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Thursday, April 8, 2010

The (Socialist) Pledge of Allegiance

In today's political world, words like "socialism," "fascism" and "communism" have become popular "scary words" used by extremists to vilify their political rivals. These "scary words" have been used in such a way that it has become extremely difficult to separate the true meanings behind these words from the nonsense associated with them. After all, when idiots like Glenn Beck label everyone from Obama, Alexander Hamilton, Stalin, Hitler, McCain, Oprah, etc. as "socialists" it becomes very difficult to take anything these extremists say seriously. Usually it is these same extremists who insist that the very fabric of America's "Christian" heritage is eroding below our feet, thanks to the "evil, fascist, Nazi, Maoist, socialist" meany-heads that are now in power. Often they appeal to obscure and random quotes from the Founding Fathers (or Ronald Reagan) to prove their point, which usually invokes a powerful emotional response from fellow radicals (tea-baggers) who quickly rally behind some misspelled and misinformed protest sign:

Yes, truly Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert will never run out of material so long as the tea-baggers keep pretending that they are modern day Minutemen and Sons of Liberty!

But when it comes to dramatic demonstrations of public devotion to God and country, the "tea parties," political rallies and even Glenn Beck's daily nonsense circus take a back seat to the "crown jewel" of patriotic liturgy: the Pledge of Allegiance. And though I am a fan of the Pledge of Allegiance, I do find it ironic that these same tea-bagging, sign-waving, Obama-hating, socialist-loathing, intellectually challenged "MORANS" are at the vanguard of supporting such a socialist institution. Yep, you heard me right, the Pledge of Allegiance is...wait for it...SOCIALIST!!!

Or at least its creator was. In 1892, in commemoration of the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' "discovery" of America (whether Columbus deserves his own holiday is a topic for another day, one that I have written about here and here), Francis Bellamy, a popular Baptist minister and Christian socialist, was asked to draft words for a flag pledge that would be used to bolster the schoolhouse flag movement. The recitation of the pledge was also to be accompanied by the "Bellamy Salute" (as depicted in the picture at the top of this post), but was later changed during World War II to simply placing ones hand over their heart for obvious reasons.

The original words to Bellamy's first pledge are very interesting and would surely horrify every wannabe Paul Revere tea fanatic:
I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with equality and fraternity for all.
Equality and fraternity are a noteworthy selection of words. After all, they are two of the three words (Liberté, égalité, fraternité) used in the national motto of France; a motto that originated in their revolution. In addition, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity were also key words (scary words to the tea-sippers) in the Christan socialist movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Bellamy was a passionate voice for socialism and advocated for complete government control of education in America. In addition, it was his hope that the pledge would become a standard practice in all public schools. His wish was granted in 1940 when the Supreme Court, in Minersville School District v. Gobitis ruled that all students, including Jehovah's Witnesses who detested the pledge on the basis that it was idolatrous and made a graven image out of the flag, were required to swear the pledge.

Now, it should go without saying (contrary to what some of those tea lovers may say) that the phrase "under God" was not a part of the first pledge. In fact, "under God" was not officially added to the pledge until 1954, when President Eisenhower and Congress passed a joint resolution making it the official pledge of the nation.

And while I revere the pledge for its basic principles of devotion to God and country, I cannot help but chuckle at the fact that so many fanatics, who find socialism lurking under every rock in the same way that McCarthy found communism in the 50s, support the pledge with such blind loyalty. You'd think that the pledge of a devout Christian socialist would turn them off. Heck, even their fearless "brainiac" leader, Glenn Beck, has convinced many to leave churches for the preaching of "social justice." Just imagine what Beck would think of Bellamy's "Jesus the Socialist" and "The Bible Teaches Socialism" sermons.

Now, in fairness to Bellamy, there's a lot of crap out there on the net which suggests that Bellamy "inspired" Hitler and the Nazi Party. This is simply spaghetti being tossed at the wall to see what sticks. There's no evidence for such a stupid conclusion, so please spare us the socialist, Marxist, fascist, Nazi conspiracy theories. Let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater!

Here are a few video clips of the PoA from the past. Notice what has changed? What is missing?


tinny ray said...
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Brad Hart said...

Like I said, spare us the stupid conspiracy crap. You're barking up the wrong tree. Go visit the "9-11 Truther's" or some websited dedicated to the Roswell alien conspiracy. You should fit in over there.