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Standing or not for the Pledge of Allegiance?

Discussion in 'Chit Chat' started by AlexanderDragon, Sep 29, 2016.

  1. iiimee

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    Legally nobody can force you to stand for the pledge though in the US- just putting it out there. Still, you're almost guaranteed to get hate from the teacher and some students if you don't. :/ I started not standing in 7th grade, and I was treated horribly- I know I would have been flat-out suspended if I didn't stand in elementary, despite the laws, which was why I never did... I should have though. I encourage everyone in schools who thinks this is unjust to start sitting down. Already, so many people do this in protest, but until there are at least five kids in almost every classroom not standing, idk if there will be enough to draw attention to this... I think forcing someone to recite a pledge is taking away someone's freedom to express themselves however they please. Many people I know who plan to GO into the military don't stand, which I think is great- they love their country, but because they love their country they try to advocate for the people who they feel are currently oppressed. Even when I disagree with them about certain groups even being "oppressed", I admire how hard they work to improve their country... So yeah, I am REALLY passionate about NOT standing. XD
     
  2. Reciprocal

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    We don't really have a Pledge of Allegiance in the UK. I'm very patriotic and I always stand up for our national anthem, God Save the Queen, but I would respect the wishes of anyone who didn't want to, for whatever reason. That's the nearest comparison I can think of. I don't think that forcing people to recite things necessarily creates patriots: young people should be able to grow and find their own way of expressing pride in their nationality.
     
  3. Argentwing

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    As a flag-waving American, I've grown not to like the pledge. Our national anthem is one thing. It says "Here's who we are and how we got here" in a way that glorifies the country. The PoA, on the other hand, is said usually en masse as a sort of mandatory assertion. I was born here, but came to love the USA by learning about its philosophy. If somebody's making me proclaim my loyalty, is it the real thing? In a way it's indicative of our worse problems: we love to wax poetic about freedom, but the reality is we have less than is advertised. :/
     
    #43 Argentwing, Sep 30, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
  4. ABeautifulMind

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    I know another country that mandated patriotism from little kids in the 30s and 40s.. well, not all the way through the 40s :wink:
     
  5. Barbatus

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    Ditto. I also object to school children being taken to attend royal events.

    Regarding the Pledge of Allegiance I really don't know where I stand because it could be interpreted as expressing an ideal to strive for (although I'd object to the reference to God). For the sake of consistency I'd have to say that it shouldn't be done in schools. However, I think there are number of related issue here.

    First, the Pledge may not be just a means to instill patriotism in children. It may be aspirational but it would require schools to treat the contents of the Pledge as a goal that the USA is working towards and to explain what those expressions represent. The difficulty seems to be that it is not a costless choice - the social pressure to conform makes it seem like the imposition of a particular view. If those who don't want to stand aren't pressured to do then it would be less objectionable. in other words, if it opens up political discourse (as it has done here) then it is a good thing, if it shuts political discourse down then it's a bad thing.

    Second, patriotism and nationalism are related but I think they can be separated. For example, it can be considered patriotic to fight in your countries defence, protest against the government or to launch legal challenges against unequal laws. On the other hand, it might be nationalistic to say no one else should be allowed to migrate to the USA, that only certain ethinicities count as American or American interests should be decisive in international relations. I know these two terms can become blurred and patriotism is a species of nationalism (because it is based upon nationality - so in a broad sense). However, I think someone could be patriotic without being nationalist - one could forcefully argue that fighting to maintaining a nation's territorial integrity is patriotic without being a nationalist who argues that people from other nations are inferior. Regardless, I'm just making the point that what one person calls patriotism might be what another person calls nationalism while both people may mean different things.

    Third, I think Quantumreality's point is that loyalty to the country in which you live should be given because we all derives benefits from the respective countries in which we live. As some have said we don't have a choice about which country we do live in (and it is extremely costly in personal, social and financial terms to move country) but we do exist within a social system that provides for us in our lives. By no means is this perfect - we are members of a persecuted minority (or minorities), we know that a social system can and does impose rules and behaviours on us that harm us - but we cannot ignore the benefits of living in a liberal democracy (i.e. a State that places limits in law and in practice on the government and confer inherent rights on citizens). Nor can we ignore the material wealth that makes our lives so comfortable even while we seek to spread that wealth around the world (even while we contribute to the poverty of others by consuming goods made at their expense). I also think that seeking to change the countries we live in and that opposing particular governments or even seeking to revise (in the USA at least) the Constitution is not unpatriotic but very patriotic (for a country that promotes freedom).

    (This would be more problematic is the opposition took the form of violence because this would undermine peaceful means of resolution - although I can see the viewpoint of black Americans who feel that have to retaliate against the police but this opens up a dangerous precedent that violence is a solution to civil problems. Also does anyone know what happened to the militia that took over Federal land in Oregon?)

    Obviously, this thread has expanded far beyond the Pledge but as the Pledge represents a form of patriotic/nationalistic expression is doesn't surprise me. Equally obviously, I'm not an American so this is my perspective as an outsider to American politics and sense of identity. Feel free to criticise though, I won't be bothered. Hope you haven't all fallen asleep lol.

    P.S. I haven't mentioned war, beyond self-defence, because while I think it is a really important issue I would be in danger of writing a book. Maybe it would be worth having a separate post.
     
  6. Formality

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    How is it any different than forcing somebody? If america is to abide by it's constitution then nobody should be nor feel forced to recite a line that specifically says "One nation under God". Why is this even a thing? Stupid stuff like this shouldn't be recited in public places like schools etc. unless they are private schools, and even those places should be regulated to assure that the kids constitutional rights aren't being oppressed.

    The mere fact that there is a line in the pledge of allegiance that states "one nation under God" kinda goes to show that there is a climate of "one religion over others". That one religion, being christianity, has taken the lead and decided that other people who might not identify with that specific religion should be prejudiced.

    That really depends. Christianity has had a huge impact on the U.S. government. When have you ever seen a president that wasn't christian? That's right it never happened. Yet somehow you have religious freedom? How does that work out?

    I wouldn't say that the system is super flexible, but somehow societal pressure has pushed the government to overstep the boundaries of what are actually constituational rights.

    America isn't as free as you imagine it to be. However "patriotic" you may be, you are fooling yourself. You can love your country but you should never stop being critical.
     
  7. AaronV

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    I would not stand for the Pledge of Allegience, but then again I do not understand patriotism at all. Plus I've always lived in communities where solely the act of waving a flag would be read as dangerous patriotism. I would not go to that length, but saying the Pledge or having a flagpole in the frontyard just seems unnecessary to me.
     
  8. IamCasey

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    I am probably going to make some people like me even less but I live in the South. In big cities you can disrespect the flag, national anthem, pledge or military people. But in the small towns like mine, you better not! No death threats but you will be treated with disrespect yourself from then on. I know the pledge and we still say it in our school. The part of "Under God" anyone who do not wish to say it simply do not utter those words. Or even recite the pledge. If people do not believe in the things it says, then they need to vote and do things to make things change. When I graduate I hope to go to AF Academy in Colorado. I hope to defend those very same people. Everyone has the right not to stand, or say the pledge. But to me if they feel that way they have no right to complain if they do nothing to change it.

    Sorry for the rant!
     
  9. Argentwing

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    Regarding the reference to God, it was added in 1954 (around the McCarthy era) to stick it to the nonreligious communists. So not only is it against the spirit of the first amendment, but it's a ridiculously petty move for division.

    I'd go so far as to say including those two little words in the pledge is itself un-American.
     
    #49 Argentwing, Sep 30, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2016
  10. bookreader

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    Yeah I'm not gonna stand.
     
  11. SimplyJay

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    Its been...who knows how long since I last said the Pledge...I'm thinking probably when I was in school, which was a long time ago...

    But lets say for some reason it came up now: Yes I would absolutely stand and say the whole thing. And along that line I would also stand for the National Anthem.
     
  12. L0ser

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    People can do what they want. I stand sometimes, if it's more awkward to sit down, but I don't say the pledge. I disagree with parts of it, so I don't say it. Some people want to say it, feel it is respectful to do so, cool.

    I'm just for people being able to do what makes sense for them.
     
  13. Quantumreality

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    Formality,

    I respect your opinion, but I also respectfully disagree with parts of it and many of your basic assumptions.



    Standing in respect is totally voluntary. I never said anything about forcing anyone – and I would be 100% against forcing anyone to stand, let alone say the Pledge of Allegiance. And I know plenty of people that will respectfully stand, but choose not to say the line “One Nation under God.” That is their choice and perfectly fine.


    How is “one Nation under God” indicative of ‘one specific religion over others’? The Pledge doesn’t mention Christianity. You are assuming it. But why can’t that ‘God’ just as easily be referring to Judaism or Islam or a whole host of other religions?


    Of course Christianity has had a huge impact on the US Government. I already acknowledged that in the post you quoted. Our Founding Fathers were Christian. But they intentionally wrote a Freedom of Religion clause the Constitution that applies to all US Citizens. So where is the problem? What does the religion of any given political leader have to do with religious freedom in our Country? Americans are free to practice any religion - or NOT practice ANY religion - as they choose.

    The nature of the US system is that our laws can change, based on changes in the beliefs in American society. Many times that takes years and years. That is fine because that allows it to better reflect the deeper changes in American society rather than superficial trends. What specific boundaries has ‘the government’ overstepped that would upset you? Do you mean the US Supreme Court judicially mandating legalization of Gay Marriage? The Founding Fathers never even conceived of the notion of Gay Marriage, but here we are over 235 years later and the US system allows for an adjustment that makes America's laws even more inclusive for US Citizens on this issue than ever before.

    I don’t think you know what I really imagine about freedom in America. And I’m sorry that you can’t understand those of us who truly feel a sense of Patriotism for our Country. Patriotism is something that you feel in your heart. It can’t be taught and it certainly can’t be forced. I understand that someone growing up in Country with a tradition of Monarchy may not be able to understand the difference between Patriotism and Nationalism (as Barbatus tried to explain in his post).

    No one in this thread ever said people need to stop being critical – that is a core element of the American system and is absolutely necessary to ensure our rights and prevent tyranny. But in addition to criticism, American Citizens should take stock of what benefits they actually gain from the US system – especially when compared to systems and governments around the world – and also be thankful for the positive things that the US system enables in our lives.

    I’ve worn the American Flag on my shoulder - representing the Country I believe in, the people I love and the Constitution that I voluntarily chose defend with my life, if necessary - in war. I’ve escorted the bodies of fallen comrades on their final journey Home in their American Flag-draped coffins. I’ve folded the American Flag at the funerals of numerous veterans and presented the Tri-fold to the grieving family members. I hope you’ll at least be courteous enough to respect me if I assign more and deeper significance to the core symbols of our Country such as the Flag and the National Anthem than some Americans do – even if you can’t truly understand it.
     
    #53 Quantumreality, Oct 1, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2016
  14. Darthsam

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    I'm going to stand for the brave men and women sacrifice every thing to make sure we live in freedom
     
  15. RainbowGreen

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    This concept sounds just so foreign to me.

    It wasn't too long ago that I learned that the States did an allegiance pledge, but I was dumbfounded. Sorry, but this sounds like blind patriotism. To me, agreeing to that pledge make it sound like you also agree with what your country is doing (which I won't get into) Though, after thinking about it, I was not that surprised.

    The young kids doing this don't understand what's going on, so it means nothing.

    I'm happy that it's not done where I live because I honestly would not be able to stand it.
     
  16. 108

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    The pledge of allegiance has nothing to do with veterans.
     
  17. purplewolf6

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    Indifferent. I probably wouldn't stand anymore but it's a choice. I like how this is more of an issue to the "patriotic" type than people getting long sentences for petty crimes, poverty, homelessness, and fighting for universal healthcare. None of us chose the country we were born in but again it's a choice I respect either way.
     
  18. I AM MEOW

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    The founding fathers weren't Christian... They were deist...
     
    #58 I AM MEOW, Oct 1, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2016
  19. Quantumreality

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    LOL! Point taken, I AM MEOW. I stand corrected. Replace Christian in my post with Deist...:slight_smile: