Just to follow up on yesterday’s post, I’ve had some objections along the lines of the idea that theism is wrong and therefore we should not express (or seem to express) our support of it, even to make a point. But isn’t that what sarcasm is? Expressing an idea you do not support, in order to make a point?
Here’s the thing: one of the problems with the current pledge of allegiance is that it marginalizes those who are non-believers. The “just sit down and shut up” strategy doesn’t really work because it only reinforces this marginalization, not to mention reinforcing the stereotype of unbelievers as social outsiders and non-participants. The stand-and-be-silent approach is just as bad, though less immediately visible—no one is watching to see who does and does not move their lips, for the most part. At that point, it’s not even a protest. It’s just a silent abdication of our civil rights.
The best response is one that immediately draws attention to the problem itself. A pledge of allegiance to one nation under gods, even sarcastically, is going to create a social paradox. On the one hand, you can’t officially exclude other gods and still pretend to be abiding by the First Amendment. On the other hand, Christian nationalists won’t be able to abide a pledge that describes America as one nation under gods, and they’re the primary force behind the pledge in the first place.
This strategy is very similar to the strategy of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I’m sorry to have to say this, but it has come to my attention that there are people who profess belief in the FSM even though they don’t really believe in it. They’re just saying that to make a point about the evidence for the Christian God. And no offense to any True Believers out there who may have been genuinely touched by His noodly appendage.
So Jesus, Allah, Flying Spaghetti Monster, etc—we really are one nation under gods. And if saying so helps persuade the Christian nationalists to take the pledge and shove it, well, so much the better for America.