Oh yes, boys and girls, I am back, like a bad penny. I wonder what are conservative poster's positions on this topic is; are they really for freedom of religion or should children be hogtied and forced to participate in loyalty tests? I have studied with Jehovah's Witnesses and I say that their view on this matter is correct.
What do you think about the events explained in the article link below. Are you reactionary or just very conservative?
http://news.yahoo.com/teacher-pledge-of … 20504.html
Sorry, but the Witnesses are grasping at straws here. Their entire stance is one of control, not God.
No one in the country worships the flag. No one worships the country, the president (I should hope not!) nor anything else about our society. If anyone every knelt and prayed to the Washington Monument we'd cart them off to a mental institution.
We do give our (limited) obeisance, we give our appreciation, and we give our loyalty (after family and God) but we do not worship any of it. The witnesses use the religion loophole to help set their people apart, to take them from within mainstream USA and thus maintain better control over them.
Wilderness, regardless of how you feel about the religion, pro or con, no one should be compelled to recite the "Pledge of Alligiance" in a public school setting. Can we agree on this or are conservatives just interested in 'imposing' again? The teacher should be appropriatly disciplined
Freedom of speech should preclude forcing anyone to do that. But freedom of speech has nothing to do with religion or being conservative. It is part of our laws.
So I don't know about discipline. Certainly some appropriate training (school wide?), but when a child insists he is taking a religious exception to rules where no such thing exists I don't know about disciplining the teacher for disallowing it.
This is a strong test of the idea of freedom of speech and religious tolerance is a big part of that. Discipline: Nothing draconian, Wilderness, this is not about reading, writing and arithmetic. Nationalism is a religion in its own form, and there are many of us that do not subscribe to it. If the child and more importantly the parents say that the position the child took is correct, who has the right to say otherwise?
Society has the right to say otherwise.
While the US guarantees religious freedom, that does give unlimited rights to any religion to ignore any or all of the US laws they wish to. That freedom is sharply limited - in general there must be a valid reasoning behind refusal to obey any law. "Valid" to be determined by society, not the religion.
While the Witnesses may attempt to declare that saluting the flag, or "the nation for which it stands" is to worship those things it is not so. And that, more than anything else, means that they do not have the right to ignore that requirement, at least not for that reason. The Witnesses are trying to use a lie as part of their religious freedom; it won't work.
Wildernerss, I am not talking about religions who practices break the law such as using peyote or hashish.
Who says that it is law to recite the pledge of allegiance, Surely being compelled to recite a loyalty oath should not be considered a law, this is still America, right?
Do as you please. What does it matter?
When I place my hand on my heart I think about all the men and women over the years who have laid their lives down as a sacrifice for everything that flag stands for.... freedom, family, the melting pot that is America... the place that took my daughter, a Chinese orphan, in without batting an eye and said, "You my dear, are an American now. You will be taken care of the rest of your life, you wont work in a factory at the age of 10 and you wont have to abandon your children on some park steps if you get pregnant. You have rights now, you matter... you are ours." This country is flawed like all others, but in general, it's a good place and it's my great privileged to live here. Did that teacher do something wrong? Did she cross a line... let her pay for her mistake, we are also held accountable in America. Stand there with your hands behind your back... this is America... you can do that here.
It's Arizona law. We also do the first part of the Declaration of Independence, by law, in grades 4-6.
Well, EA, that is a oppressive law. What bothers me about conservatives is that many do not have a problem compelling people to take oaths. They talk about the heavy hand of government but what could be more important than the right to believe and give fealty to whatever I choose. You got a gunslinger culture in Arizona, but it is a crime to opt out of the Pledge of Allegiance, where are my rights now?
I'm actually a little split on this question, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with religion.
You have the right to give fealty to whatever or whoever you choose, yes. And that's what the pledge is about.
The nation has the right to give it's fealty to whoever it chooses, as well doesn't it? And if you will not return the honor, is it required to accept you as one of it's own and give you the same rights, protection and fealty as those that give it back?
Certainly no crime to withhold that pledge, but it does seem that the nation has the right to withhold any rights it gives, too.
Wilderness, is this a right wing retort in the purest form? You know better, the government cannot pick and choose to whom rights are guaranteed under the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Reciprocation is not what this is all about. So who you consider 'the nation' and who I consider 'the nation' may be two different things, is that possible? So to put it in the venacular, I don't have to kiss the hindquarters of the rightwinger to be afforded those rights. YES, it is required by the state to give those that dissent the same rights as those that conform to the conservative's perspective of what is an appreciative citizen. Utter nonsense, wilderness, and I think that you know better.
Of course. I understand.
I just don't agree. While it is true that our legal system treats all citizens the same, I was not speaking of the legal end but the ethical.
From a moral standpoint, do you really feel that the citizens of the country owe you anything at all when you spit in their face? I don't.
And there is just a small difference between "dissent" and the disavowal of any obligations or allegiance to the state.
There is a huge difference between dissent and disavowal.
Like there is a difference between a disagreement between partners and a divorce... just HUGE.
Sorry - the sarcasm didn't make it through. That's exactly what I meant - to dissent with govt. programs or policies is a far different thing than to disavow that govt. or country.
We all dissent with some policies, but to disavow a country and then continue to live within and from it, to continue to demand rights from it, well that just doesn't seem right. Entitlement philosophy to the nth degree.
Dissent does not mean treason, I do not advocate this. There are obligations to the state on the basis of being a citizen whether you acknowledge those or not. Taxes, adherence the law, etc. Just because someone chooses not to stand with hand over heart or salute does not have to imply the spitting in ones face. Jehovah's witnesses are respectful to that tradition even though they don't participate. They are silent and respectful of the moment. While the conservative insists on lock step conformity, (melting pot) the progressive learns to work with what disparate groups have in common without their surrendering their unique sense as an individual. (patchwork quilt). Afterall, I never hear this need for a conforming standard from the left. Acceptance is better than some coerced model of what a good American is. I say question authority. From my perspective, your point of view is myopic and limited but I am not blaming you. It is simply a fact that my reality and your reality are quite different. I have yet to be convinced that your view of the world is better....
Fair enough - I find your view myopic. So completely wrapped up in the right/left, "progressive" (as if applying a term insinuating it is better means it actually is) vs conservative as to ignore valid points from others considered to be that terrible "conservative" or "right" thing.
Forget the Witnesses. I said my say there - that they are using the religious loophole and lies to make a mockery out of patriotism and allegiance - and needn't go over it again. It comes down to do you appreciate, accept and support the nation that gives you life or do you not. No one expects complete agreement, but a national show of solidarity in that we ARE a nation, united, can go a long, long way to making life better for all. And refusing to acknowledge that we are all in it together as one people will drive us apart. That concept is of great help to the racists, the sexists and the others that find divisiveness to be to their advantage.
Bottom line is what I said before; that the law prohibits requiring children to make the pledge, but that is almost certainly in the nations best interests that all children are raised with an appreciation that the country is ONE nation, ONE people and that we need to work together as a group. Maybe we can endure without any national pride or patriotism, maybe we can't, and I prefer not to find out the hard way.
Yes and maybe humans can live with technology or maybe they can't I prefer not to find out the hard way.
Maybe humanity can live somewhere other than caves, maybe they can't, I prefer not to find out the hard way.
Maybe America can survive without slavery, maybe it can't I prefer not to find out the hard way.
Your argument is simply that we have done this in the past and thus we should continue to do so because not doing so might not work out, that is a path of complete stagnation and decay which would have left humanity still living as cavemen.
"Appeal to tradition (also known as argumentum ad antiquitatem, appeal to antiquity, or appeal to common practice) is a common fallacy in which a thesis is deemed correct on the basis that it correlates with some past or present tradition."
"Patriotic Approach: "Draping oneself in the flag." This argument asserts that a certain stance is true or correct because it is somehow patriotic, and that those who disagree are unpatriotic. It overlaps with pathos and argumentum ad hominem to a certain extent. The best way to spot it is to look for emotionally charged terms like Americanism, rugged individualism, motherhood, patriotism, godless communism, etc"
two fallacies in one short post!
Perhaps. There is truth in your comment about the fallacies. Questions, though -
Do you believe that a nation without patriotism will pull together in an emergency? If attacked will we have sufficient military personnel to respond? If natural disaster will we have the resources to take care of our own when there are no patriots left and people don't care if the country survives or fails?
In your opinion, without patriotism, will people do what is good for the country or remain in their backyard, doing what is good only for their neighborhood, town or state? Will that kind of action harm the nation?
Do you think we can get good politicians if there are no patriots? When no cares about the nation, can we find people that will lead the country or will we be stuck with politicians more concerned about their own pocketbook than the state of the nation? Compare our "leaders" today with those that signed the Declaration - look at what those men risked and what it cost some of them. A cost that was paid to put us where we are today.
At the root of all this is the concept that survival of the country takes priority over survival of the individual. The romanticist will always say "No", burying their head in the sand as they do, but the reality is that it had better if the people want to survive. History is replete with examples of conquered nations. Tremendous death tolls., unbelievable destruction and long, long years of struggle and re-growth are not uncommon at all. Without patriotism it is my position that that scenario is not only possible but almost inevitable. The people of a nation MUST pull together, MUST support each other and MUST put the country first when necessary or they will not endure.
Fallacy? Perhaps, but it IS only opinion albeit opinion based on historical examples.
We manage pretty well without the in your face patriotism of the US.
How do you know? When 911 hits and enemies create massive death and destruction, will the Brits pull together or splinter off into groups blaming each other instead of fighting off the attackers?
Honestly, I had given up on patriotism in the US long ago, feeling that it just wasn't there any more. But when the towers went down the country came together like something I would have never expected to see - there WAS some patriotism left, after all.
So maybe a show is never needed, or maybe the majority of what we saw after 911 was from the military and the oldsters, the ones that DID say the pledge each morning in school. Who knows?
They were attacked in much the same way by the same people, the London tube bombings, the country didn't fall apart or anything.
9/11 is a perfect example of the issues good and bad with patriotism, sure it brought people together and it helped the rescue effort no end, great stuff. On the other hand it turned into this wave of brutal anti Arab nationalism and it was promptly used to justify at least one unnecessary war (probably two in my opinion) and shout down any opposition or calls for self reflection or consideration.
Much the same way that Pearl harbor patriotism unified the nation against fascism but was used to put people of Japanese origin and descent into concentration camps and to justify the calculated killing of hundreds of thousands of civilians.
The problem with patriotism is that it's very anti thought, it creates this tribalism (instinctively that is what patriotism is) and that brings out the worst of many people. I found the direct aftermath of 9/11 profound... the period after THAT was (for me at least) a very disturbing time to be an American.
You could be right, but I don't see it quite in that manner.
911 brought the country together, yes. But that "togetherness" did not produce the nasty anti-Arab feelings (and worse, actions) - fear did that, just as it did in WWII with the Japanese immigrants that were mistreated so badly. In the melting pot of America, patriotism should have stopped that Japanese mistreatment, not augmented it.
Tribalism is a good term, for it is exactly what I'm trying to say. We are either a tribe (a very large one) working together or we will not survive.
At the same time, your concerns are very real and something to be on constant guard about. For tribalism (patriotism) is very much anti-thought and it is very, very easy to fall into evil (re Germany). The US may have a leg up over other nations here in that we are so individualistic and have a basic distrust of govt. but if so it is changing as we turn into another nanny state. Socialism, the concept that govt. is your parent and responsible for your care, is the antithesis of being on guard that your country does not turn to evil. And, Josak, I don't say that just to give a dig at socialism - it is something that you might want to think about. In the socialist ideal the people ARE the government, but we don't live in an ideal world and that is no more true in todays socialist leaning countries than it is in the US.
I would not call tribalism a good thing, when we look at the African continent and see how two groups of people murder each other over their definition of tribe we shake our heads... and yet we do the same thing, at this very moment our tribalism has lead to the point that there are two nuclear superpowers capable of wiping out not only each other but every single human life and they are competing forces, We have gotten to the point where we have made the worst case scenario for humanity possible.
I would agree with your conceptual critique of socialism if socialism was not so explicitly anti tribal, socialism's "prime directive" if you like is the brotherhood of mankind, it is internationalist, so the risk of us being pulled into the dangerous patriotism is very minimal. Indeed if you look at any period of human history where nationalism and patriotism have become dangerous you will find socialists on the fringe opposing it. Just before WWI we were protesting in Paris and London for peaceful resolution, in NAZI Germany we were the first executed in the concentration camps for our opposition, we were there opposing anti immigration laws, we were protesting against Vietnam and then the War on Terror.
There are plenty of first world social democratic nations and yet they have not become nationalistic, quite the opposite in fact, America is amongst the first world nations without a doubt the most nationalistic (edit: maybe Japan?) and likely to be led off foolishly by it's patriotism, look how those patriotic heart strings were played on the war on terror to justify the invasion of Iraq, remember how it was unpatriotic to oppose that?
There is a universal truth of humanity, we fear what is different, and that is what patriotism does, it makes the other 6 and a half billion people on Earth different.
Really? Tribalism is not a good thing? Coming from a socialist that's almost funny!
Tribalism is what promotes the welfare program. It is at the root of food stamps and housing subsidies. Tribalism is what all charity is centered around; the willingness to help my tribe. And it is very, very necessary to hold a country together, to keep it from splintering into a thousand tiny groups everywhere; groups that care nothing for the good of the nation.
If you view socialism as a truly international effort, you are living in a make believe world indeed. While Europe has decided that ALL the countries there will be as one, even that decision is falling apart (Greece, for instance; no one wants to continually feed and cloth Greece) and when it comes to other nations on other continents the whole share the wealth thing just goes away. A little charitable foreign aid (gotta at least pretend to keep up with the Americans), but certainly no serious effort to quickly bring them up to your own standards of living.
Tribalism is most definitely not what makes me want to help others, humanism does (I am a humanist) I guess if you wan to call all of humanity a tribe that works but that is pushing it.
As for leftist nations hey we do what we can, socialist states give a greater proportion of their GDP to foreign aid Norway gave seven and a half times more GDP wise than the US last year (I wouldn't call it pretending to keep up) but it's not really politically feasible to be truly internationalist in the climate we live in yet.
Socialism is international, I have traveled overseas to stand in solidarity and hundreds of thousands of us have died on foreign shores to help brothers in need. Spanish civil war is a good example, nothing is perfectly internationalist but we do our best.
You say the EU is falling apart but it's actually adding members constantly and no one is leaving one country joined this year and another is expected to join in a few months. I say it's a flat out miracle, if 60 years ago you had told Germany and France that they would be this closely allied, have the same currency etc. they would have laughed at you... or hung you.
Yeah, you've very often promoted a handful of socialist countries with huge (per capita) natural resources (usually petroleum) to draw on, while ignoring the dismal conditions of the rest of them. How about using France, Greece, Cyprus or Italy instead as a great charitable nation? Or deduct the value of the oil exports from the gift giving of Norway and THEN look at how much per capita is given to non EU members? It's a much different story when what you are giving is the fruits of your people's labor, not something pulled out of the ground.
I don't know about "constantly" adding members, and not sure at all about the value of those members to the community. Most (all) of the newer ones seem to be borderline third world, looking mostly for a handout. And yes, you are likely to see some in the next few years leave if the community doesn't get it's act together and certain members quit begging the rest to support them. More than a few are really getting tired of bailing out countries whose citizenry won't work.
Norway's GDP isn't much higher than ours, all the other nations that give more (minus Switzerland) have lower GDPs.
But sure you made a list of acceptable entries.
France (the only socialist country on the list and even then only just) gave around 220% more of it's GDP.
Are those countries too lucky too? But yes the list is dominated by the hard left first world nations and they also tend to be very wealthy *shrug*.
Ireland gave almost 240% more it's GDP
The Netherlands gave more than 300% more.
Sweden is poorer than the US and gave more than 500% more it doesn't even have much oil, much less than the US anyway.
It appears you are right. "Appears" because I can't seem to get a grip on much.
1) Norway's GDP is not higher than ours; it is but a small fraction.
2) The US gave .19% GDP to foreign aid, the country with the most gave under 1%. No one gave over 5X what the US did.
3) With half the population (compared to the EU) the US gave 18 billion, the EC 12 billion. If the EC is actually given many times based on GDP then production efficiency is at third world levels; something I do not believe. http://kriswager.blogspot.com/2007/03/i … donor.html
4) Comparing aid to GDP doesn't seem quite right, either, as relative living costs are not factored in. Like saying the New Yorker earning $100,000 is a cheapskate because he didn't donate as much as the guy in Timbuctoo that made only $80,000. Doesn't work
5) Bottom line; the US is not highest donor, whether per capita, GDP or other measure except simple $$ given. Significant, yes, but not highest.
1) Yup obviously I mean per capita.
2) Sweden gave 0.99 that is more than 500%.
#3) The EU contains tons of third world nations which personally I don't expect to give, seems they have enough on their plate. The only first world nations which gave less in the EU were Italy, Spain and Greece (and because you referred to some of them as socialist I want to make it clear that all three have conservative governments in power) and that is just because they are in crisis.
4) I believe the figures we are using are in Geary/Khamis dollars which are balanced for purchasing parity.
2) You are correct, which I knew. I just couldn't multiply today; maybe I'll join my grandson in kindergarten for a few days.
4) If so there is no indication of that on the site where I found the figures.
No problem I mainly just wanted to address the "A little charitable foreign aid (gotta at least pretend to keep up with the Americans)," and... Well I think most Americans really overestimate how much foreign aid we give. I wish we would keep our pledge.
Yeah if we are using the same source (the figures are the same so I suspect so) the OECD generally uses international dollars as par for the course, but they have not indicated here, which is annoying.
I know I did - that surprised me.
Maybe if we can get out from multiple wars, and maybe if we can stop being the world's policeman, maybe then we can give a little more. I'd like to see it, too, although I DO think we need to get our own house in order first.
Iceland is about to join for example, very much a first world nation.
Excuse me if your super professional predictions don't sway me I prefer to look at the actual realities. No one has left, nations are joining.
I have never needed patriotism to fight for a cause, what is right and what is wrong exists outside of the concept of nations.
Fight for freedom for free speech or democracy or gender equality or whatever, not a country, sure countries can represent certain ideals but no nation will ever be a perfect representation of it's stated ideals nor is there any guarantee the nation will not slip from them so one is much better off following the ideals themselves.
I take your point with the example of a conquered nation but therein lies the problem. If a free nation is conquered and oppressed by a dictatorial one then patriotism (on the free nations side anyway) works out just fine to inspire a resistance. On the other hand say the nation is NAZI Germany and the conquering state are the allies... well then patriotism isn't so great.
I think there is a vast difference between your "fight" and what I'm talking about. You can fight for free speech or gender equality, etc. but you are fighting your country and you are not fighting with your life or that of your loved ones on the line. I at least have a hard time thinking I would voluntarily put my child's life, or my own, in severe jeopardy to promote the ideals of free speech. Yet I would do either to protect my country. In my mind, then, there is a huge difference.
One must always fight their own nation to keep it straight and true, but we just don't put the effort or risk into that fight that we do in climbing onto a battleship and heading across the oceans to lose our life there.
Nazi Germany; a good point and one very well taken. But it is MY country, not Nazi Germany. Good, not evil. Because I define it so. Simplistic, yes, but still necessary in the real world.
You wouldn't "die for your right to say it" but would die for the space between imaginary lines? No judgement I just can't relate to that, it is the complete opposite for me.
And yes the my nation is good thing is simplistic, and dangerous, because your nation can change, it can no longer be good, indeed at points in American history I believe this has happened and yet patriotism still urges you to support it. Vietnam is an example that comes to mind.
You don't need patriotism to inspire great deeds, my grandfather died in the Spanish civil war, he was born in Argentina and had never been to Spain until he joined up voluntarily in the international brigade to go fight... because he opposed fascism, many Americans did the same, Hemingway for example, tens of thousands who without patriotism or pay to guide them went and gave their lives.
I said kids could opt out of the Pledge of Allegiance. The Supreme Court already ruled on this.
Who says reciting the pledge is a law? Certainly not I: I specifically said I felt that freedom of speech would prohibit such a thing.
I DID say, though, that claim a religious exemption from anything at all, based on the idea that anyone is worshipping the flag or nation during the pledge, is ridiculous and not a part of religious freedom.
Wilderness, I do not want to come off as strident on this point. We talk about being united, it sounds good in rhetoric and on paper, but our reality is that 'being divided' is the norm. You make your case and I will hear you out. There is still quite a bit of racism and sexism in our society, so you can't stir up something that is part and parcel of American society already. There has been improvements overtime and our society is to be congratulated for that progress. I remember the attack that Michelle Obama received for some reference to 'pride in her country'. Well from her experience and mine, it has not been a bed of roses. From the point of view of conservatives, she was ungrateful. From the point of view of us who have shared her experience with the nations history, the statement was not particularly offensive.
So whose point of view is correct? It depends on from what direction you are looking at things.
This isn't a conservative v. liberal story. It was a confusing article. It said the kid made up the whole thing to get the teacher in trouble.
There is an article here on HubPages that helps to bring a historical perspective to the Pledge of Allegiance. The pledge did not always include the phrase ‘under God’.
Christian churches also have a similar distinction when it comes to the Lord’s prayer. Some versions include the word ‘forever’, others do not. They coexist without a need to impose their own values on each other.
What a shame that the student had to experience that. While it would be nice if all who live in America also respect American values, those values should not be forced upon an individual. Consider the consequences. In some ways it would be counterproductive to force those who disagree with American values into a way of life where they have to hide those feelings and feign loyalty to a system of values that they do not agree with, when their true loyalty lies elsewhere. They might go so far as to organize and infiltrate our government for the sole purpose of redefining our values and way of life.
Fortunately, that is unlikely to happen. We are far too strong as a nation.
Or are we?
Hi, Jim, I think that we are too strong and our fundamental tenets too enduring to be shaken to its foundations by dissent here and there. If we are not prepared to accomodate dissent than the entire American experience is subject to question Conformity in most aspects of life is weakness and fear.
nice to hear from you!
Greetings Cred, alas once again your bias is showing.
Are you proposing that this teacher represents all conservatives?
Would you then agree that Bill Ayers represents all liberals? Or that Charles Manson represents all hippies?
Or how about John Allen Muhammad, and Lee Boyd Malvo, representing all black men?
Or are you implying that liberals have no patriotism? That no liberals believe in the essence of the Pledge?
The women was wrong. But maybe her actions mean that all women are conservative idiots.
Another curious thought is, why aren't you interested in what liberals think of her action? Are there no idiots in their ranks?
That sure is a pretty broad brush you have there.
No, GA, that is not what this is about, I want to know how many conservative posters believe that allowing this student to opt out of the pledge was appropriate or not. How many agreed with the teacher's actions? While this may be an isolated instance, it speaks to an important broad theme. What was the right was advocating in that town in Tenn; no mosques allowed.... Always trying to get a better definition of what constitutes red vs what is blue....I don't have to be bias to see where most of this controversy comes from and it is not the left. The left has no issue here and in the tradition of religious freedom supports her right to participate in the pledge or not, This is not an issue that has the left concerned, only the right, if I correctly understand the conservative mindset?
"if I correctly understand the conservative mindset?"
Unfortunately, you do not. You are taking the loud screams from the far radical right, the radical Christians, and applying it to anyone with a conservative bent.
You would be far better off to figure out that few people actually fit in the boxes you assign them.
So how much of this radical, reactionary right is part of the 'mainstream', how much of this do you subscribe to? After all, you did pause regarding your attitude about people who choose not to go through patriotic ritual as ungrateful Americans. Which faction, the radicals (far right) or moderates rule sway over the GOP? Did not mean to ruffle feathers....
saying the pledge in class was standard practice when i was in school,.... it fell out of fasion for a while simply because many didnt want to take the time,.... it suddenly came back into fashion when some politicians realized they could build steam off of it,.... and it was also the custom back in the day to understand the jevhovas whitness children were not required to recite it,... they DID stand, but did not place thier hand on thier heart and did not recite the pledge,.... in our part of the country this was how we delt with the jehovas whitness question re; the pledge of allegience,.....
it might interest you to know that we did not single our classmates out for teasing,.. most of us felt sorry for them,... they also couldnt enjoy class halloween parties or christmas gift exchanges, they couldnt attend the christmas or easter concerts,.... and they couldnt attend the church youth events of thier fellow classmates, because they werent allowed to set foot in a church building that was not jehovas whitness,.... they couldnt even bring treats to class on thier birthdays like so many of us got to,......
a great many of us went out of our way to include them in ways that we could,..... "here's a cupcake for no reason".... on christmas or halloween or valentines day,....
we see an awfull lot of "funny" facebook posts re; how kids make messes for moms/dads to clean up,.... but when it comes to things like this,.... it seems the other way around..... the ADULTS are the ones who have ruined something children understand with ease,.... brotherhood.
i'm more offended by the way crowds SCREAM the phrase "under god" thse days, like they were on a heaven sent political mission at the football game, sitting next to thier cooler of beer and not knowing where thier kids are.
I support saying the Pledge of Allegiance every morning but would not force a student who wants to opt our for religious reasons. In all my years, I've never had a single parent or child ask to opt out of it. Support for the pledge is overwhelming, but freedom of speech/religion must also be preserved.
I do know of a retired teacher, one of my good friends, who opted out of putting his hand on his heart and saying the Pledge of Allegiance. His class made the pledge every morning, but he merely stood there listening. His reason wasn't religious though. He said that our country doesn't have liberty and justice for all, so he refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance. Administration never came down on him, after thirty years of teaching.
My response here has nothing to do with who may be right, or who may be wrong. I just want to tell you about something that happened when I was a child, and again as a young adult that really help to shape my attitude about respect for others and their beliefs.
This was, of course, way back in the "dark ages". Teachers were allowed to teach and schools didn't have to follow all the "mandatory" rules of today. I was about 4th grade and a little girl in my class was a Jehovah's Witness. Every morning we dutifully stood to say the Pledge of
Alliegiance and the Lord Prayer. (This was Louisiana and very much part of the Bible Belt). Our teacher would assign a different person each day to lead the class in each. She would walk over to the little girl, take her by the hand and they would go stand outside the door. The teacher would stand with her every morning....and as I found out later....hold her hand and talk with her the whole time. When the recitation was over they would walk back into the room. Say what you will but I grew up to both understand and respect others and their beliefs.....beginning at that point.
Later, as an adult, I belonged to an organization (still in the South) that began every assembly with a prayer. Because people of all religions could, and did, belong a different religious leader was asked to give the opening prayer. All of us learn religious tolerance, as well as, key points about a number of different religions. Again,say what you will, but I feel more free as a result of those experiences than most people who have rigid beliefs.
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Since when is America a "Christian" country? I challenge anyone to find a single mention of Jesus Christ in any of our founding documents."God" does not equal "Christ." I swear to God, yes....
by Michael Collins4 years ago
Today we are seeing a movement toward tolerance or at least what we think as tolerance. Bulling has become a hot button issue in the public (as if it didn’t happen anytime before) with many different groups against...
by junko3 days ago
An articulate Liberal Progressive conservative Democratic President's words on that subject cause me to wonder. I ain't talking about Obama ,Clinton, nor Carter. Over fifty years ago President Kennedy warned about...
by American View4 years ago
Ernest Istook once said “While even pornography is protected as free speech, the courts have consciously undermined religious speech and freedom of religion for years. ”Is he right, and thoughts?
by cooldad5 years ago
Were the founding fathers of this country Christians? I have always been under the impression that our country was founded by people who were escaping religious persecution. Why then, do so many people claim...
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