Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Happy Flag Day!

June 14th is Flag Day in the United States. There seems to be something about the American flag and the Pledge of Allegiance that drives people up the wall.

First, we have an organization called the Concerned Women for America (CWFA) holding a press conference today in support of the “Pledge Protection Act” sponsored by a couple of Congressmen in the House of Representatives. The purpose of this legislation would be to protect the phrase “under God” in the oath. The press release said, “Men of faith intentionally included the phrase ‘under God’ in an oath that serves as a symbol of loyalty and patriotism to our great country.” The press release insinuates the founding fathers were the “men of faith” referred to and adopted the flag, Flag Day and the Pledge as a package in 1777.

Andrew Sullivan cuts to the quick:
…. the pledge was not created or conceived by the founding fathers, whose
deist, cafeteria Christianity CWFA would now almost certainly deride as "secular
humanism". (Very few of the founders believed Jesus was divine. Can you imagine
what CWFA would say about a politician today who shared Jefferson's worldview?) The pledge was invented by a socialist in 1892; and the phrase "under God" was added as recently as 1954. I have no problem with it, I might add, and find the campaign to banish such harmless invocations of the deity to be petty and counter-productive. But CWA's hysteria and rewriting of American history need to be exposed. They're welcome to their version of Christianity. They're not welcome to their version of reality.
Then we have the United States Senate scheduled to vote on an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to outlaw the desecration of American flags. This would be the first amendment ever to restrict the freedoms guaranteed under the First Amendment.

Isn’t it great to have a Congress focused on such matters rather than lesser issues such as oversight of the executive branch, a war in Iraq, the health care crisis, absence of a sensible energy policy, future problem financing Social Security, etc.?

The picture to the right was taken in 1899. The picture to the left shows the “Bellamy salute.”

No comments: