Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Does Questioning Imply Fickle to Country?

At one time, I probably thought the Pledge of Allegiance was noble, right, patriotic, and what you ought to do.  But then I did what I rarely do; I researched the matter.

I guess it was all the "Under God" controversy and the "In God We Trust" protests.  Again, I thought it had always been such and that the militant atheists were just being obnoxious.  I still they they were being obnoxious, but that is beside the point.

The point is, we did not have such mottos on our money until the 20th century.  Mid-century, I believe.  And the Pledge was written in the late 1800's by a socialist pastor or minister of some sort.  The original version lacked the "under God" part, and had the students giving the straight arm salute, like the did later in Nazi Germany.  There was another pledge floating around about pledging head and heart, bla bla bla.  So, it was similar in sentiment and conditioning value.  The holy man's version was more catchy and rhythmic I think.

Plus the minister was pushy.  No idea why he was so intent on making people ritually promise allegiance while not even thinking about the words they are saying.  Like a mass chant.  Almost cultish.  But, I go along with it. Why get my self beaten over something like that?  Got nothing to do with veterans, last war we understood, none of that.  No shadow on serving to defend the country.  One can be in the military.  You can't run it.  Got to have it.  Big time.

I am troubled by the insistence that one pledge his/her allegiance to the state, in essence.  It is almost like a promise of obedience.  And reciting it daily, by rote, seems a little 1984ish.  Over the top control tactics.   I don't think that was the best of our system.  It was not the idea of those who conceived this system of government.  Many of them were trying for the means to most limit the intrusiveness of the state.  They made a lot of compromise to get something more freedom oriented than what was fashionable at the time.

Anyhow.  The pledge is a very questionable tradition.  And I consider myself fairly patriotic.  But what I see as essentially American does not include blind promises drilled into kids so young they know the sounds more than the actual words.  I get killed saying that I guess, but I won't say it where it makes much trouble, and I won't refuse to be pledgie when those around me are.  I get the sentiment. This is the first country of its kind.  And I get to be born here. And I would do battle with invaders.

But I also resist attempts to place more controls on people who just want to mind their business.  The excuses for running people through militaristic shakedowns in order to board planes or attend events or whatever are increasingly convenient, and nebulous.  At least the plan of eliminating them is vague if existent at all.

It feels almost sacrilegious to even question the sanctity of the Pledge or "Under God" or any of that. But your talking stuff that wasn't official until the 40's and 50's, although Pastor Bellamy, or whatever title his holiness held, was being pushy getting his pledge in place unofficially, many years prior.  Like I said, he was pushy.  And a socialist.  He wasn't Ben Franklin or Thomas Jefferson or anyone like that.

Makes you wonder how many band wagons you've ridden since birth that may not be ones you'd ride were there from the juggernaught's inception.

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