postby ccgr » Mon Oct 20, 2014 12:58 pm

I think it would be better to pledge allegiance to the country instead of it's flag, otherwise sounds fine with me

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Re: Pledge of Allegiance

Postby ArcticFox » Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:55 pm

So you don't like it solely because of its mention of God?
I don't think he said that. He mentioned that aspect, but also pointed out the origin of the pledge itself.

Personally, I don't have a problem with Nationalism per se. I mean, it can be a way of uniting people in a (large) community and provides continuity of culture, etc.

So the Pledge does represent a certain a mount of Nationalism but I think there's some value to it. It also reminds us that it isn't all about us as individuals, that we're part of a collective nation and we each have a responsibility to it.
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Re: Pledge of Allegiance

Postby oregorn1997 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:00 pm

I wasn't quite sure what he was saying. It was more of an elaboration request.

I can see the benefits like you said, of uniting communities together and such.

I have always thought it strange to pledge allegiance to a flag, and never really felt totally comfortable doing the pledge, because it always felt empty to me. Like just reciting words.

The same with our national anthem. I absolutely LOVE the tune ofThe Star Spangled Banner. It is so full, and gives me a most lovely rush of dopamine. But despite that, I don't feel compelled to look to the flag at sports events, take off my hat, and place my hand over the left side of my chest. I did not choose to be born in this country, and I feel no duty towards it.

I am not at all saying that I don't like the US. I really do appreciate how our country is "free". But I am not going to pledge my life to any government that is led by any human. I will live my life to the fullest, and protect my family and anyone else who comes to me for help. I will not fight this country's wars, foreign or domestic.

My life revolves around my family and friends. All I want to do is have a wife, and provide for my family. Selfish, maybe. But I see no reason to support that which is fallible.
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Re: Pledge of Allegiance

Postby Deepfreeze32 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:13 pm

I have always thought it strange to pledge allegiance to a flag, and never really felt totally comfortable doing the pledge, because it always felt empty to me. Like just reciting words.

The same with our national anthem. I absolutely LOVE the tune of The Star Spangled Banner. It is so full, and gives me a most lovely rush of dopamine. But despite that, I don't feel compelled to look to the flag at sports events, take off my hat, and place my hand over the left side of my chest. I did not choose to be born in this country, and I feel no duty towards it.

I am not at all saying that I don't like the US. I really do appreciate how our country is "free". But I am not going to pledge my life to any government that is led by any human. I will live my life to the fullest, and protect my family and anyone else who comes to me for help. I will not fight this country's wars, foreign or domestic.
Well said. That's more or less how I feel as well.

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Beyond that, I'll admit, the pledge has always seemed to be an empty set of words. Like mandatory chapel attendance at a christian university. Which is not to say that being proud and loyal to your country or going to chapel at a christian university are bad, but that it takes what could be a heartfelt sentiment or expression for some and misses the point (and even risks galvanizing others) by making it a requirement. Just as Religion should be a "thing of the heart" (a willful choice made of one's own free accord), so to should loyalty to any human establishment, nation or otherwise.

My two cents, at any rate.

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Re: Pledge of Allegiance

Postby ArchAngel » Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:33 pm

The flag thing really isn't an issue. It's just a symbol for the country.
There's a funny bit on QI where David Mitchell rants about American's caring when people burn their flag (some language), when, in effect, they really just burnt their own flag. Stephen Fry makes a good point, as with the British, they have the Queen as a figurehead of their country, but for the Americans, we instead set up the flag as the symbol.

Anyhow, that's an aside. It's the concept of the pledge, most often required or encouraged to school children who are too young to fully understand what they are doing.
So you don't like it solely because of its mention of God? I think I understand your point of view, and I even partly agree. I don't think that we should feel forced into any sort of participation of religion, regardless of whether or not our nation was "founded" upon that same religion.
It shouldn't be there, but my issue with the pledge is beyond just that.
What's your opinion on our National Anthem?
Love the anthem.
Personally, I don't have a problem with Nationalism per se. I mean, it can be a way of uniting people in a (large) community and provides continuity of culture, etc.
Nationalism, as I see it, should be a bottom-up rather than top-down. It should well up from the heart of the people, and not orchestrated or mandated by a governmental body. I'm a hundred times more "America, **** Yeah!" than "I pledge allegiance to the flag..."
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Re: Pledge of Allegiance

Postby Nate DaZombie » Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:59 pm

Pretty much everything already said.

Some nationalism is good, but forcing people (particularly children) to pledge their allegiance (do they even know what that means?) to a flag (shouldn't it be the ideals behind the country?) just seems... incorrect.

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Re: Pledge of Allegiance

Postby RedPlums » Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:07 pm

I know many people who would be totally offended by this. It totally amuses me.

In my honest opinion I don't really care... I don't care if we do or do not have a pledge of allegiance. I might pledge my allegiance to the flag and tot he republic for which it stands, but my first allegiance is to God and God alone. However, the idea that children should be forced to pledge their allegiance to the flag and the republic does seem a little communist-like to me. A bit like indoctrination in my opinion. However, that is just my opinion.

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Re: Pledge of Allegiance

Postby ScotchRobbins » Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:18 pm

Huh. Everything's already been said.

Also, good to see you, Nate, it's been a while since I've seen you on.
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Re: Pledge of Allegiance

Postby Nate DaZombie » Tue Oct 21, 2014 1:39 pm

Also, good to see you, Nate, it's been a while since I've seen you on.
And it's good to see you as well. I lurk around every other day or so. :wink:

To stay on topic, I have to agree with oregorn1997 about the national anthem. It's such a beautiful piece, and feels much more patriotic than pledging my undying loyalty to a flag.

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Re: Pledge of Allegiance

Postby ArcticFox » Tue Oct 21, 2014 2:51 pm

Gotta point this out.

When you pledge allegiance to the flag, it's not simply a symbol of nationalism. The American flag is unique, in that it represents an ideal, not a government.

Shortly after 9/11 I read an article where some dignitaries visiting the USA were surprised at how ordinary people would have the flag displayed on their homes and on businesses... Because generally in other countries the flag represents the Government of that country. Normally you'd only see it flying on official building. In the USA however, it represents the people and the ideals which this country were founded upon.

So when you pledge allegiance to the flag, you're pledging to the people, to the Constitution, to the things that this country stands for. Not a Government, not some land.
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Re: Pledge of Allegiance

Postby RedPlums » Tue Oct 21, 2014 3:31 pm

Gotta point this out.

When you pledge allegiance to the flag, it's not simply a symbol of nationalism. The American flag is unique, in that it represents an ideal, not a government.

Shortly after 9/11 I read an article where some dignitaries visiting the USA were surprised at how ordinary people would have the flag displayed on their homes and on businesses... Because generally in other countries the flag represents the Government of that country. Normally you'd only see it flying on official building. In the USA however, it represents the people and the ideals which this country were founded upon.

So when you pledge allegiance to the flag, you're pledging to the people, to the Constitution, to the things that this country stands for. Not a Government, not some land.
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Re: Pledge of Allegiance

Postby ScotchRobbins » Tue Oct 21, 2014 11:40 pm

So when you pledge allegiance to the flag, you're pledging to the people, to the Constitution, to the things that this country stands for. Not a Government, not some land.
And to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
While it could be talking about ideals, this passage seems to lean toward the nation as land and government.
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Re: Pledge of Allegiance

Postby ArcticFox » Wed Oct 22, 2014 12:15 am

"and" to the republic.

So what? As long as that republic stands for those ideals, there's no conflict.
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