The Pedge of Allegiance and Red Skelton

Red Skelton explains the Pledge of Allegiance and asks the obvious question.

Red Skelton was right.  There is now a group of self-destructive madmen who are against the Pledge.  I find these folks to be despicable.  Something like 80% of America believes in God or a God.  Most of the 80% identify themselves as Christian.  How can a small group of folks who probably comprise less than 5% of Ameria demand that the majority of Americans respect their petty beliefs when they do not themselves respect any beleif system save their own.  These folks are bigots and bullies in my opinion.  Loud mouthed fools who expect the rest of the country to observe and respect their rights.  Yet, they respect no other.  This is not America.

I am of the opinion that people need to believe in something greater than themselves.  Otherwise, we become individuals bent on self-preservation and/or self-glorification only.  I don’t think that we should become a post-Soviet megalith wherein the State is the God and the means and end all in one.  People need to believe.  There is no purpose to our existence if we do not have something.

I am not a Christian.  That said, I do not begrudge the Christian their beliefs or their majority.  I share some beliefs in common with the Christians.  I simply do not believe that they have all of the answers or in some cases the correct answers.

I feel the same about Islam.

I identify more closely with Buddhism.  Though, I claim neither the right nor the need to call myself a Buddhist.

Why the problem with the pledge or the words “under God.”   Those words affirm ones allegiance to the collective group of individuals who claim to be Americans.  “Under God” merely affirms our belief that we are a special Nation.  I find nothing offensive in that.  How else to explain our rise as a nation and the manner in which millions seek to become members of our nation.

We are a special.  We were formed under the watchful eye of providence.  We will continue to be special so long as we believe ourselves to be such.  We cannot as a nation fall away from the belief that the United States of America is a nation with a destiny.  We must believe.

In light of our election of Barack Obama, this destiny continues.  We have elected a minority to head the most powerful nation on the planet.  This once racist nation has risen above the old pettiness and divisiveness to elect one who belongs to a race which was at one time not allowed to make eye contact with it’s “masters.”  America has thrown off racism with this move.  We still have petty racist in America.  Surely, we do.  But they have lost in their destructive cause.  This election does irreparable harm to them.  And rightly so.  It also proves that America can super her own worst defects and weaknesses as a people and drive to a more perfect union of her citizens.

If we can rise above this, we can rise above all else.  America must believe in herself.

We must believe.

We must.