We’ve been discussing The Pledge of Allegiance on one of my favorite messageboards, specifically how it is, by and large, ineffectual at forging unity among people… partly because those whose religious affiliations balk at the “under God” reference and partly because the idea of a State-enforced pledge smacks of exactly the kind of political structure under which Freedom will wither and die. My biggest concern is that it has become fashionable with our youth to disregard anything that hints of ‘Pride of Nation’ (not to be confused with Nationalism). This great melting-pot experiment that we call ‘America’ is but an assembly of sub-groups from around the globe with their own storied histories and traditions. How, in the face of an increasingly balkanized society, do we create National Unity that is palatable to all? The recitation of a National Pledge is very likely not a real solution. It’s the kind of ceremonial harrumphing that happens when people feel the Spirit, but lack the means to assemble a real solution. Platitudes. So if the existing Pledge of Allegiance is so offensive, if its recitation is flecked with what my uber-liberal friends perceive as thinly-veiled Fascism, maybe we can simply change the wording….. see what you think of this:
I pledge allegiance to the People,
of the United States of America,
and to the World at Large,
trying to do our best,
to lead lives of quiet responsibility,
to our planet,
and our fellow men,
to the level that we are able.
And while yet we draw breath upon this sphere,
we will ensure,
that our Nation’s integrity
as both a place
and as the living personification of Freedom
is never jeopardized,
but leads the children of the world
to greater acts of Goodness,
Without hysteria or hyperbole,
doubt or dissonance,
Forever and a Day,
With Liberty and Justice for All.
Note that this post is the direct result of both the aforementioned discussion of the Pledge of Allegiance and a nice Belgian beer. Belgium, baby, Belgium!