So, the Supremes will hear the Pledge of Allegiance case on March 24.
Time to roll out what I posted back then, when the shit hit the fan.
I Pledge Allegiance to Reason
In a callback to the prayer-in-school debates of years past, political opponents have swiftly framed their positions on the recent pledge-of-allegiance decision by the 9th circuit court.
And just as predictably, the news media is dowsing the whole affair with as much lighter fluid as it can muster. After all, controversy equals ratings. Ratings equal ad revenue.
When will we stop allowing ourselves to be so manipulated?
No sooner had the ink dried on the majority opinion than the news media began to characterize the decision of the court as having found the Pledge of Allegiance “unconstitutional.” In fact they did no such thing. Nor has any court ever found it “unconstitutional” for someone to pray in school. Moreover, the ruling applies only to the 9th circuit, not the country at large as very clearly portrayed by the media.
What the court did find unconstitutional (rightly, in my view) is that no one should be compelled to recite the pledge in a government institution, nor should they be compelled to pray. Neither should the Pledge or prayer be an officially sanctioned event in a government institution in which one is compelled to participate either actively or passively. So, both prayer and the Pledge have been affirmed to be what they really are and should be: personal affirmations and rituals that are up to each individual to practice or not practice on his own.
But that’s no fun, is it? It creates a much higher level of political attention and controversy to pretend as though the court has outlawed reciting the pledge, or outlawed prayer.
Now, all that aside, one might take a moment to consider what it means to “pledge allegiance” to a republic. As for me, I’m far less offended by the generic term “under God” than I am by the whole notion of pledging allegiance to the Leviathan. My allegiance is to reason, reality, good judgment, good will, honesty, and the endless pursuit of long-term happiness.
al·le·giance Pronunciation Key (-ljns)
Loyalty or the obligation of loyalty, as to a nation, sovereign, or cause. See Synonyms at fidelity.
The obligations of a vassal to a lord.
Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
\Al*le”giance\, n. [OE. alegeaunce; pref. a- + OF. lige, liege. The meaning was influenced by L. ligare to bind, and even by lex, legis, law. See Liege, Ligeance.] 1. The tie or obligation, implied or expressed, which a subject owes to his sovereign or government; the duty of fidelity to one’s king, government, or state.
2. Devotion; loyalty; as, allegiance to science.
Syn: Loyalty; fealty.
Usage: Allegiance, Loyalty. These words agree in expressing the general idea of fidelity and attachment to the “powers that be.” Allegiance is an obligation to a ruling power. Loyalty is a feeling or sentiment towards such power. Allegiance may exist under any form of government, and, in a republic, we generally speak of allegiance to the government, to the state, etc. In well conducted monarchies, loyalty is a warm-hearted feeling of fidelity and obedience to the sovereign. It is personal in its nature; and hence we speak of the loyalty of a wife to her husband, not of her allegiance. In cases where we personify, loyalty is more commonly the word used; as, loyalty to the constitution; loyalty to the cause of virtue; loyalty to truth and religion, etc.
Source: Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc.