pledge of allegiance, god bless the u.s.a.

Everybody’s heard by now, but the Pledge of Allegiance ain’t constitutional.
(By the way, what a sterling example of political cowardice by our nation’s Senators, who just voted 99-0 to oppose the court’s ruling. No matter what you think about the issue, I can bet you at least a few of the liberals in that 99 think the court’s right and are just signing onto a document (a) they don’t believe in, but (b) they know will have no real impact and (c) will make them look good for voters. It reminds me of the observation made during the whole can-Americans-elect-a-Jewish-veep debate in 2000 — sure they can, but don’t even think about running if you’re an atheist. That’s still the political third rail.)
My pet peeve about inexact reporting on this: there’s nothing in the ruling that “bans children from reciting the Pledge.” Just as school-prayer rulings don’t “ban children from praying in school.” They ban schools and teachers from leading a classroom or a group of children in the pledge. If a kid wants to say the pledge (or pray, for that matter) any time during the day when it isn’t disruptive, it’s cool.
Every once in a while, I try to convince people that my hometown in south Louisiana wasn’t that backwards. But my efforts are instantly sabotaged if they ask about the public schools I attended through grade 6. Because then conscience dictates I tell them that, after reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and singing the Star-Spangled Banner every morning, we always sang Lee Greenwood‘s God Bless the U.S.A. And that’s when the shame kicks in.

4 thoughts on “pledge of allegiance, god bless the u.s.a.”

  1. The Senate resolution is, as you point out, disingenuous at best and basically a political sham.
    Public schools in smaller towns throughout the south are guilty of things like the Lee Greenwood song… It’s hard for my enlightened Northeastern friends to understand. A friend who went to middle and high school in Wauchula, Florida (a small, orange-rich town in the center of the state), said there were evangelical Christian prayers to start each school day. There may even have been occasional “altar calls.”

  2. The other point that seems to have been left out is that (according to my understanding of the court’s penned opinion) the Pledge as a whole isn’t unconstitutional, just the “under God” phrase… so districts wanting to maintain the Pledge, could simply omit the “under God” part.

  3. Being a Canadian, it’s hard for me to understand the passion about this issue on both sides (even though I’m a Christian), but why not just restore the pledge to its pre-1954 text and keep saying it in school? Or, even better, take the Funkadelic version (One Nation Under a Groove, Gettin’ Down Just For the Funk of It…)…Can I get an Amen?

Comments are closed.