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The Pledge of Allegiance (part of American schools)

Hahvoc The Decepticon

Singularity
Joined
Mar 4, 2009
So as Americans know, growing up, we all had to sing The Pledge. Now, lately, the religious folks have been up in arms about people wanting to take out "under god" from it. I'm all for it. I never liked it, and found that it hadn't been part of the pledge originally. It had been added in the 1950s. Some people claim it belongs there, and others not so much. However, the people claiming it belongs there claim it is because our nation was founded on "god." Hate to tell you, but it wasn't.(Links to be provided if needed, just currently on a mobile device.)

So what I'm asking is...how do you feel about the Pledge? Should it be changed? Should it stay the same? Express what it might mean to you.
 

Razgriz

Baka-Ass Motherf**ker
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I don't think I would entirely be against having the phrase 'Under God' removed. After all, the initial purpose of the pledge was meant to instill patriotism into the minds of schoolchildren, not venerate religion.

I find the whole thing very ironic, to be fair; the original did not only not have the words 'Under God' in it (or any religious reference at all), it was actually initially composed by the son of an ordained minister who later became a minister himself.

And if this man was like most writers I know...He'd be shaking his head at others messing with what he wrote.

But, that's my view.
 

ShadowsLitany

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USA
It's one of those McCarthy era hold overs, one of the reasons for I have seen is that Godless Communists (not my phrase, but theirs at the time) could not say God. I don't know, maybe they spontaneously combusted or something. I'd like to go back to the original version as well, I never saw a practical reason for the change to the pledge.

In some ways people are right, the US was founded on God, but in many ways it was also found on people looking for religious freedom and for many it was basically about getting out of a struggling economy, or they were prisoners with little choice. Take your choice on what origin issues you like. There are many ironies on the early days of America and it's founding, this is just one of them.
 

Jolie

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Bi-Coastal
The original pledge read,

"I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

In a nation of immigrants founded on the idea of religious freedom with probably a million different views of God and what God stands for or even if there is a God, I far prefer the original as a national unifying pledge assuming we need one.
 

MellowYellow

Pulsar
Joined
Sep 28, 2013
Personally I wholly support secularism in schools and government. Of course coming from Ireland gives me a very good indication of why giving the church/religion any presence in the state is an absolutely horrible and abhorrent idea in general, so maybe I'm somewhat biased.

Indeed though it's an aspect that should be removed. It really shouldn't have any presence in modern schools, and in some respects seems to exclude or prove troublesome to any students who wouldn't strictly worship god in a Judeo-Christian sense.
 
C

Chai

Guest
I'm for taking it out, although being someone who is a practicing Christian, my reasons are different than the majority.

From a religious perspective, it's not like the phrase "under God" actually means anything as it was added in during the 50s to unite Americans and fight communism. I mean, Eisenhower was a newly baptized Presbyterian and was all for adding it in, but because of the ulterior motive behind the addition, it's arguable that it's a misuse of God's name. It was a manipulation designed to promote Eisenhower's fight against communism, not to actually spread the word of God in a healthy manner. And the manipulation of God's name to serve one's own desires goes against the Ten Commandments, the third to be exact. So because of that, saying it within the pledge is rather meaningless. But, ah, I think I'm very alone in this way of thinking, especially among the religious crowd.

As boyo111 said, the nation was founded upon a great many things, "God" being one of them. But it wasn't purely founded on Christian ideals, as there were people who came to practice other religions or escape from religion entirely, and some who came didn't care for religion at all and only saw opportunity in the new land.
 

Ironic

Yᴏᴜʀ Rᴇᴀʟ Lɪғᴇ Fᴀɴᴛᴀsʏ
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I am totally in for taking it out.

America is known best for being a 'melting pot,' and there is the freedom of religion, meaning the nation is not based off solely just one religion, so why push people to say it?

I've known a lot of people throughout high school who would refuse to stand in the morning for the pledge due to just that one part.

I at least think you should stand up for the respect of your freedom and the people fighting for it for you.
 

DeusExMachina

Planetoid
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Being from Europe I might not see the value of it, but why do your schoolchildren need to recharge on patriotism every morning?
With or without the phrase 'under god' (I'd prefer without though) the whole pledge is just somewhat idiotic to me.
Why would you want to force your children to swear to the USA and its flag every morning? Why try to instill them with patriotism?
It is utterly useless and, I would argue, counterproductive in a world marked by globalization. I don't want people overly proud of and devout to their nation simply because it was hammered in when they were young. If you think your nation is great you better be able to put out a good argument for that and a pledge is certainly not helpful with that.
We need to stop thinking as Americans and Russians and Germans and so on and should start think of ourselves as humans first. And nationalism and patriotism do not help in that regard.

As to the 'under god' part, I'm a strong secularist so my opinion is quite clear, and so is the American constitution. Additionally with atheism in America being the fasted growing "religious" group you should really get the hint.
 

Dogged

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As someone with dual American/Canadian citizenship, I'll throw in my 2 cents. I do agree in part with Deus in that thinking of the entire human race is far more important. When Bellamy originally wrote the pledge it was to promote flag celebrating and saluting the flag with no mention of any particular nation. He actually hoped that all nations might adopt his work. Yes he was Christian, but the pledge was not intended to have any religious prerogative.

The quaint notion was simply that-quaint, and now, outdated. While I do understand the importance of promoting patriotism during war time to solidify a country's support, the pledge, I feel, has long outlived its original purpose of general patriotism. The pledge shouldn't be a mass indoctrination of U.S. children nor should religion ever have been included. After all that explanation, yes by all means, take out the 'God' part if you wish but my preference is to take out the pledge entirely. Like many things, it's become obsolete and could eventually do more harm than good. Everything in moderation. ;)
 

Traveler

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Let's remember what the good ol' USA was founded on, shall we? Let us visit the opening sentences of the Declaration of Independence.

(Adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776)
The Unanimous Declaration
of the Thirteen United States of America

"When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."



I've underlined a few words in here to illustrate that the original crafters of our union designated a God and Creator, note the capitalization. That indicated the Biblical notion of God and not the idea of a universal lower case 'god'.

Anyone who is arguing that the words "under God" should not be added because it was not what the original author penned, should also be arguing that the amendments added to the United States Bill of Rights should also not be included, because they are not what the original authors penned. Let's be consistent in our logic, folks.


The First Amendment is this:​

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."


We all like the freedom of speech and the freedom to assemble and to petition the Government (note the capitalization?) for redress of grievances. Why don't we like the fact that Congress isn't supposed to make laws to establish religion or prohibit the free exercise of it? Simply acknowledging it as part of our history is not establishing it as a state religion. That would be as stupid as saying that acknowledging that slavery existed in our past means that it's condoned as a practice in our present time. Yet that's the argument that Atheists take.

Pledging allegiance to our country and our country's ideals is not a bad thing. Anyone can simply stand in respect and remain silent if they don't want to say the Pledge of Allegiance, but to mandate that certain words be omitted after they have been part of our national history for over half a century is inane and short-sighted. In the USA we are all Americans. Not African-Americans, not Asian-Americans... we're all one nation, under God.

You do not have to worship God or believe in Him, but that doesn't mean that you can take away someone else's right to acknowledge Him. Fortunately in our country we don't cut off people's heads or stone them for having other beliefs, nor do we fire them from jobs or keep them from buying nice houses or going to good schools simply because they pray to Allah or bow to Buddah or worship the trees in their back yard. We as a nation are more loving and tolerant towards different religions than anywhere else in the world, and I've been to enough other countries to be a reliable witness to this fact.

Unfortunately the religion of Atheism has been forcing changes in our country and demanding that any respect towards any religion is an affront to them and thus it must be undone. This is favoring one religion, Atheism, over all others.

Leave our pledge alone. If you don't want to say it then don't say it, but I abhor the fact that so many people are jumping on the bandwagon of taking the word 'God' out of so many of our documents and traditions.

Just because something is popular does not make it right, and often what is right is not what is popular.

~Now... feel free to flame if you need to. But remember the sayings of a wise man:
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle

And if that's not enough, a more contemporary wise man:
"If you really want to persuade thoughtful people...you’ll need to appear credible - not hysterical. Lower case should work just fine." ~Mike Rowe
 

DeusExMachina

Planetoid
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
First of all, Atheism is not a religion, it is the total lack of a religion or more specifically the total lack of a belief in a supernatural power. Just a matter of definition. To quote one of my favorite lines on this: "Atheism is a religion like abstinence is a sex position." (Bill Maher)
Just because your constitution mentions a god and a creator (not Jesus Christ or another specific Variant of the Christian God) doesn't give you any right to drill it into your children by state mandate.
Most of your founding fathers were in fact deists (look it up if you don't know the difference to a theist) and all of them secularists, which means a strong separation of church and state.
The USA is not a nation under god, firstly because there is no evidence for that but more importantly because you can't specify which god. Is it a nation under Christ, Allah, Jehova, Jahwe, Ganesha, Shiva, Odin, Thor, the flying Spaghetti Monster, ...?
The point is religion should be kept out of the public sphere which includes the pledge of allegiance. Instead of giving people the option to stand silently as all others pledge how about this, if you want to pledge do it on your own time. Plus you can choose the variant of it this way.
All Atheists and Secularists want to achieve is to have religion and its promotion, specifically Christianity, taken out of the public sphere, which includes public schools. We want all religions to be treated equal in this respect, because as it stands Christianity gets a free pass on a lot of things in the USA.
 

Nihilistic_Impact

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Oh I've not done this in a while, should be great fun tearing this shit apart.

Traveler said:
Let's remember what the good ol' USA was founded on, shall we? Let us visit the opening sentences of the Declaration of Independence.

(Adopted by Congress on July 4, 1776)
The Unanimous Declaration
of the Thirteen United States of America

"When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."



I've underlined a few words in here to illustrate that the original crafters of our union designated a God and Creator, note the capitalization. That indicated the Biblical notion of God and not the idea of a universal lower case 'god'.

Anyone who is arguing that the words "under God" should not be added because it was not what the original author penned, should also be arguing that the amendments added to the United States Bill of Rights should also not be included, because they are not what the original authors penned. Let's be consistent in our logic, folks.
Well look at that, quoting a propaganda piece arguing for our divine right to separate from the power of an individual who's claim to power is the divine right to rule. As though it wouldn't make sense to use the same rhetoric.

As to your second argument, that makes no sense. There is no flaw in demanding a change to the pledge while accepting that the Constitution and it's Bill of Rights can be altered. It has the mechanics for doing so built into it and has seen change. There is a reason it's called a living document.

Also it's not an argument of should be added as it's already fucking in there.

The First Amendment is this:​

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
Continuing with the quotes I see, well I can do that too; but before we get there let's look at this little bit.

I see you underlined the prohibiting the free exercise part, which is nice. It's good to know that the Fist Amendment allows me practise whatever faith I choose to engage in, or even none. Still somehow you think that part will help your argument, which you'll see just isn't true. Still you like to quote things and seem to conflate the pledge with free expression of religion. I'll destroy that in a moment; but let's toss up some quotes of my own.

Constitution Article VI said:
...but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
This is a handy little thing, I love it. It's what allowed Kennedy to become president, the first Catholic in a sea of Protestants and a handful of Deists. What does this have to do with the pledge? Well if you actually stop to think about what the pledge is you'd understand.

At it's core the pledge is a loyalty test to the State. If you abstain then you don't pledge your loyalty. The schools are the direct representation of the State to the students. If we can't have a faith test on politicians why should we include one in our loyalty test?

Further even if someone just omits the "under god" part they mark themselves as outsiders from the norm. Opening them up for abuse from their peers.

Still, not the nail in the coffin I need.

John Adams said:
“The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion.”
Well damn son. There goes the core of your America is a Biblical founded nation. Destroyed by our second President.

Still one more I think we share here, it's very important.

Thomas Jefferson said:
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and State.
The letter that brought us that little phrase people love to quote, separation of church and state. I don't think you understand what that phrase means though, your post clearly shows you don't.

So to spell it out, what it means is that the State won't meddle in your religious beliefs. It may meddle in some practises for the good of society, human sacrifice and any other act that would violate another individual's constitutional right, just not beliefs be them religious or political or any other damn thing.

If we were indeed a Biblical nation, there would be no need for such a separation. There would be a need for a religious test. It would be treason for the president to say otherwise. If we were, what sect would reign supreme? First in the eye of the law?

We all like the freedom of speech and the freedom to assemble and to petition the Government (note the capitalization?) for redress of grievances. Why don't we like the fact that Congress isn't supposed to make laws to establish religion or prohibit the free exercise of it? Simply acknowledging it as part of our history is not establishing it as a state religion. That would be as stupid as saying that acknowledging that slavery existed in our past means that it's condoned as a practice in our present time. Yet that's the argument that Atheists take.
If we were to acknowledge the pledge as a historical piece then we'd study it within the confines of who wrote it, why did they write it, when was it altered, what reasons was it altered. Those are points of discussion which acknowledged the historical significance of the pledge.

Recitation is not such a thing.

To require a student, even if voluntary, to acknowledge a god that they might not believe in is wrong, especially if it's referring to the Biblical god as that makes a demand on a far larger part of the population. Even if we take to the argument that it's a non personal higher power that still excludes faiths that are polytheistic or atheistic, like some sects of Buddhism.

In your personal life you are free to say GOD GOD GOD GOD GOD all you like; but the state can not force you to do so.

I don't know why you choose to conflate saying you believing that America is watched over by God is the same thing as the State having you say that.

Pledging allegiance to our country and our country's ideals is not a bad thing. Anyone can simply stand in respect and remain silent if they don't want to say the Pledge of Allegiance, but to mandate that certain words be omitted after they have been part of our national history for over half a century is inane and short-sighted. In the USA we are all Americans. Not African-Americans, not Asian-Americans... we're all one nation, under God.
You don't seem to know history, like McCarthy and his Red Scare, Communist is still a bad word in America. To abstain from speaking the words marks someone as an outsider and not to be trusted, less they pollute our bodily fluids with their fluoride.

What's truly amusing is that you give more weight to the 50 years of inclusion then the 50 years where it wasn't in the damn thing at all. Those words that spark this whole debate weren't even in the pledge when it was formally adopted.

You do not have to worship God or believe in Him, but that doesn't mean that you can take away someone else's right to acknowledge Him. Fortunately in our country we don't cut off people's heads or stone them for having other beliefs, nor do we fire them from jobs or keep them from buying nice houses or going to good schools simply because they pray to Allah or bow to Buddah or worship the trees in their back yard. We as a nation are more loving and tolerant towards different religions than anywhere else in the world, and I've been to enough other countries to be a reliable witness to this fact.
There is no removal of a right here. What it is a protection of your right to acknowledge any divinity.

Fortunately for you the State doesn't require you to acknowledge Allah, Thor, Apollo, Buddha, Vishnu, or even the Mormon version of God, or the Catholic, Calvinist, Seventh Day Advent, Orthodox variation of the Christian God. You could even worship those trees.

You see, you're not stopped from this by the exclusion of words from the pledge. What's going on is that the State isn't violating anyone's religious beliefs, or lack, by excluding them. This is how the Rights in the Constitution work. They prevent the State from interfering with you, regardless of your ideas. They protect the least of us from the ideas of the majority.

A majority you are obviously far too comfortable being a part of to see what the issue is.

Unfortunately the religion of Atheism has been forcing changes in our country and demanding that any respect towards any religion is an affront to them and thus it must be undone. This is favoring one religion, Atheism, over all others.
Well damn, I've forgotten to tithe my 10% to the Atheist Pope.

Though it's amusing to see someone saying it's the Biblical God that we call upon accuse Atheists as being opposed to respecting any religion. Again, the argument is to prevent the State from meddling in your beliefs, or anyone else's by having "under god" in a loyalty test.

I know, let's define god here as Satan, see how quick they change their tunes.


Leave our pledge alone. If you don't want to say it then don't say it, but I abhor the fact that so many people are jumping on the bandwagon of taking the word 'God' out of so many of our documents and traditions.

Just because something is popular does not make it right, and often what is right is not what is popular.
Why couldn't you do that first? Why did you meddle with the pledge, altering it from something that could be easily adopted by any nation into something only for America?

Why must god be included by the State? Isn't this a land for all people? Give me your weak, your tired, your weary. Are we not a multiplicity of people that are unified by the simple fact of being American? Why must you create within the State these demarcations?

~Now... feel free to flame if you need to. But remember the sayings of a wise man:
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." ~Aristotle
The inclusion of this bit says one of two things. Either you're a troll, in which case you're a shit human being. Or you believe you're right, in which case you're still a shit human being.

And if that's not enough, a more contemporary wise man:
"If you really want to persuade thoughtful people...you’ll need to appear credible - not hysterical. Lower case should work just fine." ~Mike Rowe
This last bit is just an attempt to short circuit any discussion by allowing you to discredit anyone who's tone you don't like as unconvincing and hysterical.

You should probably apologise.
 

Traveler

Pulsar
Joined
Feb 5, 2014
Location
PST
We all have our opinions and it's good to discuss them. I won't apologize for my point of view, and you shouldn't apologize for your point of view regarding the issue.

However it's really sad that someone on the staff would attack me personally and call me a 'shit human being' simply because we disagree. That's hostile and uncalled for by a staff member, whose position on BMR should be one of neutrality and promoting the adherence to site rules. Your personal attack, Nihilistic_Impact, is uncalled for.

The original poster welcomed differing points of views to be discussed. This is not a place to start name-calling simply because you got emotionally invested in disagreeing with me.

Please grow up. Your behavior is unbecoming and doesn't represent BMR in a good light.



As far as Atheism not being a religion? If it wasn't a belief then why are Atheists so upset whenever they encounter religious texts, beliefs, or artifacts? If they truly didn't believe that there was any higher power then they should simply chuckle and shake their heads at what they perceive as nonsense and move on. It shouldn't matter to them what others do, nor should they care if, say, the Ten Commandments were displayed in a courthouse along with quotes from Socrates, Plato, Marx, or even Winnie the Pooh.



But we're discussing the Pledge of Allegiance and whether or not it should have 'under God' omitted or be removed from our traditional schools or not. I'd like to hear other people's ideas. Are pledges in general necessary? What about the oath of office that our elected officials say, or the pledge that our military in the USA say upon entering the armed forces? Are there benefits to that, and does it translate to the Pledge of Allegiance?

*pours a cup of coffee and sits back* Let's have a civil discussion. We can all grow from hearing each other's opinions and being respectful while we do so.
 

DeusExMachina

Planetoid
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Why do we Atheists get upset when you display the Ten Commandments in the courthouse or do similar stuff (Nativity Scene on public ground, ...) is really easy. It has nothing to do with the fact that we are Atheist, it is the fact that we are Secularists as well and displaying religious symbols, passages, statues, ... on public grounds, such as schools, courthouses and so on violates the separation of church and state. If you want to put it up on private property, fine, your land, your decision. But on public land and funded by tax money violates your precious constitution.
Also we fight against these religious beliefs because they are harmful or at the very least a nuisance. Abortion and same sex marriage are only issues because of religion, so is the matter of stem cell research. And many other topics, specifically in the realms of society and science.
It is because we have good evidence that belief in ancient fairy tales and genocidal desert gods is harmful to our progress as human beings. It incites violence and bigotry and glorifies ignorance and compliance. It stomps our ambitions of transcending what we are and becoming so much more.
And that is a good reason to get upset about it.
And just as a sidenote, Atheism can''t be a religion, it's impossible by definition.

As to the whole idea of pledges in general.
I find them to be outdated relics of the past.
The pledge of allegiance instills useless and brainless patriotism.
The oath/pledge members of the military take upon entering the armed forces is useless and redundant. I have already signed a contract saying the exact same thing by that point. Why do I need to swear it in some kind of overblown ceremony? (And before you ask, I am a member of the military.)
As for pledges of office, the same thing goes really. The position you're about to take has defined responsibilities similar to a contract so there is no need to swear it as well. Signing it should suffice.
It is generally a waste of time.
You could of course make the argument that those are public displays of the respective contracts and responsibilities, showing them off to the public and reassuring citizens.
That is the easy way out for me. If you are swayed by a guy putting up his hand and repeating an empty phrase, you are too naive. Let them prove their convictions with actions rather than words.
Instead of letting a politician off the hook with a simple oath/pledge make them prove their dedication by putting their money where their mouth is. Make them show you that they care about the people.
Talk is cheap.
 

Jolie

Star
Joined
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Location
Bi-Coastal
Traveler said:
Are pledges in general necessary? What about the oath of office that our elected officials say, or the pledge that our military in the USA say upon entering the armed forces? Are there benefits to that, and does it translate to the Pledge of Allegiance?
First, I feel that in today's modern, cynical, media driven world, pledges have little significance to most people. Most people likely mouth the words without any particular feeling about what they are saying and many probably wait until the person to the left of them says the words, because they don't remember them by rote. I think we may most often identify the people who do take the pledge seriously, because instead of mindlessly mouthing the words, they let us know that they object to some portion such as "... under God ...." In other words, they care enough to be concerned about saying words they cannot believe in.

I see little value in these kind of pledges accept to the extent that they do identify those core elements of what we as a nation might believe in and stand together on:

One nation
Indivisible
a Republic
Liberty
Justice

I get one nation, but do sometimes wonder if we truly are one nation for all. But I think it's an admirable goal. We fought a civil war to drive home the point that once in the club, there is no out. We can argue about what liberty and justice for all means, but I think we all agree its a goal worth struggling toward even as buildings burn in Ferguson and we see the difficulty in applying this laudable goal to the practical realities of today's complex, ugly world.

So while I may question the need or benefit for this kind of pledge, I don't really question the values expressed in it on an abstract, theoretical sense.

But under God? Last month, an atheist airman at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada was denied reenlistment for refusing to take an oath containing “so help me God.” After this requirement was challenged, the Air Force changed its policy. I don't think the nation is at greater risk, because an atheist airman who served his country honorably and was able to affirm (leaving out the so help me God language) when he first joined, because the policy changed when it was time for him to reenlist.

And now that the Air Force has changed its policy and this language "so help me God" is optional, why do we include the language in a pledge of allegiance that should focus on those things that bind us together as a nation? The inclusion of this language also undercuts the idea of a nation where the freedom to believe or not to believe in religion and how we practice that religion is enshrined in our Constitution.

While I don't feel these pledges do much for our nation. I do think there are things together that we can do, which may serve to bind us together as a nation. Let's see. My dad used to talk about basic training and survival school and prisoner of war training and some other training that he did. He went through basic training a long time ago, but he told me that there was strength in knowing that everyone you worked with (he was Navy) had gone through this training together. He talked about his SERE training and how it was some of the roughest training he had gone through and that sometimes, he would picture people going through SERE training when he was doing something hard and it would make whatever he was currently doing seem easier.

I think some sort of national service where everyone put in a year between high school and college might have value in binding us together as a nation. But the pledge? At a minimum, I strongly think we should drop the concept of "under God" and I have a lot of confidence that the Supreme Court if it ever considers this issue will find it unconstitutional.

In any event, I appreciated reading your thoughts Traveler, even if I don't agree 100% with you. I think every debate is strengthened by hearing from both sides.
 

Mr Quixotic

The Lowest Form Of Wit
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Location
Australia
DeusExMachina said:
Why do we Atheists get upset when you display the Ten Commandments in the courthouse or do similar stuff (Nativity Scene on public ground, ...) is really easy. It has nothing to do with the fact that we are Atheist, it is the fact that we are Secularists as well and displaying religious symbols, passages, statues, ... on public grounds, such as schools, courthouses and so on violates the separation of church and state. If you want to put it up on private property, fine, your land, your decision. But on public land and funded by tax money violates your precious constitution.
Also we fight against these religious beliefs because they are harmful or at the very least a nuisance. Abortion and same sex marriage are only issues because of religion, so is the matter of stem cell research. And many other topics, specifically in the realms of society and science.
It is because we have good evidence that belief in ancient fairy tales and genocidal desert gods is harmful to our progress as human beings. It incites violence and bigotry and glorifies ignorance and compliance. It stomps our ambitions of transcending what we are and becoming so much more.
And that is a good reason to get upset about it.
And just as a sidenote, Atheism can''t be a religion, it's impossible by definition.

As to the whole idea of pledges in general.
I find them to be outdated relics of the past.
The pledge of allegiance instills useless and brainless patriotism.
The oath/pledge members of the military take upon entering the armed forces is useless and redundant. I have already signed a contract saying the exact same thing by that point. Why do I need to swear it in some kind of overblown ceremony? (And before you ask, I am a member of the military.)
As for pledges of office, the same thing goes really. The position you're about to take has defined responsibilities similar to a contract so there is no need to swear it as well. Signing it should suffice.
It is generally a waste of time.
You could of course make the argument that those are public displays of the respective contracts and responsibilities, showing them off to the public and reassuring citizens.
That is the easy way out for me. If you are swayed by a guy putting up his hand and repeating an empty phrase, you are too naive. Let them prove their convictions with actions rather than words.
Instead of letting a politician off the hook with a simple oath/pledge make them prove their dedication by putting their money where their mouth is. Make them show you that they care about the people.
Talk is cheap.
Thanks Deus Ex Machina, for articulating everything that I think, and probably much better than I ever could.

One thing I will reiterate from your post, is that Atheism is in no sense or form a religion. 'Atheist', as it's defined simply means "one who is not a theist", or "one without a belief in God, or gods", however the word is often hijacked and redefined so that it can be used as a straw man.

I'm not American, but Australian, and we have no pledge, and I don't think one is required. Personally, if I was American I would not take the pledge whilst the words 'Under God' were contained in it. Neither would I swear on a bible in court. Being asked to assert my sincerity or honesty - which is what it really comes down to - by lying, doesn't make sense, and I'd rather be known as an atheist than a liar.

How many people do utter those words or take the pledge for no other reason than they feel pressured or 'expected' to do so? Regardless if something has been in a Language for fifty years or more, a society should be flexible enough to change with the times, and belief in a god is lessening with each passing generation.

Do you really want a large and ever growing proportion of your County's population to take a supposedly unifying pledge without sincerity? What use are empty words? Not to mention those American citizens who feel as if they can't take their own country's pledge at all.

If the words were omitted, it would make no difference to the ability of any believer to commit to the pledge, however it would allow those who do not believe, and cannot now pledge with sincerity, to do so. Which is the more inclusive and unifying?
 

Nihilistic_Impact

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Aug 14, 2009
Location
Gardens of Kadesh
Well I knew it was going to happen. Traveller has done exactly what I expected of him, ignore all my points with no rebut and focus on my tone.

You are factually wrong in your opinions, so I called you shit because you would see the rights of others trampled to keep your fragile world view.

If you were interested in honest discussion you would respond with reasoned arguments of rhetoric. Not cry about a staff member being mean to you; it's not as though I have the power to go in and edit your post. I can't abuse you like a mod could.

So apologise for your failure to engage in honest debate or leave this thread.
 

Hahvoc The Decepticon

Singularity
Joined
Mar 4, 2009
Since when did I say, "remove god from all our documents"?

Though, I think that would be a fantastic idea, thats not the point.

"Under god" was literally added because of fear of godless commies.

I believe it went 60 years or so (will date check) without that being in it.

When you throw god in out of fear, you don't have respect for what you are using. Simple as that.
 

Hahvoc The Decepticon

Singularity
Joined
Mar 4, 2009
And Traveller, thanks for getting off your soapbox.

I was worried you would, ya know, not bother sticking to the point of this thread.

If he's being "mean" to you, then I suggest a factual rebuttal instead of whining.
 

Traveler

Pulsar
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Feb 5, 2014
Location
PST
I'm not ignoring anyone, nor am I refusing to argue. I'm showing others to have their say. To continue to try to press my point would be to encourage division and anger among BMR 'residents'.

Can we not have differing points of views without encouraging hate? I have my perspective and others have theirs. I find it interesting that this has gone from a discussion of ideas to an attack on people.

This site was created as a community for people who enjoy role playing. We should be able to have opposing views yet act in respectful manners towards each other. I've shared a point of view that is different. So what? No one has to convince the other on this thread. This isn't a win-lose situation. It's ludicrous that being different has invited so much anger.

On a side note, a few people have posted their opposing views in a civil manner, demonstrating that there are a few people on site who are mature and thoughtful. .

To them I say thank you. I enjoyed reading your rebuttals and considering your ideas.
 

Hahvoc The Decepticon

Singularity
Joined
Mar 4, 2009
You are so off point.

There is no hate here. You were asked for rebuttals because it is a discussion. If you can't be bothered, then don't post.
 
B

Broomhandle45

Guest
So, the discussion at hand is about the pledge of allegiance, not about how people took a well thought out reply. I don't need to hear who started it, who said what. My reading of this thread pretty much told me enough.

And FYI, Nihil isn't staff, I don't know where that came from. This is the only warning I'm dropping here, even though I sense the topic at hand pretty much died because of this hooplah. By all means, if people wish to continue, do so. Do it intelligently and respectfully and remember that this is supposed to be a place of debate and discussion. If I have to get back in here, the topic will be closed.
 
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