Someone posted one of those all-caps, poorly punctuated Facebook rants today. This one was about the pledge of allegiance and how it’s not being recited in school anymore “FOR FEAR OF OFFENDING SOMEONE!” (direct quote).
And I thought, wow, it’s about time. Pledging allegiance to “one nation, under god” in a classroom always made me really uncomfortable, to the point where I refused to say the words once I was old enough to understand what they meant. We were never given the option to not say the pledge. It was never acknowledged that there was even a possibility that a student would have any objections to it. After all, we are one nation under god, children. Say it with me.
The Facebook rant went on: “LET’S SEE HOW MANY AMERICANS WILL RE-POST THIS AND NOT CARE ABOUT OFFENDING SOMEON” (sic).
Right. Because the issue is that the REAL patriots (read: Christians) are being repressed by all those nasty heathens who are uncomfortable pledging themselves to a god they don’t believe in.
I didn’t respond. It might have been for fear of offending someone. That was certainly the reason I stood with the rest of the class with my hand over my heart, soundlessly moving my lips so that no one would notice that I was not pledging my allegiance with everyone else.
But maybe my apathy is the problem. (Not my apathy, per se – my personal apathy may be a problem but it has nothing to do with the pledge of allegiance.) Maybe we’ve all been mouthing the words for too long.
It isn’t un-patriotic to refuse to pledge allegiance to a specifically Christian version of the nation we are a part of. Patriotism isn’t dictated by religious belief (or lack thereof).
Yes. It’s a small, silly issue. But they’re all small, silly issues until suddenly you realize you’ve been buried under a mountain of them. The pledge. The cross at Ground Zero. Swearing on the bible. How many little ways is atheism undermined in an official capacity every day? And what are we going to do about it?
I’m calling for an atheist uprising. Who’s with me?