28 votes

Pro tip: The pledge of allegiance

We are asked to pledge allegiance to a flag because a flag is a symbol whose meaning is mutable. They get people to worship a flag, and then they can be told the flag stands for whatever they want, 'democracy', 'security', etc.

Some of you may refuse to pledge whatsoever on moral grounds and I certainly understand.

But some of you may not feel comfortable remaining silent, but also not feel comfortable pledging allegiance to a scrap of cloth. Liberty folk tend to be in situations where the pledge is recited more than most people and we are often trying to help others along the path. We don't want to alienate those we are trying to help, but we don't want to violate our principles.

So if you don't want to remain silent, you can pledge something like this, which is what I pledge:

I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America, and to the Republic, which it defines, 50 states, under God, divisible, with liberty and justice for all.

The best part is people may hear you, and ask you a question.

As a veteran I have no problem pledging allegiance to the Constitution, which I already took an oath to uphold. Again some of you may think pledging is immoral even to the Constitution. I understand, but if you're going to pledge, I really hope people will stop pledging to a flag. Our fallen veterans didn't die for a flag. They may have been lied to and used, but in their hearts they died for a principle, not a symbol.

A key point in this version, for me, is it reinforces that the Constitution defines the Republic. The Republic does not define the Constitution. The Constitution is not 'living'. The Supreme Court does not decide what is Constitutional or not, the Constitution does not grant this authority anywhere, it merely arrogated this authority in Marbury vs Madison. The Supreme Court is merely the government telling the government that it is ok to violate the Constitution.

You may think '50 states' is too edgy and want to use the regular 'one nation'.

You may be an atheist and not want 'under God' in there. That's fine but you're going to annoy people needlessly and if you are really an atheist then it doesn't hurt anything, it's no more harmful than saying 'one nation under Whipped Cream'. What does it matter what the states or the nation is under? You're aren't pledging to that thing, you are pledging to the Constitution.

You may not like 'divisible'. I understand, but if you are pledging allegiance to the Constitution, you are on sketchy ground saying 'indivisible'.

The Constitution does not grant the authority to invade a seceding State, quite the opposite. The Tenth Amendment makes clear no powers not made explicit are granted. This may come as a surprise, but it should not.

Freedom of association.

You may not murder your husband or wife if they want to leave you. You may not murder your child if she runs away. You may not murder your boss if he fires you. You may not murder your employer should he quit.

That is called slavery.

We may not murder millions of people, or threaten to, if they want to leave us as a state, or otherwise.

If the Union is to stand, as I wish it would, it will stand for the same reason a good marriage stands, because the couple treats each other with love and respect. However an abusive relationship is worse than no relationship.




Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

I suppose

But, if it is generic and not important, why have it in there? Or say it? Why would I pledge to an insignificant "idea"?

No, the pledge was changed specifically to account for the Christian god. They are the only religion that used "God" in almost every mention instead of the name of the deity. If that wasn't true the pledge would have something more generic - which as you said would be "nature's god" or something like that.

By the way, "nature" doesn't "design" a bug's wings. But, I get the idea of awe and wonder, very much with you there.

"In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."--Mark Twain

I understand if an atheist can't do it

I respect that. It doesn't bother me to say "under God", but I do understand if it feels too much like lying. It doesn't feel like lying to me. Pledging to a flag would be lying for me. It's iffy for me but I respect peoples' belief and non belief. Since I don't believe, I don't see saying "under God" as being an operant phrase. I would not pledge allegiance to God, that would certainly be uncomfortably close to a lie.

Here's the way I see it. We are pledging allegiance to the same Constitution. Of course theists believe everything is a creation of God, including the States, the Constitution, purple mountains majesty and golden waves of grain, the whole shebang. So it's not unreasonable for them to want to associate this very important document with God.

I don't believe in God, but then I don't believe there is no God. I just don't believe. What I know is that many Christians feel uncomfortable if they feel their religion is under attack. I am also aware, that failing to say under God is not an attack. But they may still feel uncomfortable. Yes it is not my job to save people from discomfort, but it is my job to promote liberty. It is not my job to convince people about the existence or lack of existence of God. I won't lie about my ideas on the matter of God, but I just don't see the benefit to me to put them on edge. For just one example, notice how Tom Wood changed the words to his shows opening theme 'Tom Sawyer' from "No his mind is not for rent to any god or government" to "No his mind is not for rent to any govern-government". People take this very seriously. I think it falls under the banner of politeness to respect their feelings.

So to any Christians reading this: Am I wrong?

Should I not say "under God" if I don't believe in God? Is that sacrilege? I certainly do not want to do it if that is the case.

Or is it simply polite to say it out of respect for your beliefs?

Good points

A few clarifications from my point of view:

"I don't believe in God, but then I don't believe there is no God." There is no such thing as "believing" there is no deities (you don't need to capitalize that word every time, by the way, unless you are writing about a specific deity). I do not have a god belief, so like you, I am considered an atheist. I don't like the term because everyone is one if you think about it, but I digress...

"What I know is that many Christians feel uncomfortable if they feel their religion is under attack." -- Many Christians "feel" their religion is under attack. But, they have no evidence of such things (not in the USA, anyway). Why would they "feel" uncomfortable if you don't say something? If they were truly honest and good people and believed in the principles of the Constitution, etc.... then they would agree that phrase shouldn't be there in the first place.

I am all for politeness. As I said, I don't make a scene, I just stay silent. No one around me has ever said anything to me, that includes military events. When reenlisting in the armed services, the end of the oath says "so help me God". I simply crossed it out and gave it to the officer in charge. They never questioned it. If someone is that sensitive and walking on eggshells about their religion, perhaps they don't have a strong enough belief.

Thanks for the question about sacrilege - should be an interesting answer.

"In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."--Mark Twain

Ii capitalize it when I

Ii capitalize it when I remember to because they they think it's important and whatever God we're talking about it's someone's god in specific:)

In full agreement about belief. I understand the evolutionary reason we have that method of cognition, but in my opinion it is the single most destructive part of our evolutionary legacy, and if we kill ourselves or fail to leave the planet before some catastrophe occurs, it will be the reason. Collectivism is bad, but it only operates with belief.

Knowledge without evidence isn't.

Hence my handle:

   K
Faith
   l
   l
   s

A a methodological skeptic I think there is no basis for any belief, or it's degenerate form, faith, whatsoever.

That said the only religion that troubles me overmuch is statism. Christians may often wish to use the state, but to some ends, even if misguided. To statists the means are the ends. Power over their fellow men. Christians in politics do usually convert from worshiping Jesus to worshiping Statan, working for the Adversary. A very sad irony to me is that most atheists are not atheists at all. They are statists and scientismists, worshiping the state and the aesthetic of sciency stuff.

Science is about the scientific method, not about consensus and peer review. Atheism is about not believing, not about replacing one religion with a new one.

Belief is distinct from assumptions. I can assume the Sun will rise tomorrow, despite the fact that it could nova overnight, or whatever. But if it doesn't rise my 'beliefs' haven't been challenged.

An assumption is what you have when something is either impossible to know, or the opportunity cost of knowing is too high to justify the knowledge. But you always know it's an assumption.

A belief is what you have when you don't or can't know but you think you do know.

A priori knowledge is also quite distinct from belief. One can be wrong about the derivation of a priori knowledge, and be convinced of that through reason, so long as they don't believe. You can derive a mathematical proof, as an example of a priori knowledge, that proves some pattern of primes. If someone gives a counterexample the typical response is not "No I have faith my theorem is right!"

..sorry.. I rambled:)

TwelveOhOne's picture

It should be "under FSM" :)

And after reading your headline I had only slightly modified it -- "I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands" but didn't go any further. I love the "divisible", take that, Lincoln! :)

For those who don't know the acronym, FSM is the Flying Spaghetti Monster which was a created religion, in response to folks trying to push religion in science classes; the idea was that the FSM is a valid religion, so it should be pushed in science classes too. Love it. I was touched by his noodly appendage. Ramen.

I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.
http://fija.org - Fully Informed Jury Association
http://jsjinc.net - Jin Shin Jyutsu (energy healing)

Long live pastafarians!

And...your religion solved global warming - well done!

"In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."--Mark Twain

I like it

And I will use it.

robot999's picture

I do this all the time, but like your version better

Slight tweak:

I pledge allegiance to the Constitution of the United States of America, and to the Republic, which it defines, sovereign states, under God, divisible, with liberty and justice for all.

"Government is the entertainment division of the military-industrial complex". - Frank Zappa

I like your tweak

but your average Joe has had the word 'sovereign' stigmatized, so it might be more appropriate for advanced audiences:D