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I have just witnessed a horrible act: Two rabid wolves with red eyes, white spit foaming from their mouths, and blue balls hanging between their legs viciously attacked the voice of reason on the Fox News Channel. Without doubt, there are few topics out there that expose the ingrained intolerance of those that choose to think different, than religion. The current issue shining a light on this sad and hideous fact is the whole 'under god' debate happening right now. When President Eisenhaur put it to congress it was a defensive tactic, placed into the minds of most all American children in the public school system before they had even the slightest inkling of what they were declaring of themselves.



But this goes deeper than public schooling -- which normally wouldn't be saying much coming from me. Forcing kids (and right after they exit that magical stage i call toddlerhood at that) to declare their love and moralistic allegiance to a flag and a nation they couldn't possibly understand isn't that far removed from the concept of having the mentally inept fight all our wars. Or like forcing those who don't know what happens outside their immediate surroundings to buy into something you're not going to tell them about other than it's 'one nation, under god' and 'indivisible'. The motivation for such behavior is obvious: train them to love us before they know why they shouldn't.



So I say remove it! Destroy the pledge of allegiance completely. It was never meant to be a country's mindshaping tool, nor was god even a part of it until a communist-fearing president suggested it. It was written by a socialist for god/goddess' sake! How's that for irony?



But beyond this step, I believe children should be allowed the freedom from any and all political influence until they can recognise the job of a president, the way the world works, or at the very least tie their own shoes and remember their full addresses. When they can do any or all of these, maybe we should just give it to them straight. So then, submitted for your approval, I give you the new, non-filtered version of the American Pledge of Allegiance:

I pledge allegiance, to the old white men,
who run and rip my country apart.
One nation, under nothing in particular
except money, greed and jealousy...
-That we may conquer the whole planet
so my children may suffer long after I die
and that the continual degeneration of my species may go on forever.

At least this way we won't be lying to our children anymore. Of course, even this version will be altered one day too, hopefully.



Until the wolves have eaten all they can, their stomachs distended and droopy with the remains of what was once logic, freedom of thought and expression, and pure unadulterated hope, we must endure this type of nonsense. Until the pack's mind slows and defogs itself from the school of rampant libero-totalitarianism, this will go on. Religion, like all corporations, has no rightful place in this or any government, ever. Look where we are today and tell me differently. Now close your eyes.





Comments

The following comments are for "Undergod"
by phylum sinter

re: Under God
Heh, heh.. I loved your re-written pledge as well--very creative. In fact, I liked the whole piece. It was well written and well argued. I didn't quite grasp the opening part about the voice of "Fox News" or how that played into the rest of the story so if it's related you might want to tie that in a little better.

And for the most part I agree with your stance on the "Pledge." There's something unconstitutional to me about making kids pronounce their loyalty to a free country on a daily basis. Further, I think it weakens it. I remember when I was a wee one, and I didn't even listen to the damn thing.

Anyway... I thought it was an interesting piece.

Bye now,

Richard

( Posted by: Richard Dani [Member] On: June 29, 2002 )

comments
thanks for your comments guys. Ended up passing this on to a local zine editor... who never got his act together.

What would've made this article better?

I accept that the opening came off a bit more convoluted than i had hoped for [always sounds better in the planning stages than it does in the end for some reason].

( Posted by: phylum sinter [Member] On: October 14, 2002 )

crit/comm
In your second paragraph, your first comparison isn't exactly accurate because the children aren't fighting, they are inactive, being conditioned. And for the second comparison, the children aren't actively buying anything. "Preparing them to buy into something" would be more accurate. "us" = government?
You might want to play with the "indivisible"/"invisible" mispronounciation. there's probably some interesting stuff there.

In the third paragraphy, expand on historical context to solidify the argument.

The wolves work as a frame, but the metaphor needs to be toned down. It's not extremelly disorienting, but the reader would connect better with the image if it was grounded in reality.

I don't understand what the last sentence is doing.

that's it.

( Posted by: phxom [Member] On: October 14, 2002 )

not personal, but
ok. This is an opinion piece, so i will play devils advocate to it (or, perhaps, God's advocate).
The current geo-political atmosphere, especially in Europe, is that nationalism is vulgar. I would argue that nationalism CAN be a tool for evil, but only when the peoples direction are evil. Nationalism in its pure form is an act of love.
To understand the pledge, we have to understand our roots. Though the point is well taken that children often don't know what it is they are pledging to, i believe the solution of "baby out with bathwater" is misguided. Ideals must be installed with the pledge, so that the children know what this country is founded and fought for. Unfortunately, the ideals taught today seem to be doubt, irreverance, and reverse racism. At the risk of personal attack, the "non-filtered" pledge is an example of wrongfull education. "Old White Men", reverse racism. "One nation, under nothing in particular" doubt. "That we may conquer the whole planet" irreverance. I will agrgue each in order.
1. If all "Old white men" died tommorrow, most likely we would be left with an unsupported welfare state. Because only through blaming "old white men" can people who can't work to be successfull become successfull.
2. When we believe our nation is founded on nothing, and represents nothing, we become the lowest denominator, hense the folowup reference on greed and wealth. When we believe that we were put on this earth to promote liberty and love one another, we become (as we are now) the most altruistic country ever to grace the earth.
3. If by conquer the whole planet you mean economically, then invest foriegn companies. There are several wonderful innovative ones out there. If by conquer you mean the oppression of people, I know in Iraq there are people hoping to Allah taht we come and give them some good old american oppression, liberty style.
Finally, we are not forced to recite the pledge, but according to a california court we should be forced into NOT saying it. Our values are really screwed.

( Posted by: malthis [Member] On: October 14, 2002 )

Pledge
Phylum Sinter,

Interesting piece, have to say I agree with much of it. Liked it alot.

Later,
Dras

( Posted by: Drastine [Member] On: October 14, 2002 )

nuke me up
I dig it, you know it. Id like to see this scrawled on a bathroom door in permanent lipstick marker. More lullaby than death threat to congress though, id read it to my kid if i were raising terrorists. Nationalism has no place in any mindset that doesnt want to buy shit to survive...otherwise what brand/god can we all come home to? Ikia? yes please. I dont see how nationalism could ever be an act of love. yay weve conquered the world and we love it sounds too insane for my taste...and thats bitter enough.

( Posted by: Criom [Member] On: October 15, 2002 )

response
malthis: It seems to me that the tone you took after reading this piece may be a bit misguided. I didn't mean it to be taken nearly as seriously as you seem to be taking it.

It's personal politics to say that "Nationalism in it's pure form is an act of love". My opinion is that while it may be a force that brings nations together, it also draws a line between people, placing them in dintinct catagories for the sake of a whole.

At the risk of sounding outrageously liberal, i say that the time for nationalism as a whole has passed, and that humanity must embrace itself without boundary.

It would be great for me to be able to be proud of my nation [any nation, really] but i've seen and read too much to be patriotic anymore. Now i simply hope that we can resolve our problems without dropping anything nuclear.

I do respect your opinions though, and would like to hear more about your stance on california's court decision.

agree to disagree,
phylum sinter

( Posted by: phylum sinter [Member] On: October 15, 2002 )

Nationalism
Hmm, interesting interpretations on what Nationalism is in this post. Here's two from the dictionary
1: love of country and willingness to sacrifice for it
2: Devotion to the interests or culture of one's nation.
I think that explains my statement of Nationalism being an act of Love, I got it from the definition. In the dictionary were no references to conquest, except "independence in a country under foreign domination".
Therefore to think that Nationalism is a conquering mentality is an incorrect reading of the term. It also illustrates the current generational thought, that any form of Nationalism is vulgar and outdated. I disagree, because I don’t live in China, Iran, Mexico, France, or any other country but here. Without boundaries, let’s see…China has most people so democratically they set policy…hmmm, nope, I don’t like the idea of the world community where the majority of a culture that has nothing to do with mine decides my fate. Who says that the whole world knows better than a part what is best for them? No, I like my Constitutional Republic with its boundaries and values juuust fine. As the song goes, This is My Country, land that I love. Besides, you think one little dictator is bad, wait until a world government gets duped into one. No America to bail everyone out then.

Phylum, thanks for your considerate response. My thoughts on the california ruling, which was stayed and will be overturned anyway:
An atheist father decided that his CHRISTIAN daughter shouldn't be exposed to a pledge with "under God" in it. Yes, she was a Christian girl quoted as saying "I looked forward to reciting the pledge every day." So even though the girl wanted to recite the pledge it was barred from her. The reasoning was not that she was forced (none are forced) but that a government institution should not have referenced God.

Let's just pause a moment and think about this. Is it freedom “of” or “from” religion that the first amendment established?
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"
With this in mind, is "under God" respecting a religion? In today's pluralistic world, can we say that the term "God" means one particular faith? Perhaps it should be changed to a new, imaginary word, like QUIGNO.
"QUIGNO: Any number of deities, or lack of deities, that represent a person's belief system, whether or not they are spiritual beliefs, materialistic, or based on horse$#!+."
So now it could read "One nation, under QUIGNO". That would diffuse the issue; we would stand for nothing in particular. Ok, ok, I guess you just want the spiritual thing taken out. But wait, is spiritual a religion? I don’t think so, but according to recent courts it has been. I mean they banned a *^@&ing moment of silence in the schools! A moment of silence, I mean $#!+, really. So secularism is being pressed upon us, and I know that probably makes you happy, but to me it's not only unconstitutional, it's dangerous. What kind of elitist society are we creating where belief in anything spiritual is shunned, banned from the nobler society who is beyond such vulgarities?
And what are we referencing when spirituality is taken out? Have we taken so-called religion out of the equation, or is secular humanism another form of religion? If government does not allow for a God, aren't we endorsing a Godless society, and is that not a form of the "moral" minority oppressing freedom of expression?

Why IS “In God we trust” on our currency? Why did Thomas Jefferson, someone who often ridiculed religion, draft a declaration that said:
“…equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them…”
and “…endowed by their Creator..” and “…appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions…”? He didn’t have to mention God at all, but he did. We don’t have to mention God in our schools, but we do. You said “Religion, like all corporations, has no rightful place in this or any government, ever.” I agree. I believe we did once come to terms with a spirit of God without endorsing a particular practice. Is that too hard to do now, or is it just unwanted?

( Posted by: malthis [Member] On: October 15, 2002 )

piracy
just commenting on:
No, I like my Constitutional Republic with its boundaries and values juuust fine. As the song goes, This is My Country, land that I love. Besides, you think one little dictator is bad, wait until a world government gets duped into one. No America to bail everyone out then.
...
in terms of loving nationalism, without dictators, in terms of the US...this country was formed by crunching the previous inhabitants into casinos and scapegoating the entire theft on the english...only to basically recreate their crap society with a new flag and less culture. america is stolen, god is irrelevant at this point, and love for this country is in tune with oblivious acceptance of mind control...

two cents have been deposited.
blang.

( Posted by: Criom [Member] On: October 16, 2002 )

nationalism, part 2
The 'original fire' that spurred this piece was brought about by researching the history of the pledge itself. After looking around [mostly online], I realized these controversial words were not in the original pledge as written by Christian Socialist Francis Bellamy. After numerous additions and rewrites by others besides the original author -- whose protests went on unheard by those that held power until his death in 1931 -- the words 'under god' were inserted by Eisenhower's congress in 1954 under pressure from the Knights of Columbus (NOT anyone near Thomas Jefferson). The pledge in it's current form, at least in this American's mind, is the bastardization of one man's personal hope for unity. The use of it especially after realizing these things becomes an endorsement for the destruction of others ideas for the sake of national unity. This is why I suggested a complete rewrite, not because the phrase itself is abhorrent or vulgar. The simple fact that it's been changed against the author's word taints it beyond reconciliation.

Regarding the use of the term "nationalism", it had always been known to be another form of elitism in my experience. From the 2002 American Collegiate Edition, taken verbatim:

Main Entry: na·tion·al·ism
Pronunciation: 'nash-n&-"li-z&m, 'na-sh&-n&l-"i-z&m
Function: noun
Date: 1844
: loyalty and devotion to a nation; especially : a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups.

Am I against the above? Yes. The world doesn't need to be more like us in many ways for many reasons. A homogenized planet is not one that i'd like to see. America doesn't need to be solicited as the 'best of the best' either. Do these opinions make me a bad person, or just one that wishes for change that benefits all... without taking into account which side of an invisible line you stand on?

Thank you all for submitting your thoughts without resorting to blatant idiocy. It's one of the reasons I keep coming back.

consensus reality for the common man,
c.a. todd

( Posted by: phylum sinter [Member] On: October 16, 2002 )





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