Terry's Editorial on the Pledge of Allegiance
Can one child in a thousand actually define the word or give the meaning of "Allegiance?" Can you--without stumbling around about it?
Give me a moment of your time, will you?
First, in Medieval times, wealthy landowners allowed peasants to cultivate their property as long as these pitiful souls made a pledge of fealty or allegiance to become a soldier for that Lord of the Manor if he needed to go to war against some imagined enemy.
"You want a place to live and a meal for your hard labor--then you must promise to die on my behalf."
THAT, my friends, was a Pledge of Allegiance.
Fast forward to modern times.
Having a small child place his or her hand over their tiny beating heart and reciting an oath to Flag/Republic under GOD is something with a name: Theocracy.
Combining religious ritual and the political rule is Theocracy.
Patriotism is necessary, of course, but a coerced surrender of one's soul to politics is another.
I had school chums who died in Vietnam. Why?
On friend was drafted and another volunteered. Their deaths came at a cost. What did it really pay for?
I refused Military Service as a JW. Since Jr. High School I had refrained from patriotic participation having been taught it was "blasphemy".
What I did was the product of undue influence (persuasion against my best interests) the same as my school chums with patriotic duty. Two heads of the same Hydra.
Our American Wars since WWII have not been legally "declared" wars.
Our Corporate, Military/Industrial/religious foundation is rife with self-interest, money, and corruption.
Wars fought to support corruption under the guise of patriotic duty are abominable.
We still have young Americans dying in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria...Why?
UNDUE INFLUENCE is vile. Creating little patriots who will die for the whims of global politics is abominable!
Teaching children to love the freedoms and opportunities of America is wonderful.
That's the end of this editorial. Your mileage may vary.
In 1891, the family magazine Youth’s Companion asked 35-year-old Francis Bellamy, a former pastor of Boston’s Bethany Baptist Church, to fashion a patriotic program for schools around the country to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s “arrival in America” by “raising the U.S. Flag over every public school from the Atlantic to the Pacific.”
Through the pledge, Bellamy sought to define “true Americanism” against the rising tide of southern and eastern European immigrants “pouring over our country” in the early 20th century from “races which we cannot assimilate without a lowering of our racial standard.” Although Bellamy conceded that “the United States has always been a nation of immigrants,” he argued that “incoming waves of immigrants … are coming from countries whose institutions are entirely at variance with our own.”
Decrying the character and “quality” of these recent newcomers, Bellamy lamented that “we cannot be the dumping ground of Europe and bloom like a flower garden.” To him, “every dull-witted and fanatical immigrant” granted citizenship threatened the American Republic.