I Pledge Allegiance... [part 2] [07.02.02]

Let me say, first of all, that a rant is just that. Half the time it only makes sense if you can see the ranter's side of it. In my previous rant [I pledge allegiance..] I expected to get a lot of controversy. I realize it wasn't the most well-worded rant, and I have plenty of friends who could have said what I said with a bit more grace, but it was my opinion nonetheless.

I have nothing against this country. I love America, I love that we are a democratic-republic and that people have a say, however little, in how our government is run. I like our constant battle to change what's wrong with ourselves, and I like the unrest stirred within us whenever we see ourselves being treated unjustly. I don't need a flag to symbolize that love. I certainly don't need to recite a pledge to that flag to prove my love. But that's what is supposed to be great about America - the fact that, however severe our controversy with doctrine, we are free and able to express our opinions about it.

Quoting one who responded [and I'll leave the name out],
"Nobody's forcing you to recite anything. You don't want to say the pledge? You don't have to. Nobody's makin' your ass stand up. It's always been optional."

- That's not quite true. Sure, I could sit through the pledge of allegiance ceremony at the beginning of every day of school... And every day, I could get sent to the principal's office for being "unpatriotic." There's free will there, it's just limited by how much you're willing to sacrifice of your self-esteem. And if you don't believe me, then you've never been in an American public school. I don't know... Maybe it's just my region of the country... But from what I've heard from my friends spread out across the nation, there's not much difference. You can go against public standard, if you're willing to suffer their consequences.

Just the other day, my friend, who was the upstanding vice-president of a rather large American organization, was just relieved of his duties because of his stand on this issue. He's as patriotic as they come - but he doesn't believe in forcing children who don't understand the nature of the pledge to repeat it constantly until it has no meaning to them. The others couldn't give him a valid argument as to why his opinion was so wrong, so they ousted him. Again, you can go against public opinion, as long as you're willing to suffer their penalties.

I hope this rant made a little more "sense" to you, and everyone else who bothers reading my rants. I'm not un-patriotic. My husband is an ex-marine, I would have gone into the army if I hadn't started my family, and I do have a lot of American pride. I bought a flag after the 09-11 incident, and hung it proudly on my house. Why? Because as much as I do express my cynicism to the overall distasteful nature of this government, I'm still happy to be here. It's my country, too. I don't support everything it does, and I certainly don't agree with everything it does; but ultimately, I love this country because I don't have to agree with it.

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