The recent election has once again demonstrated that there is, indeed, a religious test for public office in the US. Just as bad, and perhaps more insidious, is the notion that patriotism also has a religious requirement. This is manifest in the theocratized Pledge of Allegiance.
I propose the following change to the Pledge of Allegiance, to return it to it’s original secular purpose and remove the exclusionary, divisive words which have perverted it into a religious oath. But further, it would reinforce that our nation and out freedom are founded on the Constitution, not on a flag.
I pledge allegiance to the Constitution
And to the United States of America.
One nation, indivisible,
With liberty and justice for all.
A word about patriotism
First, I reject the notion that loudmouthed jingoists are truer or better “patriots” than those of a more reflective
demeanor. Probably the opposite is true. It is really ill-informed, and mathematically questionable, to assert that, at a minimum, half of all Americans are “un-American” for their support of someone other than George W. Shitforbrains.
Dissent is not un-American – it is quintessentially American and patriotic. Our history is a triumphant story of dissent and overthrow of oppressive authority.
Red-faced, flag-waving, ultra-pats are not representative of anything but bad manners and forgotten history.
As someone said, “Blind obedience to bad leadership is not patriotism.”
Saying the God Pledge
Occasionally, I find myself in a situation – ball game, political event, graduation – where someone is saying the Pledge of Allegiance. As an American, a Veteran, and an Atheist, I cannot and will not say the religious oath which has supplanted the original secular pledge.
When it gets to the part about the christian deity, I say loudly and clearly:
“One nation, under the Constitution!”
Yes, it makes an impression. People always turn and look, but no one has ever confronted me over it. What could they say? They are unlikely to condemn me for bringing the Constitution into the conversation. Besides, I welcome that debate.
Oh, by the way, show me the word “flag” in the Constitution and I will include it in the Pledge.