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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Is it our decision to pledge allegiance?

The Pledge of Allegiance is recited by children almost every day in almost every public school, from kindergarten until they finish high school. Once in college, the Pledge seems to be completely disregarded. One of the reasons could be that it comes from the fact that college students are coming into their own individuality, their own way of thinking or how they view things.

College students may still encounter the Pledge at sporting events or even in the work environment. At this point in a student’s life, they are more aware of their surroundings and more open-minded about their views, beliefs and opinions. Some will choose to take pride in standing for and reciting the Pledge and others may not.

This has nothing to do with disrespecting the country or the soldiers that put their lives on the line for us, rebellion or insubordination, terrorism, or with being ungrateful for the freedoms this country offers. This has to do with the interpretation of the Pledge and how those who refuse to recite the Pledge view it.

The Pledge was written by American socialist Francis Bellamy who wrote the Pledge to help with the campaign of selling American flags to public schools. For Bellamy, this was an opportunity for him to spread his statist propaganda. Along with the Pledge, children were asked to perform the Bellamy Salute. During World War II, the Bellamy Salute was replaced to the hand-over-heart by Franklin Roosevelt as it resembled the Nazi salute.

Since the Pledge was first published in 1892, it has gone through four revisions.

The “one nation under God” phrase does not apply to everyone. What about the people that choose not to believe in God? There is supposed to be an understanding that the government and church should be separate from one another, yet that is not the case. Those who do not want to recite the Pledge might feel that religion is being forced upon them.

As Thomas Jefferson stated so perfectly, “Religious institutions that use government power in support of themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths, or of no faith, undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of an established religion tends to make the clergy unresponsive to their own people, and leads to corruption within religion itself. Erecting the ‘wall of separation between church and state,’ therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.”

Next is the “with liberty and justice for all” phrase. Ever since this nation was founded, there has been discrimination and it still continues to this day. Women, gays and minorities are not nearly as welcomed into this privileged group that has liberty and justice.

As long as the U.S. continues to promote discrimination and have laws that are in violation of the Constitutional ideals of the people, how can the people honestly pledge their allegiance?

Which leads into the next phrase “I pledge allegiance.” Plenty of people do not want to pledge their allegiance to the country. The reason behind this is because of the government. To many, the government is flawed because of the people that are elected into office. These officials encroach on the Constitution. They do so because they like to push the limits of power and to see what can become law. Many people do not want to show their support for a government they do not agree with.

All this presents a conflict with a person’s right under the First Amendment – the freedom of speech. If people are entitled to say or not say what they want, where does freedom of speech come into play if people receive backlash for choosing to exercise their Constitutional right? Is society being told that although they have their freedoms, these freedoms are limited?

It is absurd how people have to endure the negativity of being told how their views, beliefs and opinions are wrong. It is insane how many of these people are told that they are anti-American, terrorist, communist or that they should go back to their country. When a lot of these people were born and raised in the U.S.

There should be an understanding that everyone is entitled to their own views, beliefs and opinions, whether they want to recite the Pledge or not. The sad truth is that there is not nor will there be one in the near future. Ignorance takes over and not everyone can be respectful and open-minded about a person’s views, beliefs and opinions.

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