During its coverage of the U.S. Open Golf Tournament, MSNBC left the words “under God” out of the Pledge of Allegiance and righties went on the warpath.
The sports coverage opened with a brief, and unabashedly patriotic, clip that toggled back and forth between soldiers engaged in a flag-raising ceremony and school children reciting the pledge. After the children recited “one nation” the clip toggled to the flag-raising soldiers, and when it came back to the children it picked up where they said “with liberty and justice for all.”
The words skipped were “under God, indivisible,” which by wingnut logic would suggest NBC is both anti-God and pro-secession.
A normal person wouldn’t read anything into some skipped words, since the action of the film had moved away while the children were reciting. But then there are wingnuts. The network apologized a couple of hours later, but complaining has not stopped.
No one may violate the sacred boundaries of conservative correctness and get away unscathed.
I found it interesting that the various rightie sites still complaining didn’t clarify whether they felt insulted on religious or patriotic grounds. I take it they haven’t thought about it real hard themselves. To them, the pledge is more of a tribal totem than an expression of anything meaningful.
It’s a historical fact that “under God” was not part of the original pledge, which was written in 1892. “Under God” was added in 1952 by President Eisenhower. It’s also historical fact that earlier in the 20th century, Jehovah’s Witnesses endured considerable persecution because they refused to say the pledge, on the grounds that it violated their religious beliefs to say a pledge to any flag.
Some other Christians object to saying the pledge as well, saying it violates what Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount:
Mat 5.33-37 “Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’ But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great king. Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil.”
And, of course, atheists have rights, and there are a lot of religions in the world that don’t recognize the God of monotheism. Leaving out the “God” part, or even refusing to say the pledge at all, ought to be a matter of personal conscience. Things are different in Wingnut World, however. The wingnuts may pay lip-service to a God-given right to free speech, but God help you if you try to exercise that right.
For some vivid examples of what’s wrong with America, read the comments at Newsbusters. They seem to think that not saying the pledge as they want it said is an act of treason, and that NBC somehow violated their First Amendment freedom of religion by changing the words of the pledge.
This led me to reflect awhile on the way civilization has allowed even the extremely stupid to survive to adulthood and reproduce, which means advanced human societies are all doomed to self-destruct under the weight of idiocy. Oh, well.