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The 7 - Current Events & Politics - Pledge of Allegiance... Unconstitutional
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#41 Posted on 28.6.02 1309.02
Reposted on: 28.6.09 1309.23

    Originally posted by ges7184


    And this ruling disregards those who DO believe in any "God".



How so? No one's asking them to pledge allegience to a flag under "no God". Simply asking them to give up their "most favored cosmology" status in favor of government neutrality. By not having an official 5 minute pledge at the start of the school day, no one's asked to say anything they don't believe in, nor are any beliefs officially endorsed.
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#42 Posted on 28.6.02 1607.14
Reposted on: 28.6.09 1609.30
I guess it boils down to this: can hearing something violate the rights of the one doing the hearing. I say no because I don't believe ones rights are being violated just by the mere fact that they may hear certain words (and thus, I can't see the comparison to murder or rape, or voting rights, etc., because I don't see it as a rights violation. I just see it as simply as someone having a problem with it, or being offended. Where I see rape and murder, and unequal voting rights as more than soemthing you have a problem with, or offensive, but an actual rights violation).

I see it as disregarding the rights of those who believe in God because they no longer can pledge allegience to the flag in a manner that they want to, any time they want to, even if they do believe that. A principal, teachers, and a group of students can't decide to repeat the Pledge of Allegience in its entirety at the beginning of each day in the class room. Of course, I don't see that any pledge of allegience to anything by one person as a violation of the rights of another. I don't see it as any different as time set aside for a moment of silence, nor time set aside to sing the official school song.
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#43 Posted on 28.6.02 1614.41
Reposted on: 28.6.09 1629.01

    Originally posted by ges7184
    they no longer can pledge allegience to the flag in a manner that they want to, any time they want to, even if they do believe that.


Why not? Just because it isn't a school-sponsered, all-inclusive activity doesn't mean it can't be done.
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#44 Posted on 28.6.02 1622.10
Reposted on: 28.6.09 1629.04
"I guess it boils down to this: can hearing something violate the rights of the one doing the hearing. I say no because I don't believe ones rights are being violated just by the mere fact that they may hear certain words (and thus, I can't see the comparison to murder or rape, or voting rights, etc., because I don't see it as a rights violation. I just see it as simply as someone having a problem with it, or being offended."

Good point. If you are so bothered by the mere word "God" that anytime someone says it you shreek like a vampire at a cross, maybe the problem lies within *you*. But if you have that problem, here's what you do. You either don't say the pledge, you leave the room, or you have your parents put you in a private atheistic school, just like Christians do when *they* get offended by *state sponsored* things their children have to hear in class. Problem solved?

DMC

(edited by DMC on 28.6.02 1424)
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#45 Posted on 28.6.02 1632.21
Reposted on: 28.6.09 1632.22
No, the problem isn't solved.

Did you ever have a Jehovah's Witness or anyone else in your class that didn't do the pledge? If you had, you might remember how the other children treated that kid for being different.

Leaving the room isn't a harmless act. It seperates you from everyone else. You should remember that kids want and need to feel accepted at that age.

No one should have to feel like an outsider just because they don't believe in God. School isn't about all the theists fitting in and being cool, and the atheists being rejected. School is a place of learning, and there is no place for division or exclusion of people based on a personal choice (to believe in God or not).

Why don't we just let the blacks and hispanics leave the room while we discuss White Power? Problem Solved?
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#46 Posted on 28.6.02 1747.37
Reposted on: 28.6.09 1749.39
"Did you ever have a Jehovah's Witness or anyone else in your class that didn't do the pledge? If you had, you might remember how the other children treated that kid for being different."

Just because children act in cruel ways that are in no way endorsed by a particular action is not a reason to ban or remove that action. Children do horrible things all the time. We shouldn't change our society based on those things they do. The difference between something like this and segregated education is that it was *inherently* a system which made black children feel less than equal (because it always *was* less than equal). If atheists want to leave the room in order to not be bothered by the pledge, they are simply exercising their freedom of religion and teachers can then emphasize that there is nothing wrong with that at all. So I still don't see where the problem is. In fact it was be a *testament* to and a powerful statement of religious freedom in America. I think it would be positive.

DMC




(edited by DMC on 28.6.02 1548)
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#47 Posted on 28.6.02 1802.30
Reposted on: 28.6.09 1806.15
There is a societal pressure to conform to act the same way that everyone else is acting. This is especially true in a setting such as a school where conformity is not only expected, but demanded.

Singling people out and making them feel uncomfortable is a form of discrimination. What if I said it was perfectly fine for people to be Jews, but if they wanted to be Jews, all they had to do was wear a star of David on their shoulder - and the teachers could emphasize that there was nothing wrong with being a Jew.

You think that would fly?
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#48 Posted on 28.6.02 1819.26
Reposted on: 28.6.09 1821.34
"Singling people out and making them feel uncomfortable is a form of discrimination. What if I said it was perfectly fine for people to be Jews, but if they wanted to be Jews, all they had to do was wear a star of David on their shoulder - and the teachers could emphasize that there was nothing wrong with being a Jew."

No that wouldn't fly because that is racist and racism is wrong. The question is are atheists being actively *singled out* in the same way and made to feel like they are inferior? The answer is no. Come on Guru, what about when Christians feel they have to leave the room or opt out of certain activities for things they do not want to hear or do? Should we remove all the curriculum which Christians find offensive?

DMC
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#49 Posted on 28.6.02 1901.14
Reposted on: 28.6.09 1907.19
It's not racist. Being Jewish is a religious choice. There are many Jewish people that share a common descent, but Jewish is not a race as far as I know.

You are confusing teaching curriculum (Asking Christians to leave during lessons which are offensive) with making a pledge to a concept which is offensive (Namely that this country exists under God, which is something that Atheists don't believe). Teaching is the point of schooling. Making promises to a non-existant deity is not the central reason that people are sent to school.

Will you swear your fealty to my can of Spam? Of course not, it's ludicrous. But what if I happened to live in a community where the majority of people thought that my can of Spam was omniscient? And they looked at you suspiciously and as an outsider if you refused to swear to it.

Atheists are stuck in that same position - existing in a world where the majority is wrong and believes something stupid. They shouldn't have to put up with it just because the majority believes it. It doesn't make it right.
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#50 Posted on 28.6.02 1939.24
Reposted on: 28.6.09 1943.21
sorry to interrupt the witty banter
I was going to say that when I was in school the debate was whether the pause
between "One Nation" and "Under God" should be removed during the recitation.

As for making the pledge, I don't think it's required...lots of non-citizen children in the public schools.
It might go the way of school prayer where it ends up student-initiated. Or it could be fought back into the system.

It's rather sad, kind of like how "Happy Birthday" can't be sung at restaurants anymore.
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#51 Posted on 29.6.02 0355.23
Reposted on: 29.6.09 0357.43
Sorry for getting in on this so late, but I wanted to add a note to what Bucs was saying about not necessarily wanting to pledge his allegiance to the United States.

Since the pledge is being examined for it's actual worded contents AND for it's meaning/interpretation, let me take another angle.

"I pledge allegiance, to the flag"

Well, what flag are we pledging allegiance to? The one that was flying proud, on poles, at places of business, government buildings, and at the houses of a few proud people with a true (even if possibly misguided) sense of patriotism?

Or the other American flag. You know, that one that kinda popped in newspaper sections around Sept 12th or so. That same one that suddenly became the most popular thing ever to become a bumper sticker. That same one that was selling so fast, the sweatshops in Taiwan couldn't pump them out fast enough.

Guru made some great points about acceptance in schools at such a young age and how the exclusion of those who don't beleve in what the majority thinks is damaging.

John Stossel had an excellent report on ABC a while back about how the patterns we see and experience in our earliest years of schooling still ring true so many more years later.

So if you're a nervous little kid, and you're asked to recite a pledge that your parent(s) have told you is wrong, what are you going to do? Go against your parents (whom you trust) and fit in with the crowd? Or do you do leave the room and refuse to do what the majority of your classmates (your peers) and your teacher (whom you also trust) are doing? Is it worth being singled out? Does there really need to be ANOTHER (government regulated, no less) reason to be judged at such a young age?

As a young student, you're generally taught that if you have a problem, to either talk to a parent or teacher about it. Well, what happens when their conflicting instructions are the problem?

My point is, after September 11th, the flag took a whole new meaning. No longer was it truly about being patriotic. It was about this apparent return to "Hey, this is what's popular, I'll do that too." What did the buying of all these flags do? Build support and a sense of patriotism amongst us all? How? By buying, in surplus, items made overseas by companies that KNOW you're a "follow the crowd" sucker for their business? Those newspaper flags, taped up in your window- what do they say about you? Is it fun putting on display a symbol of your fickle support for your country? A cheap one, no less? That flag on a plastic stick in the window of your foreign car, what's your point there? Going for irony?

Another disturbing trend that I've noticed is, on more than a few occasions(among unfortunate acquaintances and others), I've heard people guilty of this flag whoring see someone of middle-eastern descent and call them "a terrorist". Hey, why don't we just bring back McCarthyism while we're at it? Got a hankerin' for a witch burning?

I apologize for going on at length trying to prove a point, but what I'm trying to get across is, everything that the pledge is about, in my mind, has been lessened because of the society it's supposed to serve.

God has no place in the Pledge Of Allegiance. In fact, if you've said the pledge and truly believe in/worship the Christian God or any other Higher Being, you should APOLOGIZE to Him/She/It for dragging their name into this.

Under God should be removed, and the whole damn thing shouldn't be in schools to begin with.
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#52 Posted on 29.6.02 0744.37
Reposted on: 29.6.09 0749.14
Geez, you're all over the place here.


    Originally posted by Ubermonkeys
    I apologize for going on at length trying to prove a point, but what I'm trying to get across is, everything that the pledge is about, in my mind, has been lessened because of the society it's supposed to serve.


You know what, back on the ezboard I can think of ONE guy who rather visible and public about using the American flag BEFORE 9/11. It would have been really easy for him to get cynical and chastise everyone else who "jumped on the flag bandwage" but fortunately, that guy realised instead that these other folks' hearts were in the right place and deep down they'd ALWAYS been glad to live in the greatest country on earth...even if it unfortunately took something as awful as planes flying into buildings to bring those feelings back to the surface.

Sometimes patriotism can just be patriotism. Not everything is done with ulterior motives. The "society it's supposed to serve" is still pretty much the best fucking society on earth and if your opinion of the pledge is lessened because people happened to be a lot more visible about their love of this great country in the past nine plus months, you probably need to get out some more, talk to people, look around and realise that *just occasionally* there are times when not everybody's a big fat phony. I mean, I'm as cynical as the next guy but I think you're way off base here. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to get better...



    God has no place in the Pledge Of Allegiance. In fact, if you've said the pledge and truly believe in/worship the Christian God or any other Higher Being, you should APOLOGIZE to Him/She/It for dragging their name into this.

    Under God should be removed, and the whole damn thing shouldn't be in schools to begin with.



Hey, guess what - I'VE said the pledge and *I* truly believe in/worship my God, and the notion that somehow I should have to make *apologies* for that curls my stomach.

You see what's coming next, right? I mean, it seems to me the next logical step is to get a court to declare "God Bless America" unconstitutional speech (except of course, in your own house - if the shutters are drawn). And hell, maybe it's gonna have to take something like THAT for people to get more upset and say "look, enough is enough here."
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#53 Posted on 29.6.02 1128.58
Reposted on: 29.6.09 1129.01
While my hat is off to you, CRZ, for an excellent post, I think you're a little bit off base yourself.

While I don't agree with, well, anything Ubermokeys was saying up there (meaning no offense), outlawing "God Bless America" is not at all the next logical step. Unless, of course, you've been forced to sing along with it in a compulsory environment like public school.

I think the point of the opposition is that children are being forced to recite a pledge which may conflict with their religious beliefs, or those of their parents. I don't buy into the argument of pledge supporters that "under God" is a vague, "spiritual" reference. God, or god, is a deity. There's no room for movement there.

I would, however, separate the issue of "under God" from the rest of the pledge. I'll second everything CRZ said about this country and about patriotism. I think we can have the pledge, and even have schoolchildren recite it, if we remove the words "under God." My rationale for this being that we're within our rights as a country to require the allegiance of our citizens, but not to require that they believe in any god, God, or form of spiritualism whatsoever.

As a final note, I don't think that anyone who is in favor of the words "under God" has all that much reason for alarm. You are not being forced to cease believing in God, or even to cease professing that belief. We can sing "God Bless America" during the 7th inning of a baseball game or other gathering. We're still free to recite the pledge, including references to God, if we so choose. I think it's encouraging, for both sides, that the government should remove itself from the business of sanctioning (or not sanctioning) our most personal moral decisions.
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#54 Posted on 29.6.02 1512.36
Reposted on: 29.6.09 1514.28


    Sometimes patriotism can just be patriotism. Not everything is done with ulterior motives. The "society it's supposed to serve" is still pretty much the best fucking society on earth and if your opinion of the pledge is lessened because people happened to be a lot more visible about their love of this great country in the past nine plus months...



Sorry, CRZ, but statements like this scare the fucking hell out of me.

I do not know how many times history has to repeat itself, but blind nationalism is dangerous. Period.

The problem with the "pledge of alliegence" is that most people have no clue why they are saying it or what it really means. To be honest, I haven't any idea either - it was just something we had to say in school.

And the fact that most people (for arguments sake), are currently swept up in this wave of patriotism over the last nine months is not necessarily because they are patriotic, its because they are terrified - they woke up one Tuesday morning and saw two 110 story buildings collapse and thousands of people die. Naturally, people are going to try to support the very institution that will (supposedly) keep them safe.

And look at what's happened since then. You have had federal government run by two of the most tyrannical people continuing to play on those fears - with these continuing annoucements of "expect another attack in the next few months" and "we found a guy with a M80 attached to a can of garbage" - all of which is designed to keep people scared and in this "patriotic" frame of mind.

I'm digressing, but my point is, democracy and free discourse should not be defined by the middle, it should be defined by the extremes. These issues SHOULD be fluid, and should go back and forth. One court should rule one way, and other court should rule another. And the fight should go back and forth, with progress being made slowly over time.

That's freedom, and democracy in actuality - and in my opinion, what REAL patriotism is all about.




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#55 Posted on 29.6.02 1528.56
Reposted on: 29.6.09 1529.02
but fortunately, that guy realised instead that these other folks' hearts were in the right place and deep down they'd ALWAYS been glad to live in the greatest country on earth...

Obviously, we're all entitled to our own opinions here, and I certainly don't have to tell you that, but I don't think it's fair to present that statement as fact, which it seems you are. On that same note, it's also unfair of me to presume that everyone who plastered a flag somewhere was a phony, and I apologize for that. I'm sure there was some true patriotism at work there amongst some. I do think it's very very hard to say that EVERYONE was really doing this with an "I love America" sentiment in their hearts.

I know it's a shitty comparison, and that my reference is one of fiction, but did you ever see the episode of Seinfeld where Kramer participated in the AIDS walk, and the people in it tried to force him to wear an AIDS ribbon, despite his protests? That may seem ludicrous, but it makes my point- not everyone who supports a cause does so in such a blatant way, and I believe that in turn, not everyone who gives you that visual is necessarily doing so for a true purpose.

I want to offer a bit of background. I was sitting at home watching tv when the 9/11 attacks happened. Saw the immediate aftermath, all that. I thought about how terrible this all was, and how awful it was that so many people had died or were going to die as the result of this. While I was watching and looking online for more information, it was television that made me so jaded.

You see, some genius decided that footage filmed of a person jumping to their death from a tower window would be A GREAT FUCKING THING TO SHOW ON TELEVISION. And why? Just because one of the major networks' news coverage heads thought it would be cool? Can't be. He knew people would want to see it. Drives it home, because the FUCKING PLANE going THROUGH A BUILDING just wasn't enough. So not only did the terrorists want to watch us die, we did too! It made me so disgusted with our country and our media- how could we show such a thing with a clear conscience? While I (hope I) think that I understand the news and it's responsibility to relay and properly present world events, is this sort of thing necessary? I guess it's too bad that footage wasn't available of a plane engine literally tearing someone apart. I don't doubt that it'd be shown at length.

I sure didn't feel like being patriotic then. I didn't have any ill will towards America before then, but it came quick and fast soon after.

I admitted being wrong about assuming everyone was a phony in their patriotism, I was very wrong there. I also failed to point out that a lot of the blind patriotism going around was another thing I was pissed about.

There was a lot more "Let's kill those bastards!" sentiment going around than "Why did this happen?" While I'm assuming (and we all know what that does), I have to ask- do you think the majority of people bothered to ask why this happened, much less even care? Does it matter that there was a cause to all of this? Did people think anything about the US stationing troops on Islamic holy ground? (And wasn't God what this whole Pledge Of Allegiance issue was about in the first place?) Was it ever debated that this might have been the result of an oil deal gone wrong? Did these issues matter, or were we all too busy posting Osama jokes and parody web pages to notice what was really going on?

Admittedly, I may again be "all over the place" but what I'm trying to do is establish a backstory and present reasons to why exactly I feel the way I do.

To clarify my "apologizing to God" statement, what I was trying to get across is, when all of these things went down, I felt embarrassed hearing others in this country talk. I also knew that we'd fucked up somewhere, and now we were paying for it. I'm not proud of that, and seeing that I'm not, I'm certainly not ecstatic about bringing God's name into this. I don't think that God could be particularly proud of a whole lot going on around that time. Sure, there was some heroism at work, but it wouldn't have been necessary had other precautions been taken.

In absolute agreement with what Leroy said, I guess that's why the Pledge Of Allegiance is something that starts in elementary school. What better time to have people pledging allegiance than when they don't even know what they're pledging allegiance to, or why they're doing it?

EDIT: formatting

(edited by Ubermonkeys on 29.6.02 1633)
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#56 Posted on 29.6.02 1601.44
Reposted on: 29.6.09 1602.33


    but fortunately, that guy realised instead that these other folks' hearts were in the right place and deep down they'd ALWAYS been glad to live in the greatest country on earth...

    Obviously, we're all entitled to our own opinions here, and I certainly don't have to tell you that, but I don't think it's fair to present that statement as fact, which it seems you are.



No, it seems like I'm presenting what I believe (I'm "that guy" for those of you who didn't figure it out ;-) ) - and I stand by that belief. I find the idea that a majority of Americans are merely play-acting their patriotism to be insanely unbelievable - but I admit that may just be me.



    I want to offer a bit of background. I was sitting at home watching tv...it was television that made me so jaded.


Forgive me, but it sure seems like you'd have made it with a much better mood if you'd managed to just turn your television off...



    I didn't have any ill will towards America before then, but it came quick and fast soon after.


Because "the media" = "America?" Wow, forgive me AGAIN but that's quite a leap.

See, another reason I love America is that we have a free press that makes its own choices about what it presents, and ALSO, I have the individual freedom to change the channel! Everybody's happy! (Except you.)
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#57 Posted on 29.6.02 1704.11
Reposted on: 29.6.09 1707.32
Staple me in the forehead, because I am officially "those of you". For whatever warped reason, I picked ThePatriot2001 to fill that spot. (Seriously.)

We can argue everything else forever, but yeah, I was stupid there.

I didn't build too much on the whole media and America point, mostly because I had so much else I wanted to say. While it may be quite a leap, I think that a network with such a worldwide presence like CNN (one of the stations that aired the "jumping to death" footage) DOES reflect back on us- as a society, and a country. And the stuff kept getting shown... ABC backed off showing it eventually, but they were the only ones to officially do so. This was sensationalism at it's worst, and it wouldn't have taken place if America as a country wasn't so hooked on it. There were mothers on tv talking about how their kids were pointing to the screen and calling the attack footage "their favorite movie".

And yes, we all have the individual freedom to turn the channel, but does that make what I saw before changing it any less terrible? I don't see how I'd be happy with a new image on my screen, it's not like I'm going to forget that. I'd argue that others might think that as well, but I'm apparently alone here. (This is where somebody would say "and there's a REASON for that") but... eh. I guess I'm just not the type of person to be pissed off by something and leave it for an alternative choice without bitching about what pissed me off in the first place. That's just me.


Of course, Leroy made a much better case than the one I can seem to present, so for now I'll just stand over by him, sporting a sign that says "He's right" with an arrow under it.
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#58 Posted on 30.6.02 1716.56
Reposted on: 30.6.09 1726.27

    Originally posted by CRZ

      Originally posted by rikidozan
      i know i'm going to watch what my local and national leaders say about this subject and those for the ban will get my vote...
    So you're not voting, then? :)


I didn't vote for Bush before, [i think i voted for Nader, but i'm a registered Whig, and MD is a democratic state, so Gore would have taken the state regardless] and i'm not going to in the future.

He thinks that keeping "Under God" is nessary, and that because of this he is going to appoint more "Common Sense" judges.

That's political double-talk for "That was a giant cock-up by that judge.I beleave in God, so this country must too."

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