A new reason to get rid of the Pledge

By JAKE MOKRIS
Teen Takeover staff
The controversy over the words “under God

About Scott Fisher

I'm opinion page editor and blogging coordinator for the York Daily Record/Sunday News and Yorkblog.com. Phone: 717-771-2049. Email: sfisher@ydr.com. Twitter: twitter.com/YDReditpage.
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16 Responses to A new reason to get rid of the Pledge

  1. Kathy says:

    I was in the military for nine years – four at the U.S. Naval Academy and five in the Marine Corps. We never said the pledge of allegiance. The pledge seems to be a school-age activity.
    Interesting to note that, during the late 1800s and early 1900s, socialists thinkers planned to use public schools as a major instrument to transform society. The question is, “Has it worked or is it working?” People today do look to the government to solve all of societies problems.

  2. Old Lady Teacher says:

    I appreciated the history of the pledge and also the intelligence of the person who wrote the article; however, we live in a democracy where all voices are heard even minority voices; and, majority rules. That having been said, our Flag represents our country The United States of America. It is a visible symbol of our democracy and all it stands for. There are men and women who have died for this country holding and seeing this flag as a symblol of this democracy. They might not have agreed with those who sent them off, but they agreed with the ideal. It is important that we as a nation hold something in esteem and that we have something that symbolizes our ideals. AS regards the idea that public schools should be a forum for these ideas–where else–they are schools after all. National pride is important. As ideas evolve so do symbols; so, why not teach the history and the current meaning?

  3. Darwin Doll says:

    I was born and raised in York, PA and as a native
    I served my country in Korea. I grew up during
    the Second World War and said the pledge of
    allegiance every day in school. It would do well
    for every youth to spend a stint in the armed forces of our country. The problem today is that
    many have never been out of this country to realize how good we have it and there are those
    who do not realize that we are at war with the
    most treacherous enemy we have ever faced. To
    say the pledge of allegiance with the word under
    God didn’t harm me or any of my friends. We
    still have our freedom, but only as long as we
    have the will to protect it. I don’t care what
    Michael Newdow thinks, he shouldn’t be making
    decisions that affect me and my family and many
    other Americans who have lived with dignity and
    respect saying the pledge of allegiance and the
    words “under God”. It instilled the patriotism
    that we so lack today. I resent being told that we were wrong all these years. I was educated
    in the York City and York County school districts
    and I am proud of it. This was before the liberal teachings became so prevelant. I respect
    my country and I have the right to express my views openly, a right that I wish to protect.
    Remember that word “respect”. That is what is
    so lacking in today’s society.

  4. Just an educator says:

    Interesting thoughts from the young man. You need to recognize, however, the need, at that point in the country’s history, to develop some cohesion and group identity.
    Schools were also brought into existence to try and create some commonality between the masses that were streaming in from many other countries. By creating a body of “common knowledge”, it was thought that there would be a greater chance of reducing conflict between these groups.
    Thus, the creation of a group identity, with the same language, same history, same materials being delivered. Assimilation into an American culture was a major goal; rather than having stand alone cultures within this country and risking fragmentation that could be economically and politically disadventageous to our country. The pledge, as you might guess, also moved toward that greater goal of creating commonalities.
    Please note I did not address the quality of the education or the completeness or the correctness of the information being transmitted (whose history, knowledge and perspective are a whole additional discussion!)

  5. Matt Dunphy says:

    Paying lip service to a flag does little to instill national pride, I think. It’s been a few years since I’ve last had to recite the pledge, and throughout middle and high school, the general feeling was that it was kind of a silly formality.
    When you’re in a situation where the flag -means- something – such as serving in the military or government – that will definitely attach heavier weight to the flag. For a long time after September 2001, you couldn’t open your eyes and not see a flag. It was really something. I had one of those flags from the Daily Record taped to the inside of my rear windshield.
    But then that solidarity and trust was abused by those leading this country, going ideals the things this country was founded on. Read over the Declaration of Independance and the US Constitution sometime, if you haven’t recently.
    Maybe we should be memorizing those. Not some hokey pledge of allegience.

  6. Jonathan Marsh says:

    I would like to say first of all that I understand where Mr. Mokris is coming from. I am not saying that I am smarter or wiser, but I feel strongly about our flag and pledge.
    I agree with Mr. Mokris that by saying the pledge we are pledging some type of loyalty to our government. However what will the Immigrants say when they are being naturalized. “I like the U.S.”? The point being that if you get rid of our pledge of allegiance, which Mr. Mokris said, is simply a “pledge of allegiance” you get rid of the saying that you will abide by the laws set by the government. Not everyone does as seen by the US’s crime rate but the majority of Americans do.
    I disagree about saying the pledge will instill a brainwashed state. All one has to do is to look at our government and see the Liberals, Moderates, and Conservatives hacking each other to bits with words and quotes to see that the pledge has no brainwashing effect.
    I agree that we do not live in a totalitarian state. We live in a Democratic Republic, and as such we are governed, ultimately by the people, and not by some Texan sitting in big chair in and oval room on capital hill. We are not governed by the men who sit in congress and we are not governed by the Judges who sit on the Supreme Court. Look at it. Who put those people into office? Last time I saws an election, I saw PEOPLE lined up for blocks to vote. It is the people who willingly give the power to that Texan and the people in Congress to make choices that we direct them to make. If you are unsure of that start reading the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution.
    I disagree that the pledge of allegiance set a bad ideology that brings a worse change. I would like to know how say that you pledge your allegiance to a country that stands for “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” can be a bad Ideology? When I checked the history books it was for that very reason that so many immigrants died, literally and financially, to get over here present and past. So that they could pursue that happiness, that dream. It is that same reason why more people want into this country then want out.
    I would like to bring up the U.S.S.R. A totalitarian state. I don’t remember people supporting that type of government in the late 80′s right before it collapsed. True communists’ states still exist. Cuba being proof, but I bet if you asked those people if they can pursue happiness in cuba the same way as in the US they would say no. Again if given half a chance almost all those people would give an arm and a leg to be here. Elian Gonzalez is proof of that.
    I disagree that by getting rid of the pledge will end the threat of totalitarian state. It is an improbably situation. Even after World War II, when a Military State was imposed on the U.S. That power was given up by Truman at the end of the War because the threat was over. Also, the Government of the U.S. is filled with checks and balances that make it impossible to form a totalitarian state.
    I suggest that Mr. Mokris takes another look at the U.S. Government and how it works. I also suggest that Americans still say the pledge in school. True it is a formality, but it is a constant reminder of what America stands for. It doesn’t brainwash or change anyone’s opinion. What it stands for is the ideals that drive America. Ideals that men died for, so that men like Mr. Mokris could say his peace about the Pledge.
    I don’t agree with you, Mr. Mokris, but I’ll defend your right to say what you will, just as long as when you take those ideals away you won’t complain about the lack of nationalism and patriotism in the youth of tomorrow.

  7. Byron Borger says:

    One of the better pieces written in the Teen Takeover section. Thanks for a very provocative essay. And, for what it is worth, I think it was largely right. One person wrote (above) that we need things to bring us together; certainly civic education is important, very important. But a 20-second loyalty oath recited rotely may not be the most fruitful way to nurtured deeply American values or cohesive community…

  8. Stephen Douglas says:

    What a super ideal, & with young men like this, our country will alway’s be great !!!

  9. Jeff Leach says:

    Interesting topic, but I think we should remember it is a pledge to the flag of the United States, not to the government of the United States. But we all are certainly entitled to our interpretation. Mine, for what it is worth, is it’s a pledge to the Stars and Stripes, the symbol of the United States break from oppressive England and the formation of the “New World”. Our own world with our own rules, democratically decided, regardless of your politics, that is what the Flag and the Pledge represent. I think that is what most people think also, but I do think there could be a strong argument that our children are being indoctrinated with our schoolteacher’s politics. My children see it themselves in school, when they have to change their interpretation of political cartoons in history class so the can get a passing grade. Or being told in my son’s fifth grade class while trying to explain the Electoral College, that if you voted for George Bush in the last election, that your vote didn’t count, only the Democrat votes counted. Their young minds are being trained, but as a responsible parent, we make sure our kids hear both sides of issues and let them make their own choices. I say to any teacher that may read this, resist the urge to project your feeling on issues, and present them and let the kids decide, grade school kids should never know what political leanings their instructors have. That I believe is the real threat in our schools, the Pledge becomes a target because of the one word “God

  10. Katie says:

    Great article, Jake. It’s in much better taste than the Teen Takeover article on so-callled “just causes” like sodomy and abortion.
    Did you know Bellamy was a freemason and ex-Baptist minister?
    Did you know the original action done while saying the pledge was having one’s arm extended toward the flag, Nazi-style?
    Just wondering – Where did you get your info? Thanks! ~*~ Katie ~*~

  11. Jake says:

    Thanks for the comment, Katie. I just finished studying the late 19th century era, and I got my information from the resources I have been using for my American history class. I got my information on Francis Bellamy from the internet, but most of the information came from volume 4 of “A Basic History of the United States” by Clarence Carson. The fourth volume is called “The Growth of America.” The book series is very informative, often concentrating on the trends, movements, and ideologies that were behind the historical events.
    I did not know that a Nazi-style salute was part of the original ceremony of saying the pledge. I knew that Francis Bellamy was an ex-Baptist minister, but I did not know he was a freemason. His brother, Edward Bellamy, was one of the utopian novelists of that period. Edward Bellamy wrote the then-popular novel “Looking Backward,” about a state where socialist programs had created a perfect society.

  12. 1. Dr. Rex Curry showed that the USA’s early Pledge of Allegiance (to the flag) used a straight-arm salute and it was the origin of the salute of the monstrous National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazis). Dr. Curry helped to establish that it was not an ancient Roman salute, and that the “ancient Roman salute” is a myth. http://rexcurry.net/pledgesalute.html The myth is still repeated in modern efforts to cover-up Dr. Curry’s discoveries about the Pledge’s poisonous pedigree.
    2. The original Pledge began with a military salute that then stretched out toward the flag. Historic photographs are at http://rexcurry.net/pledge2.html and at http://rexcurry.net/pledge_military.html In actual use, the second part of the gesture was performed with a straight arm and palm down by children casually performing the forced ritual chanting. Professor Curry showed that, due to the way that both gestures were used sequentially in the pledge, the military salute led to the Nazi salute. The Nazi salute is an extended military salute. http://rexcurry.net/book1a1contents-pledge.html
    3. Francis Bellamy (author of the “Pledge of Allegiance”) and Edward Bellamy (author of the novel “Looking Backward”) and Charles Bellamy (author of “A Moment of Madness”) were socialists. Edward and Charles were brothers, and Francis was their cousin. Francis and Edward were both self-proclaimed National Socialists and they supported the “Nationalism” movement in the USA, the “Nationalist” magazine, the “Nationalist Educational Association,” and their dogma of “military socialism,” and Edward inspired the “Nationalist Party” (in the USA) and their dogma influenced socialists worldwide (including Germany) via “Nationalist Clubs.

  13. Chris mankey says:

    To
    say the pledge of allegiance with the word under
    God didn’t harm me or any of my friends. We
    still have our freedom, but only as long as we
    have the will to protect it. I don’t care what
    Michael Newdow thinks
    And I don’t care what you think! I don’t believe in you stupid god and don’t what to pledge allegiance to your invisible friend! Perhaps if we keep god in the pledge we should revert to giving the original pseudo-nazi salute to it as well. Heil Jesus!

  14. Logic316 says:

    “To say the pledge of allegiance with the word under God didn’t harm me or any of my friends.”
    I’ve got news for you, you out-of-touch old fart. We’re not living in the 1950′s anymore. Not everybody believes in your Judeo-Christian god, especially these days when many Americans now hold completely different faiths (or none at all). For instance, why should the children of Buddhists, Hindus, and atheists be pressured into chanting to the flag and bowing to the authority of a god they don’t follow? The principle of Separation between Church and State forbids ANY discrimination on the basis of religion in public policies, and that includes anything public school teachers can require students to do!

  15. Logic316 says:

    “To say the pledge of allegiance with the word under God didn’t harm me or any of my friends.”
    I’ve got news for you, you out-of-touch old fart. We’re not living in the 1950′s anymore. Not everybody believes in your Judeo-Christian god, especially these days when many Americans now hold completely different faiths (or none at all). For instance, why should the children of Buddhists, Hindus, and atheists be pressured into chanting to the flag and bowing to the authority of a god they don’t follow? The principle of Separation between Church and State forbids ANY discrimination on the basis of religion in public policies, and that includes anything public school teachers can require students to do!

  16. Wayne Carrillo says:

    I would have to say that most of the attacks I have seen and read about on the Pledge of Allegiance are a product of too much time on someone’s hands. However, I do feel that a better pledge is needed. I do not feel that citzenship inspires loyalty or even indicates it. It is relatively easy to gain citizenship to countries or states and does nothing to increase the loyalty towards that country. However, citizens should not say a pledge to a flag or government but to the overriding document that our founding fathers instituted that gave birth to this great country of ours. If you would read the following article you would see what I was referring to:
    http://www.kennethballard.com/?p=237
    I would like to hear responses if you have any

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