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More inclusive

Did you know that the Pledge of Allegiance was changed? It happened in 1954.

For the moment, let’s ignore why it was done. Just look at the two versions.

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands; one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

And the post 1954 version.

"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."

Between these two versions, which includes more people? If we were to go to war, doesn’t the second version exclude the atheists? Then there’s the small matter of which god we’re talking about. I don’t think that the Flying Spaghetti Monster has the same cachet as the Christian god, but you know, I don’t want to fight for “one nation under God.”

That brings us to the national motto. “One Nation Under God” appears on our coinage, but isn’t E pluribus unum closer to our ideal?

I’m not demanding that the Christian god be repealed from American society. But I do think we should look closer at some assumptions.

Freedom and rights are not something bestowed by enlightened Christians. They exist because I am human. They are defined in the American Constitution, but they aren’t granted by that noble document. Freedom and rights exist beyond the Constitution. They can’t be rescinded because my Christian neighbor doesn’t like me dancing naked in the desert. Or because he doesn’t approve of my brand of bathroom cleaner. My rights are mine, they do not depend on the approval of a large group in society.

Rights are inclusive. They don’t depend on color, creed, or gender.

And why do I even have to say that?

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