The Pledge of Allegiance

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I refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance.  The schools couldn’t legally force me to say it, but they tried to anyway.  Whatever my parents’ faults, they went to bat for me every time.  It was never a question of patriotism for me but a willingness to conform and obey.

At one point my dad announced a great victory: That I’d be allowed to leave out the “God” part. 🤦🏻‍♀️  He’d totally, totally, missed the point.

I don’t ever recall having used the ‘G’ word.  In elementary school I would simply mumble the pledge before I quit entirely.  Something about standing there, chanting in unison without really understanding what it was we were saying just made me super uncomfortable.

When I got older, it became the notion of the Pledge itself — rather than the delivery — that bothered me the most.  I love America, I think it is the greatest country in the world and (despite its many imperfections) that it has the greatest system of government ever conceived.

But I’m not willing to pledge to my allegiance to any state or nation or any symbol thereof.  I believe in loyalty to ideas.  To principles.  And even in junior high my word meant something to me, and I wasn’t about to make any pledge I didn’t mean.

My dad fought hard against the schools to allow me to simply stand for the Pledge.  Even that bothered me because the school was still trampling my 1st Amendment rights by insisting (yes, the SCOTUS has ruled on it), but I since I’d already been standing anyway, I wasn’t about to make a big deal of it.

Even after the administrators acquiesced, I was still prone to getting teachers and substitutes who would try to force me to say it anyway.  It was obnoxious.  They’d try all sorts of tactics, including denouncing me in front of my classmates for “disrespecting our military”.  Which was a disgusting charge.  They didn’t care about the troops.  All they cared about was conformity and obeisance.

I have zero problem with the Pledge being said in schools or public gatherings, but I do have a huge, huge problem with people being illegally forced to say it or subjected to harrassment when they refuse.

As a side note, the history of the Pledge is rather interesting and dripping with irony.  One could half-kiddingly describe Francis Bellamy as a National Socialist.  (Drops to one-quarter kiddingly when you factor in the salute.)

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Anti-Zionism, Pro-Israel

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I don’t like Zionism.  I don’t like any form of nationalism that’s based on to whom (or where) you were born.  I also don’t like Judaism — or any other religion, for that matter.

I think indigenous rights arguments are stupid because as far as I am concerned, being born in a place makes you as “native” to that region as someone whose family has lived there for generations.  And most Israelis who are alive today are indeed native-born.

I’ve said before that I think it was a terrible idea to establish a Jewish state smack-dab in the middle of such a hostile area, but what’s done is done.  Israel is there, and it isn’t going anywhere unless its neighbors succeed in their ambition to push the Jews into the sea.

I like Israel because it is a Western-style democracy and a close ally to the United States.  I have tremendous respect for what the Israeli people face on a day-to-day basis.  I can’t even imagine what it must be like knowing that you are surrounded on all sides by people who quite literally want to genocide you.

Overall, I think Israel is pretty goddamned badass.  So yeah, I’m anti-Zionism, anti-Judaism, pro-Israel, and only anti-Semitic at family gatherings.

“If You Don’t Vote…” STFU!

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That’s bullshit.  Part of having the right to vote is being able to choose when NOT to vote. You teach American government — you of all people should know this.

Do you honestly not see the problem with telling someone he can only express an opinion if he exercises his voting rights as YOU see fit?

There are plenty of registered Democrats who have vowed to stay home from the polls because they’re disgusted with their party.  They’re trying to sending a message, and they have EVERY right to complain.

I managed to leave off “without being lectured by an entitled sneuflake”.  But that’s totally how it should have ended.

This same person once had the audacity to suggest that Trump only won in 2016 because the people who voted for him didn’t know any better. 🙄