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Sep 07 2013

I’m tired of Fox News Christians

What awful, horrible people. And they’ve got a whole network full of them! Here, they’re commenting on the Massachusetts case to have “under God” removed from the pledge of allegiance.

All the news is about the first woman speaking, but really what astounded me was that they took turns going around the panel, and every single one of them said something incredibly stupid. They’re 0 for 5.

Dana Perino: I’m tired of them…they don’t have to live here.

Neither do you, lady.

Eric Bolling: It was added, but it doesn’t matter. It’s on our currency…they can choose not to take it.

It was also added to our currency in the 1950s, guy, at the height of Cold War fervor that couple religiosity to patriotism. It’s a relic of the same phenomenon that fostered McCarthyism and the Hollywood blacklist. It’s not a history to be proud of.

Greg Gutfeld: they can…give thanks for giving us the freedom to be an atheist.

Oh, yeah, I should also get down on my knees and praise Jesus for allowing me to be an atheist now.

Kimberly Guilfoyle: Why should they be catered to? It is offensive that a few people…inflict their belief system. It is incredibly selfish, small-minded…

Guilfoyle was furiously indignant. She seems to think it is OK if a majority of small-minded people use their kids as pawns to force their Christian belief system on others, but if the minority resist, they must be ignored.

And finally, Bob Beckel. I despise Bob Beckel. When conservatives go looking for a nominally liberal person they can prop up as a figurehead who will reliably agree with them, they search for the dumbest person around, and there’s good ol’ Bob.

Bob Beckel: interesting that it’s in Massachusetts, where the Salem witch trials, remember that’s when there was an intolerance about not being religious.

I don’t think the women were hanged for being atheists, Bob. Retire, Bob. You’re too stupid to be humiliating yourself this way on TV.

55 comments

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  1. 1
    Acolyte of Sagan

    Haven’t got time to watch the video, but it seems to me that Bob Beckel is saying that the Salem ‘witches’ were the ‘non-religious’ ones; it was the religious zealots that wouldn’t tolerate them.
    Aside from that, from the transcript it would appear that critical thinking is not at a premium round them-thar parts.

  2. 2
    Antares42

    “They don’t have to live here” … “That’s a valid point” – THE FUCK IT IS!

    “anybody know whether it was added?” … “it was add- it was- it doesn’t matter, though.” RIGHT.

    Aaawwwlright, I give up. The rest was just incredibly painful to watch.

  3. 3
    David Marjanović

    You’re too stupid to be humiliating yourself this way on TV.

    You’re really good with words, you know.

  4. 4
    Walton

    I’m not even going to watch it. Faux News is not worth the effort

    I will say that as a non-American, I find the whole Pledge of Allegiance ritual in schools, and the opprobrium often heaped on those who question it, to be distinctly disturbing. Nationalism isn’t any more rational than religion, and indoctrinating kids into the worship of the nation-state doesn’t seem to me a good idea.

  5. 5
    khms

    Frankly, this wrangling about the words of the pledge is a bit funny when (from my point of view) the real problem is the existence of the pledge. That is something I only expect to see in strongly authoritarian regimes – communism, fascism, stuff like that.

    I’m also always reminded of Wilhelm Tell.

  6. 6
    Tashiliciously Shriked

    This is coming from the same mouthbreather brigade that says things like “Freedom of religion means you’re free to be whatever kind of christian you want”

  7. 7
    Cuttlefish

    I know, in this country, we’re free to praise God
    And we’re free to ignore those who don’t
    We’d be free to spread some of this freedom around
    But we’re also free not to… and won’t.
    Some people might claim that we’re doing it wrong—
    Why they’d say that, I cannot conceive—
    Those people have freedom, like everyone else;
    I suggest that they feel free to leave.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/cuttlefish/2013/09/06/fox-newss-the-five-debate-ha-the-pledge-lawsuit/

  8. 8
    chimera

    #5 khms

    Little by little, one step at a time, to turn back the tide. It’s much too early to take on the pledge itself.

  9. 9
    jolly

    I have to say I agree completely with Kimberly, only I come to the opposite conclusion using the same concepts. Why should we cater to the religious?

  10. 10
  11. 11
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    Greg Gutfeld: they can…give thanks for giving us the freedom to be an atheist.

    “Of course, that’s just the hypothetical freedom to be an atheist. If you actually are an atheist, we have these re-education camps for you right over here…”

  12. 12
    Bronze Dog

    When people tell me “under god” and “In god we trust” are minor issues, not worth getting worked up about, I’m often tempted to ask, “Then why are you screaming?”

    It’s one thing to say you don’t understand why an issue is important to a person who’s talking about it. It leaves open a path for dialogue, since it’s asking for an explanation.

    It’s an entirely different thing to tell that person the issue isn’t important. It puts up a rhetorical brick wall against discussion by shouting it down.

  13. 13
    Lynna, OM

    I’m tired of some christians pushing the freedom to be white.

    A church in North Carolina wants “only white people” welcoming worshippers. The church, Freedom House, has an African-American woman, Makeda Pennycooke, as pastor, but it was Pennycooke who sent her parishioners an email asking for all white greeters. Fucking strange.

    To their credit, some of the sheeple were outraged enough to contact a local TV station.
    http://www.wbtv.com/story/23318847/pastor-e-mail-only-white-people-at-front-door-of-church

    … In the email, Pastor Pennycooke reminds volunteers that fall is one of the busiest times of year for the church.

    “We anticipate having an increase in the number of people visiting and attending Freedom House over the next few weeks,” Pastor Pennycooke says in the email.

    She then says that “first impressions matter” and says the church wants “the best of the best on the front doors.”

    “We are continuing to work to bring our racial demographic pendulum back to mid-line,” she continued in the email. “So we would like to ask that only white people be on the front doors.”…

  14. 14
    latichever

    Some historical background. I wonder how the ignorant Five would react had they known the Pledge was penned by a committed, life-long socialist who was a staunch advocate of the separation of church and state.

    Francis Bellamy was a Baptist minister. Baptists, historically, supported the separation of church and state, and even are against the intrusion of religious thinking into the affairs of state. Roger Williams, the pioneer of religious tolerance and pluralism, was a Baptist minister. Jefferson, in a letter to the Danbury CT Baptist association, agreed with their concerns about the establishment of a state religion, and first used the term of “a wall of separation” between religion

    But Bellamy was not only a Baptist, he was Socialist, albeit a “Christian Socialist.” He was cousin to Edward Bellamy, the author of the socialist utopian novel, Looking Backward, and, in part, the pledge was an expression of socialist ideals that Francis shared with Edward.

    Bellamy was quite deliberate about his choice of words. If he had wanted “under God,” he would have put thst in, but that would have been abhorrent to his beliefs. (He considers adding “equality” to “liberty and justice,” but as a realist he recognizanced thst would be a bit much for the Jim Crow attitudes of his day.)

    Later in life, he moved to Forida, but stepped down from the pulpit of his church appalled by the racism of his congregants.

    When “under God” was being proposed as addition to the Pledge, his granddaughter strenuously objected, saying that the change was completely out of line with her grandfather’s views.

  15. 15
    Lynna, OM

    Praise God, bomb Syria … and take healthcare away from poor people. So says Tony Perkins and the guests he invites to appear on his “Washington Watch” show.

    Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) appeared on Washington Watch yesterday with Family Research Council head Tony Perkins, where he spent most of his time asserting that Republicans have a mandate to defund Obamacare because they did so well in the 2010 midterms and never mind that whole election last November.

    After Jordan insisted that the GOP-led House should strip funding from Obamacare by using the budget and debt ceiling debates as leverage, the Religious Right leader came up with a brilliant plan to tell President Obama that Congress will only approve military action against Syria if the money comes out of Obamacare: “You could even take it to the issue of Syria. If the President wants to expend resources in going into Syria, maybe you should have to choose between funding Obamacare and funding a war in Syria, can’t do both.”…

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/perkins-use-health-care-funds-bomb-syria

  16. 16
    maudell

    Gutfeld thinks we should be thankful not to be killed for being atheists.

    Nice high standards of freedom and democracy there.

  17. 17
    efogoto

    Retire, Bob. You’re too stupid to be humiliating yourself this way on TV.

    I think he’s just stupid enough.

  18. 18
    Uncle Ebeneezer

    @khms- you’ve probably read Catch-22, but if not, this is absolutely brilliant:

    When fellow administrative officers expressed astonishment at Colornel Cathcart’s choice of Major Major, Captain Black muttered that there was something funny going on; when they speculated on the political value of Major Major’s resemblance to Henry Fonda, Captain Black asserted that Major Major really was Henry Fonda; and when they remarked that Major Major was somewhat odd, Captain Black announced that he was a Communist.

    “They’re taking over everything,” he declared rebelliously. “Well, you fellows can stand around and let them if you want to, but I’m not going to. I’m going to do something about it. From now on I’m going to make every son of a bitch who comes to my intelligence tent sign a loyalty oath. And I’m not going to let that bastard Major Major sign one even if he wants to.”

    Almost overnight the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was in full flower, and Captain Black was enraptured to discover himself spearheading it. He had really hit on something. All the enlisted men and officers on combat duty had to sign a loyalty oath to get their map cases from the intelligence tent, a second loyalty oath to receive their flak suits and parachutes from the parachute tent, a third loyalty oath for Lieutenant Balkington, the motor vehicle officer, to be allowed to ride from the squadron to the airfield in one of the trucks. Every time they turned around there was another loyalty oath to be signed. They signed a loyalty oath to get their pay from the finance officer, to obtain their PX supplies, to have their hair cut by the Italian barbers. To Captain Black, every officer who supported his Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was a competitor, and he planned and plotted twenty-four hours a day to keep one step ahead. He would stand second to none in his devotion to country. When other officers had followed his urging and introduced loyalty oaths of their own, he went them one better by making every son of a bitch who came to his intelligence tent sign two loyalty oaths, then three, then four; then he introduced the pledge of allegiance, and after that “The Star-Spangled Banner,” one chorus, two choruses, three choruses, four choruses. Each time Captain Black forged ahead of his competitors, he swung upon them scornfully for their failure to follow his example. Each time they followed his example, he retreated with concern and racked his brain for some new stratagem that would enable him to turn upon them scornfully again.

    Without realizing how it had come about, the combat men in the squadron discovered themselves dominated by the administrators appointed to serve them. They were bullied, insulted, harassed and shoved about all day long by one after the other. When they voiced objection, Captain Black replied that people who were loyal would not mind signing all the loyalty oaths they had to. To anyone who questioned the effectiveness of the loyalty oaths, he replied that people who really did owe allegiance to their country would be proud to pledge it as often as he forced them to. And to anyone who questioned the morality, he replied that “The Star-Spangled Banner” was the greatest piece of music ever composed. The more loyalty oaths a person signed, the more loyal he was; to Captain Black it was as simple as that, and he had Corporal Kolodny sign hundreds with his name each day so that he could always prove he was more loyal than anyone else.

    “The important thing is to keep them pledging,” he explained to his cohorts. “It doesn’t matter whether they mean it or not. That’s why they make little kids pledge allegiance even before they know what ‘pledge’ and ‘allegiance’ means.”

    To Captain Piltchard and Captain Wren, the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade was a glorious pain in the ass, since it complicated their task of organizing the crews for each combat mission. Men were tied up all over the squadron signing, pledging and singing, and the missions took hours longer to get under way. Effective emergency action became impossible, but Captain Piltchard and Captain Wren were both too timid to raise any outcry against Captain Black, who scrupulously enforced each day the doctrine of “Continual Reaffirmation” that he had originated, a doctrine designed to trap all those men who had become disloyal since the last time they had signed a loyalty oath the day before. It was Captain Black who came with advice to Captain Piltchard and Captain Wren as they pitched about in their bewildering predicament. He came with a delegation and advised them bluntly to m ake each man sign a loyalty oath before allowing him to fly on a combat mission.

    “Of course, it’s up to you,” Captain Black pointed out. “Nobody’s trying to pressure you. But everyone else is making them sign loyalty oaths, and it’s going to look mighty funny to the F.B.I. if you two are the only ones who don’t care enough about your country to make them sign loyalty oaths, too. If you want to get a bad reputation, that’s nobody’s business but your own. All we’re trying to do is help.”

    Milo was not convinced and absolutely refused to deprive Major Major of food, even if Major Major was a Communist, which Milo secretly doubted. Milo was by nature opposed to any innovation that threatened to disrupt the normal course of affairs. Milo took a firm moral stand and absolutely refused to participate in the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade until Captain Black called upon him with his delegation and requested him to.

    “National defense is everybody’s job,” Captain Black replied to Milo’s objection. “And this whole program is voluntary, Milo – don’t forget that. The men don’t have to sign Piltchard and Wren’s loyalty oath if they don’t want to. But we need you to starve them to death if they don’t. It’s just like Catch-22. Don’t you get it? You’re not against Catch-22, are you?”

    Doc Daneeka was adamant.

    “What makes you so sure Major Major is a Communist?”

    “You never heard him denying it until we began accusing him, did you? And you don’t see him signing any of our loyalty oaths.”

    “You aren’t letting him sign any.”

    “Of course not,” Captain Black explained. “That would defeat the whole purpose of our crusade. Look, you don’t have to play ball with us if you don’t want to. But what’s the point of the rest of us working so hard if you’re going to give Major Major medical attention the minute Milo begins starving him to death? I just wonder what they’re going to think up at Group about the man who’s undermining our whole security program. They’ll probably transfer you to the Pacific.”

    Doc Daneeka surrendered swiftly. “I’ll go tell Gus and Wes to do whatever you want them to.”

    Up at Group, Colonel Cathcart had already begun wondering what was going on.

    “It’s that idiot Black off on a patriotism binge,” Colonel Korn reported with a smile. “I think you’d better play ball with him for a while, since you’re the one who promoted Major Major to squadron commander.”

    “That was your idea,” Colonel Cathcart accused him petulantly. “I never should have let you talk me into it.”

    “And a very good idea it was, too,” retorted Colonel Korn, “since it eliminated that superfluous major that’s been giving you such an awful black eye as an administrator. Don’t worry, this will probably run its course soon. The best thing to do now is send Captain Black a letter of total support and hope he drops dead before he does too much damage.” Colonel Korn was struck with a whimsical thought. “I wonder! You don’t suppose that imbecile will try to turn Major Major out of his trailer, do you?”

    “The next thing we’ve got to do is turn that bastard Major Major out of his trailer,” Captain Black decided. “I’d like to turn his wife and kids out into the woods, too. But we can’t. He has no wife and kids. So we’ll just have to make do with what we have and turn him out. Who’s in charge of the tents?”

    “He is.”

    “You see?” cried Captain Black. “They’re taking over everything! Well, I’m not going to stand for it. I’ll take this matter right to Major —— de Coverley himself if I have to. I’ll have Milo speak to him about it the minute he gets back from Rome.”

    Captain Black had boundless faith in the wisdom, power and justice of Major —— de Coverley, even though he had never spoken to him before and still found himself without the courage to do so. He deputized Milo to speak to Major —— de Coverley for him and stormed out impatiently as he waited for the tall executive officer to return. Along with everyone else in the squadron, he lived in profound awe and reverence of the majestic, white-haired major with the craggy face and Jehovan bearing, who came back from Rome finally with an inuured eye inside a new celluloid eye patch and smashed his whole Glorious Crusade to bits with a single stroke.

    Milo carefully said nothing when Major —— de Coverley stepped into the mess hall with his fierce and austere dignity the day he returned and found his way blocked by a wall of officers waiting in line to sign loyalty oaths. At the far end of the food counter, a group of men who had arrived earlier were pledging allegiance to the flag, with trays of food balanced in one hand, in order to be allowed to take seats at the table. Already at the tables, a group that had arrived still earlier was singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” in order that they might use the salt and pepper and ketchup there. The hubub began to subside slowly as Major —— de Coverley paused in the doorway with a frown of puzzled disapproval, as though viewing something bizarre. He started forward in a straight line, and the wall of officers before him parted like the Red Sea. Glancing neither left nor right, he strode indomitably up to the steam counter and, in a clear, full-bodied voice that was gruff with age and resonant with ancient eminence and authority, said:

    “Gimme eat.”

    Instead of eat, Corporal Snark gave Major —— de Coverley a loyalty oath to sign. Major —— de Coverley swept it away with mighty displeasure the moment he recognized what it was, his good eye flaring up blindingly with fiery disdain and his enormous old corrugated face darkening in mountainous wrath.

    “Gimme eat, I said,” he ordered loudly in harsh tones that rumbled ominously through the silent tent like claps of distant thunder.

    Corporal Snark turned pale and began to tremble. He glanced toward Milo pleadingly for guidance. For several terrible seconds there was not a sound. Then Milo nodded.

    “Give him eat,” he said.

    Corporal Snark began giving Major —— de Coverley eat. Major —— de Coverley turned from the counter with his tray full and came to a stop. His eyes fell on the groups of other officers gazing at him in mute appeal, and, with righteous belligerence, he roared:

    “Give everybody eat!”

    “Give everybody eat!” Milo echoed with joyful relief, and the Glorious Loyalty Oath Crusade came to an end.

  19. 19
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    The real question should be how would they feel if the it was “under *name of one of the 3000+ other gods imagined by humans*”? Allah being a prime example…

  20. 20
    No One

    latichever @14

    Yep… Francis Bellamy… See the link on my post @10 for an example of the “Bellamy Salute”. Kids did this in school rooms up until WWII.

  21. 21
    davidgentile

    Do you mean Allah who (that) is a synonym for YHWH?

    But it’s still a great point to which they would respond Yahweh wrote the Bible … His Unerrant Word … Because He said so.

  22. 22
    Chengis Khan, The Cryofly

    For those who say, “they don’t have to live here”, I say, “that applies to you as well”. This nation was founded by the those who wanted to practice their personal religion/faith/rebellion. That means one cannot smear their faith on everyone around them, because it violates the reason they came here. But that line of reasoning seems not to apply to religion as they have amply so demonstrated. God and such hypothesis propagates itself by imposition. Thus, the faithful have already done enough damage to the native population, other immigrants, public property, the earth and the space. So, I say enough is enough. So if you absolutely require a commune of Christians, or Muslims or whatever, it is time to go occupy another rock and baptize it’s denizens.

    PS: I am not getting tired of Fox watching them on cable, but am getting tired of reading about them. By the way I do not have cable either. Fox has it’s own loyal demographic and I am not one of them.

  23. 23
    robertbaden

    Lynna @ 13,

    I think the minister was trying to deal with the fact that unlike people of color, who regularly deal with being in crowds of whites, a lot of white people get scared when they find themselves in groups of people who are primarily people of color.

  24. 24
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Question from a non-USian. I realise that the pledge is non-compulsory, but how does that work out in practice? I’m imagining a fuck-ton of peer-pressure and the like.

  25. 25
    greg hilliard

    Nice excerpt, Uncle Eb. I might have to dig out my old copy od “Catch-22″ after reading that. I read it over the course of two days in the summer of 1972. Couldn’t put it down.

  26. 26
    Inaji

    interesting that it’s in Massachusetts, where the Salem witch trials, remember that’s when there was an intolerance about not being religious.

    I…

    :head crashes into desk:

  27. 27
    Inaji

    Daz:

    I realise that the pledge is non-compulsory, but how does that work out in practice? I’m imagining a fuck-ton of peer-pressure and the like.

    It wasn’t non-compulsory in my school days. After getting into serious trouble with furious nuns a couple of times, I reluctantly placed the hand and mouthed words silently so it would look like I was reciting it.

    I doubt it’s truly non-compulsory now, as in I don’t think many teachers would go out of their way to protect a kid who wouldn’t say it, and I imagine there would be grief in the form of other kids.

  28. 28
    Inaji

    davidgentile:

    Do you mean Allah who (that) is a synonym for YHWH?

    Today, a lot of what sounds like personal names for god simply function as a placeholder and mean god. Yahweh remains a personal name for a god who was, in the beginning, part of a pantheon of gods. Now he’s the main dude and all that.

    I think the point is more that saying something like “under one god” can be taken to me any god you like, rather than assuming the monotheistic god of the Abrahamaic triumvirate.

  29. 29
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Caine

    I doubt it’s truly non-compulsory now, as in I don’t think many teachers would go out of their way to protect a kid who wouldn’t say it, and I imagine there would be grief in the form of other kids.

    Yeah that’s about how I picture it. Even now, I can vividly remember the unspoken pressure to at least mumble along with the (compulsory to this day, in the UK) prayers at school assembly. To really screwed up thing about that being, looking back at it, probably near-on half the pupils there were practising the same mumble-along-and-don’t-show-yourself-up technique.

  30. 30
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Erm, The really screwed up thing etc.

  31. 31
    Justin Beaver

    This truly outrages me. This rampant stupidity throughout the nation is what we are up against, these fucktards get a forum on national media and millions of idiots will nod their heads, yep yep, if the Atheists dont like the pledge or god on their money they can just leave the country. If they said that crap about Blacks or Gays or Jews they’d be called blatant racists.

  32. 32
    UnknownEric the Apostate

    I doubt it’s truly non-compulsory now, as in I don’t think many teachers would go out of their way to protect a kid who wouldn’t say it, and I imagine there would be grief in the form of other kids.

    Back in the early 90s, I absolutely got shit from peers and teachers for attempting to not recite it. So instead, I made up my own words that sounded kind of like the real words and recited those. Don’t remember them all, sadly.

  33. 33
    Karl Voelker

    Not that this makes it any better, but “In God We Trust” has been on U.S. coins since the Civil War.

    http://www.treasury.gov/about/education/Pages/in-god-we-trust.aspx

    The history is quite interesting. It just shows that religious meddling in government is nothing new.

  34. 34
    Rip Steakface

    Question from a non-USian. I realise that the pledge is non-compulsory, but how does that work out in practice? I’m imagining a fuck-ton of peer-pressure and the like.

    Depends on the class, the teacher, and even the physical classroom itself. In more open, freewheeling areas like a music room or a gym or locker room, no one gives a damn unless the teacher does. In band, I’d frequently be setting up to play during the pledge and no one cared (usually because most people were setting up to play).

    In most purely academic classes (for example, if the pledge is during your English class), you’ll get some odd looks, but you won’t be ostracized or anything – at least in my area. If you were to avoid the pledge in, say, South Carolina, you might get a bit more than odd looks.

    When I did decide to just do it, I did say it as it was originally written, without “under god.” No one said anything about it, but it might also be because they were busy saying it themselves.

  35. 35
    Ichthyic

    Not that this makes it any better, but “In God We Trust” has been on U.S. coins since the Civil War.

    however, it wasn’t made consistent until 1938.

  36. 36
    Nick Gotts

    Justin Beaver@31,

    I appreciate the sentiment, but please avoid terms like “fucktard”, with their connotation of contempt for people with learning disabilities. Thanks.

  37. 37
    andrewpang

    @ #11 & #16, Greg Gutfeld is an atheist – an accommodationist one, the male version of S.E. Cupp it seems.

  38. 38
    machintelligence

    greg hilliard @ 25
    Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?

  39. 39
    otrame

    @24 and 34

    It is definitely not mandatory, but the degree to which social pressure is applied is entirely too variable.

    When my eldest was in middle school he had a substitute teacher for 1st period who noticed that although my kid stood when the others did, he just stood there quietly without saying anything–just as he had done for more than a year. She challenged him. He told her that he did not believe in god and that he was not going to pledge allegiance to a piece of cloth. She told him “Why don’t you just move to Russia then,” and he said “In Russia they would MAKE me say it”. At which point she sent him to the vice-principal.

    Shortly afterwards I got a slightly frantic call from the vice-principal, who told me what happened, and assured me that my son had done nothing wrong and that the teacher would be counseled about the right to not say the pledge and he apologized with that “Please don’t sue us” tone.

    This was in the liberal bastion of northwest San Antonio. He might have gotten a different reaction in other parts of Texas. And that, of course, is the problem.

  40. 40
    David Marjanović

    Frankly, this wrangling about the words of the pledge is a bit funny when (from my point of view) the real problem is the existence of the pledge. That is something I only expect to see in strongly authoritarian regimes – communism, fascism, stuff like that.

    Exactly! To the best of my knowledge, only dictatures and the USA have such a thing!

    I’m also always reminded of Wilhelm Tell.

    Heh. Pledge = hat?

    The planet of hats comes to mind…

    Test:
    “Why don’t you just move to Russia then,”

  41. 41
    David Marjanović

    Interesting.

    ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNO-TOAD

  42. 42
    athyco

    When my eldest was in middle school he had a substitute teacher for 1st period who noticed that although my kid stood when the others did, he just stood there quietly without saying anything–just as he had done for more than a year. She challenged him. He told her that he did not believe in god and that he was not going to pledge allegiance to a piece of cloth. She told him “Why don’t you just move to Russia then,” and he said “In Russia they would MAKE me say it”. At which point she sent him to the vice-principal.

    Shortly afterwards I got a slightly frantic call from the vice-principal, who told me what happened, and assured me that my son had done nothing wrong and that the teacher would be counseled about the right to not say the pledge and he apologized with that “Please don’t sue us” tone.

    And how rightly that tone was used.

    Slightly different story: my entire homeroom class argued with a substitute throughout one pledge broadcast when she tried to make everyone participate. More than one of them didn’t even stand regularly, but they were defended even by the ones who always did. (Yes, they made me proud.)

    The first week of every school year since the mid ’80s, I’d explained the law and modeled (more importantly, in my book) that the only thing I require of students after the voice on the intercom says “Please stand for the pledge” is that they don’t disturb others who wish to participate. Stay seated, frantically finish the forgotten homework that will be called for in about 10 minutes, whatever.

    Plus. Nobody has the right to ask you why you don’t participate. There are religious reasons and secular reasons, permanent reasons and temporary reasons, but they all fall into the category of personal reasons that no one has the right to judge. There would always be some kid who asked if I was atheist or hated America. Most comprehended with familiarity my answer “Actually, I’m happy to live in a country that doesn’t demand a ritual on the grounds of because I said so.”

  43. 43
    sethmassine

    Maybe “I’m tired of people on Fox News” would have been a better title. Haven’t encountered one decent mind there. But really, who is surprised?

  44. 44
    footface

    Last week, on my son’s first day of middle school, we heard the principal’s long announcement before he recited the Pledge. He was very clear that saying the Pledge was not required. Students were free to say it or refrain from saying it. They could stand or stay seated. The only requirement was that they not bother other people. Honestly, I’d be surprised if any of the kids (or teachers) cared one way or the other.

  45. 45
    Rip Steakface

    @39

    I live and went to school in western Washington (similar to PZ). One of the most liberal and atheist places in the US.

  46. 46
    SallyStrange

    The only teacher I had who really seemed to give a damn about the pledge also happened to be my homeroom teacher, so I had to deal with him my entire high school career. Plus he was my math teacher. He preemptively guilted the class about not wanting to say the pledge, because he was a Vietnam Vet, and it was disrespectful to him personally if we didn’t want to say the pledge. However. He understood that some people had objections to it. He just asked that people at least stand up during the pledge, out of respect. So I did. I just stood there, hand on heart, not saying anything. I felt intensely weird. But then, I usually felt weird compared to everything else. It was and kind of is my defining attribute (hence, in part, the ‘nym).

    But yeah. Mr. Parsons. That was really manipulative.

  47. 47
    glidwrith

    I came across someone’s idea for a proper pledge (I think it was over at Steve Benen’s place on the Maddow blog):

    I pledge allegiance to the CONSTITUTION, of the United States of America. And to the republic AS LONG AS it stands for one nation under THE LAW, indivisible in PURSUING liberty and justice for all.

    I like that this pledge is to the Constitution, just as all lawmakers must swear. I especially like the pursuit of liberty and justice, since I have always felt the pledge was rather like a pledge to a feudal lord. You swear allegiance, but in return he promises his protection, justice and the spilling of his own blood in your defense. After the last few years, it has been made quite clear by certain elements of the citizenry and politicians that you are to give your allegiance but expect nothing in return, because shut up.

  48. 48
    tbtabby

    The whole concept of a loyalty oath is absurd. If the citizens are loyal to their country, then they don’t really need to take a loyalty oath. If they aren’t, making them take the oath won’t magically make them loyal. But the most absurd part is the idea that loyalty oaths help to root out subversives an spies, because they’ll always refuse to take the oath. BULL. If I were a Commie spy working to overthrow the government, I’d be the first one standing to say the pledge, hand across my chest and reciting it loudly and proudly to allay any suspicions. People like The Five wouldn’t have the slightest suspicion about me until it was too late.

  49. 49
    Nick Gotts

    If I were a Commie spy working to overthrow the government, I’d be the first one standing to say the pledge, hand across my chest and reciting it loudly and proudly to allay any suspicions.

    Ha! And you think the FBI don’t know that???

  50. 50
    Ariaflame, BSc, BF, PhD

    I always wondered if it was such a wimpy pledge that it wore off overnight, or possibly lasted the weekend.

  51. 51
    doublereed

    Wow, it’s weird because the first thing they said is “leave the country” when the point that the lawyer made in the clip was “it associates atheism as unpatriotic.” Like the two lines WERE SO CLOSE TO EACH OTHER. She perfectly demonstrated the lawyer’s point!

  52. 52
    Scientismist

    From the excerpt from “Catch 22″ (@18, Uncle Ebeneezer):

    “The important thing is to keep them pledging,” he explained to his cohorts. “It doesn’t matter whether they mean it or not. That’s why they make little kids pledge allegiance even before they know what ‘pledge’ and ‘allegiance’ means.”

    Yep. The real purpose (on no less authority than SCOTUS Associate Justice Scalia) is to counter the deleterious effects of democracy, and all that nonsense about powers derived from the consent of the governed, which in post-Christian Europe has led to people actually suggesting that acts of governments should be judged on the same moral basis as those of those individual people from whom that power is supposed to be derived. We can’t have that!

    The pledge and the Godly motto are there to remind the people that government wields the sword of God’s own justice, and so is above mere human morality. That’s why governments get to kill (and lie, and steal, etc..). It was easier to see that the government was the instrument of God’s wrath back when kings were chosen through mortal combat and victory on the battlefield; but these days we make do with indoctrination in the schools (and by insulting atheists whenever possible).

    Well, I added that last point, but the rest is all in Scalia’s essay on “God’s Justice and Ours” — it’s easy to find on the web. It’s surprising that more people don’t understand this. The result of kicking God out of the rest of the school curriculum, after the pledge has been recited, I guess.

  53. 53
    Gvlgeologist, FCD

    footface:

    Last week, on my son’s first day of middle school, we heard the principal’s long announcement before he recited the Pledge. He was very clear that saying the Pledge was not required. Students were free to say it or refrain from saying it. They could stand or stay seated. The only requirement was that they not bother other people. Honestly, I’d be surprised if any of the kids (or teachers) cared one way or the other.

    Given that, one wonders why they even bother. They should have a meeting (like I understand some Christians do now) around the flagpole at the beginning of the day, where they can worship Old Glory without taking out time from actual school.

  54. 54
    Cynickal

    Neither my checks (which charge a fee if I drop below a minimum deposit) nor my credit card (which charges a percentage) has “In God we Trust” on them.
    Therefore COMMUNISM…?

  55. 55
    David Marjanović

    Scalia’s essay on “God’s Justice and Ours”

    …OFFS. I had no idea there was such a thing. :-O

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