I Pledge Allegiance…

©Tracy J. Thomas, 2010.

“Flood Facebook with this!!! I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic, for which it stands; one Nation under GOD indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. REPOST IF YOU THINK GOD, OUR COUNTRY, AND OUR FLAG DESERVE RESPECT!! Let’s see how many Americans will repost.”

There is nothing that bothers me more than to read the above post as it makes the rounds on Facebook.  Not because I am anti-American or unpatriotic.  On the contrary, it is because I am a born and bred American who believes in the tenets of our Constitution and the principles our country was founded upon.  But there seems to be an underlying assumption the only patriotic people in our country are the one’s who believe in God and who blindly recite the more modern, revised version of the Pledge of Allegiance.  It appears these individuals refuse to understand our country, as well as the troops who defend it, are made up of not only those who are Christian but of Muslim, Sikh, Jew, Buddhist, and yes, even Atheist, Deist, Humanist, Agnostic and a multitude of other beliefs and non-beliefs alike.  You do not have to be a Christian to be a flag waving American nor to join the ranks of our military.  There is absolutely nothing in our Constitution nor even in our traditions that say it has to be so.  We have never been immersed in a Holy War, yet there are many fundamentalists in our country today who want us to believe we are.

Those same individuals would argue our Founding Fathers created our nation based solely on Christian principles and we must “return to God” again as our forefathers originally intended for us to do.  This is where a quick history lesson is needed.  The majority of our Founding Fathers were Deist, that means they did not believe the Bible was true.  In fact they were a mixture of Deist, Unitarian, Pluralist, Protestant and Catholic.  They understood the importance of protecting an individuals right to worship (or not) through freedom of choice.

The Pledge of Allegiance was composed in its original form by Francis Bellamy in 1892.  The original Pledge did not include the words “Under God”.  Repeat: there was no reference to God whatsoever in the original Pledge.  In fact, it did not include the word “God” until the year 1954, four years before I was born.  The original intent of the Pledge was to show one’s loyalty to the national flag and to the republic of the United States of America.  Period.  The same America that was filled full with immigrants who traveled from other countries with a variety of languages, customs and belief systems under their belts to join this melting pot of opportunity.  Please do your genealogy.  Unless we are directly descended from the bloodline of one of the many Native American tribes who roamed this continent prior to our own conception, then every last one of us are immigrants by proxy.  The majority of us in fact, are descended from individuals who were not well versed in the English language and were not all of the Christian religion yet were still allowed to enter our country and prosper regardless of this reality.

If one truly stands behind the words of our Pledge of Allegiance, then the term “liberty and justice for all” should cause one to take pause.  If you stop and think about it for a second, that statement means everybody.  Not just Christians, not just white Anglo-Saxon Americans, not just those who have a strong command of the English language, and not just heterosexuals.  That statement was meant to be all-inclusive for Christians, Buddhists, Atheists, Muslim, African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Pacific Islanders, etc. and oh my, even for homosexuals.  The full rainbow of cultures, choices, individuals and belief systems who freely make up this wonderfully diverse country of ours.

On this I would agree: it is time for us to get back to the basics of our Founding Fathers.  But the basics based on historical reality; not on fundamental fantasy.  We are a great nation filled with diverse backgrounds, cultures and belief systems.  It is past time for us to bridge the divide and to live and let live as our Founding Fathers so rightly intended for us to do.  So, wave the flag and pray to the God of your choice all you want with the freedom that was given to you, however, please don’t assume for one moment those individuals who do not pray to your God or speak your language with ease are any less patriotic than you.

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About tracyth76

I am a professional photographer, obsessed iPhoneographer, freelance writer and website designer located in Northern, California. View all posts by tracyth76

7 responses to “I Pledge Allegiance…

  • Patty Smith

    Agree. Totally! Thanks for the illumination 🙂

  • Madge

    Great historical perspective. Will pass this on to friends. Unfortunately, this will be preaching to the choir as most would agree with you. We need to get this to all those who think the opposite.But of course they won’t listen.

    • tracyth76

      There is always hope Madge…Those individuals who operate on some level of intelligence can surely be influenced by fact, I know I have. However, those who are lost in emotion and lack rational or logical thought processes will never listen to an opposing viewpoint. But it is always worth a try.

  • Donald K Sanders

    You’re pretty smart. I like that. Love your photos too.

  • Norbie Kumagai

    Hello Ms. Thomas: Your comment, “If one truly stands behind the words of our Pledge of Allegiance, then the term “liberty and justice for all” should cause one to take pause.” caught my attention.

    When Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed SB1070, thereby allowing local police & sheriff deputies the legal authority to question individuals about their immigration status using “reasonable suspicion” as their basis, the statute failed to clearly define what that is.

    Fortunately, Attorney General Eric Holder challenged provisions of SB1070 in Court.

    Those individuals who support Governor Brewer & SB1070 proudly recite The Pledge of Allegiance any chance they get; yet they “gloss over” this particular phrase since they don’t actually think it applies to everyone, regardless of their immigration status, who presently reside in our country.

    Sincerely appreciate your column this morning!!! Thanks!!

  • amy ferris

    extra-ordinary.
    you make me proud.
    truly.
    deeply.
    love you so.

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