Quibbliing with the Pledge | VailDaily.com

Quibbliing with the Pledge

Richard Carnes

“You’re being selfish.”

“I pledge …”

“Making promises you probably can’t keep, eh?”

“I pledge allegiance …”

“Oh, now you’re labeling yourself some socialistic doctrine follower of something you’re probably too ignorant to understand in the first place.”

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“I pledge allegiance to the flag …”

“So, you’re guaranteeing your loyalty to an inanimate object based upon nothing more than symbolism?”

“Of the United States of America.”

“Oh, I see. You’re one of those capitalistic pigs intent on ruling the world while the rest of us suffer.”

“And to the republic …”

“I KNEW it was political!”

“For which it stands.”

“Idealistic fool!”

“One nation …”

“Figures. All for one and one only.”

“Under God …”

“Ah-ha! Truth in advertising! What happened to the separation between Church and State, huh, tell me that?”

“Indivisible …”

“What difference does it make if I can see you or not?”

“With liberty and justice for all.”

“Oh, for Christ’s sake, how goody-goody-wave-the-flag-for-God-and-Country can you get?”

“ENOUGH! Have you no conscience, no heart, no soul? What could you possibly be attempting to prove by preventing Americans from voluntarily reciting the Pledge of Allegiance?”

“Well, for one thing, it’s forcing me to say something I don’t wanna say.”

“Such as?”

“The whole God thing. The whole concept behind it. I don’t believe in it. Therefore, I shouldn’t have to make a pledge to it. Or him. Or whatever.”

“I suppose you hate attending American sporting events and spending American currency too, right?”

“What does that mean?”

“Never mind. Look, have you ever heard of the 1st Amendment?”

“Of course. It’s the one that gives us freedom from religion.”

“Not freedom FROM religion – freedom OF religion.”

“What’s the diff?”

“Oh my, and I thought all this time Madeline O’Hare was nothing more than a small pile of dust in an unmarked mound of Texas dirt.”

“I don’t understand.”

“No, you wouldn’t. The 1st Amendment was written to protect religion, not discourage it. It also protects flag burners, pornographers, instructional books for bomb making, CEO’s who allow false accounting reports and morons who use the Lord’s name in vain whenever they can. Now listen, after 9/11 the president asked us to pray, right?”

“Yeah, I suppose.”

“As did officially the United States Congress and the Senate.”

“So, what?”

“And then the governor, local mayors, local churches, and nearly every media entity not only within our borders but across the planet did the same; they asked us to pray for one another.”

“Slow down there, Falwell. You’re right, but aren’t you confusing religious zealotry with patriotism?”

“Not a chance. Regardless of your spiritual beliefs or lack thereof, majority still rules in a democracy. But even though the majority might choose a particular path, the minority still have the legal right to ignore it.”

“OK, smart guy. How about using tax-funded vouchers to pay for religious schools?”

“Get a clue, Bozo. Tax-funded vouchers will not advance or endorse religion. They merely provide parents with sensible choices and a logical method for selecting a school for their child. Their property taxes don’t go up or down, but at least they have a bit of control over how they are spent. To exclude religious schools would be considered discriminatory, thus sending a message of hostility toward religion in general, which is the last thing this country needs.”

“I’m still not convinced.”

“Consider yourself lucky. You are ignorant, naïve, clueless, selfish and all-around uninteresting. But because you are an American you have the right to be so.”

“To be so what?”


Richard Carnes of Edwards can be reached at poor@vail.net

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