I've Been Frustrated About This 4 a While.

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TheVegetarianHumanist1996's picture
I've Been Frustrated About This 4 a While.

I'm sorry that I haven't spoken about this sooner. It's because I was scared of the backlash I'd receive for bringing this up. I knew that my faith was slipping when I stopped saying the Pledge of Allegiance every morning during the 2nd half of my senior year in high school. It was because of "under g-d." I felt like theism didn't belong there. Little did I know that I'd start thinking more for myself there. I was angry about how American Patriotism was kinda becoming a religion. What I mean by that is while I was in middle school, I was taught to view the American flag similarly to how Christians viewed the cross.

When I graduated in 2014, my classmates and I were forced to take a loyalty oath. This was a civilian high school. I pulled aside one of the teachers and attempted to express my concerns as an adult. I said that if footage of N.Korea's high schools got leaked and they were doing that, there'd be outraged. She called me disrespectful and I cried about it on the inside, because I didn't want it to ruin my big day.

I've been struggling with this for almost 3yrs and I can't answer the question by myself. I ask if it's more disrespectful to force patriotism down the throats of others/treat it like a religion or not to treat it as such?

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Pitar's picture
There is something remiss in

There is something remiss in your lack of loyalty and it isn't unusual for someone your age.

Look around you. Watch people come and go, speak their minds and generally carry on without a hint of nationalist implications steering their lives. It's called freedom. Get deeper with it. Go to stores and businesses and observe them as they are from large to small. Everywhere you look you will see basic freedoms at work. America is a country where opportunity still holds to its original definition without some external quid pro quo inserted between the lines by some insidious government meddling.

The problem with this freedom is there is no cost for it. America was built upon it, for the people by the people, and we are now the apathetic progeny of it forebears. We have lost the appreciation. We take it for granted. We are accusatory of everything and fully vested in the freedom to express it. We are petty in every manner of selfishness while memorials to those who have fallen in wars to protect that right to be openly selfish, like you, remain ignored and cast out to the fringes of who we are as a people. As such, pride of place is now lost on succeeding generations and in its place remains selfishness.

When something is free, one never questions why it's free. When something comes at a cost, one tends to ask lot's of questions to qualify the cost. Freedom, not a highly respected concept in many, many countries by despotic governments, remains unattainable by the citizens and as such they have a unique perspective on the spoiled citizens of freedom, such as you, to say things against the very blood lost that won and preserved that freedom to be selfish. They can only wish for your life as they endure myriad impositions on their physical lives and mental suffocation of their opinions.

And, you think it disrespectful to have loyalty thrust down your throat? My father bore the wounds of war. I have my own. He dedicated himself when he heard the call to protect his nation and I did the same. But, my sons are like you. They look through rose colored glasses and if they don't see a self-styled personal contrivance of prettiness out in front of them then they reject it out of hand. If they see, hear, or otherwise sense something that isn't self-serving they are dismissive of it and are often irreverently vocal about it like you are here.

All that is asked is to cite a national pledge. You don't have to agree with it and you can forsake the nation's forebears who gave you the freedom to do just that. Or, you can think of it as being more than just words to feebly mouth through your rebel-without-a-cause filters and understand that it is a simple reminder that your freedom to be selfish did indeed come at a supreme cost.

mykcob4's picture
Bullshit Pitar! Again, you

Bullshit Pitar! Again, you have ignored the REAL crux of the OP's post and instead called them "disrespectful."
You don't understand that it isn't "disloyal" to buck at reciting the pledge that has been hijacked by religiosity and conservative populace nationalist. Not wanting to take part in what essentially a religious ceremony is NOT disrespectful.
I saw conservaturds like you in the sixties. They railed against "the flower children". They thought that they were spoiled children. What they ignored was that these children were just as brave as any frontline soldier. they were fighting for the constitution. They fought for rights that were/are denied people based on their gender, their race, their origin of birth, their native language, the sexual orientation. They fought against an unjust war. They fought against forced military service and servitude.
Your father had wounds from war, and so do you. Well so do I(3 Purple Hearts) and I see freedom as a thing that everyone deserves. You think that not reciting the pledge as some sort of self-entitled act of disrespect. I see it as a stand to RESPECT the U.S. Constitution!
There are better reminders of what freedom cost, like respecting the constitution and not forcing people to obey a conservative nationalist religious cause.

LogicForTW's picture
I think it is completely

I think it is completely natural for an atheist to also reject patriotism in its most extreme form. Especially when said act of patriotism involves "under god," which ofcourse was added, under long term religious pressure in 1954 that found the excuse of "ohh scary communism!"

http://www.ushistory.org/documents/pledge.htm

Funny also that the original pledge of allegiance was not even written for the USA!

Having impressionable kids repeat this daily during a place of learning, (school,) uses many of the same tricks various religions use to create blind faith.

They also add in a system that demonizes people for not being overtly patriotic. "How can you forsake all those people that lived and died fighting for your freedoms?!?!?" "Are you a friggen terrorist?!?!"

I am not overtly patriotic. Am I glad I was born and raised in the US? Absolutely. Do I work towards preserving and upholding the freedoms my ancestors fought for? Sure, in my own small little way I do what I can. Do I respect the work done and the lives lost? Absolutely.

Do I feel like reciting the pledge of the allegiance when an authoritative figure tells us to do so? Nope.

Would I do so anyways? It is certainly in my best interest to not throw a rock at that particular bee's nest, especially during a graduation ceremony. It is only words after all. Usually no one is checking anyways if you are actually saying the words.

mykcob4's picture
There is nothing wrong with

There is nothing wrong with your view. You have been witness to populace nationalism. A phenomenon that engulfed Germany and gave rise to the NAZIs.
Conservatives like to promote this sort of thing as if you are not a true patriot unless you submit to obey conservative ideology. It's called hijacking patriotism. It's like singing "god bless America" at baseball games. It implies that you don't love your country unless you are a christian.
Of course, it is suppressing free thought and is NOT constitutional.

TheVegetarianHumanist1996's picture
Thanks, but I still need

Thanks, but I still need clarification on what's more respectful. Is it more respectful to drink the patriotic kool-aid or not to?

21stCenturyIconoclast's picture
TheVege,

TheVege,

The Kool Aid is the wrong flavor because of the state of conditioning over time. Put the punch down, stand alone, and question it like I've given "examples" in my post below. Or, be like Pitar says, you don't have to agree with it, and stand there with your hands clasped behind your back as showing defiance with the part where the term "god" rears it's ugly presence.

.

LogicForTW's picture
Do not drink the kool aid, be

Do not drink the kool aid, be as respectful as you can not drinking the kool aid if you do not want to start a fight.

Diotrephes's picture
TheVegetarianHu...,

TheVegetarianHu...,

You can do whatever you want to but if you think you want to be a politician or get a government job it's best if you don't have any embarrassing pictures or articles documenting your rebellious side. IOW, go with the flow until you get out of the river.
http://rexcurry.net/book1a1contents-pledge.html

21stCenturyIconoclast's picture
vege,

vege,

Turn the tables and put the onus upon them. Tell them that you're frightfully worried in "which god" each entity that mentions god is referring too! Tell them that they're many gods, where the top three that are unfortunately still worshipped at this time are Allah, Yahweh, or Yahweh/Jesus. Tell them to specify which god one is to refer too, and this is where the fun starts!

These fools take an a prior stance that it is the Christian god that is to be referred too, but tell that to the Jewish and Muslim community, which is disrespectful to "their" god concept.

Shove the biblical crap right back at them, this is what I do at their expense, and their looks and subsequent actions are priceless!

.

CyberLN's picture
Veg, I think respect has

Veg, I think respect has little, if anything, to do with it. You agree or not, you participate or not, etc. Authorities attempt to compel certain behaviors. That's what they do. Sometimes they compel these behaviors for admirable reasons, sometimes for selfish ones. It's probably rare as hens' teeth to do any of this based predominantly on 'respect'.

TheVegetarianHumanist1996's picture
Thanks. :-)

Thanks. :-)

Would forcing me & my then classmates count as selfish act?

CyberLN's picture
It seems selfish to me, but

It seems selfish to me, but apparently not to the person who did so. Perhaps that selfishness is because of their need or desire to control people...or their fear of anyone at all different than they are. Frankly, there are assholes everywhere. Fortunately, there are wonderful folks everywhere too. People come and go, but you are always there so do what you think is right for you. As long as you aren't hurting anyone on purpose, you should be just fine.

SecularSonOfABiscuitEater's picture
Veg, I've had similar

Veg, I've had similar grievances about saying the pledge in school. I still say the pledge if prompted. My lips are sealed at the under god part. This country allows us to make these kind of choices so I'm happy to pledge my alleigance to it. It's simple. You can carry yourself however you like during these procedures. You don't need validation from some teacher or quite frankly... any of us for the actions of your free will. Recite it or not. There's no consequence for that. Letting these things bother you is not productive at all.

TheVegetarianHumanist1996's picture
Thanks.

Thanks.

But how can I be respectful while not doing it?

SecularSonOfABiscuitEater's picture
You're practicing a right.

You're practicing a right. Don't overthink that. You're not being rude by not participating. It's not obnoxious. You aren't obstructing anyone else from participating. If you do any of that, then you should be concerned about your rudeness. If not, then don't sweat it.

TheVegetarianHumanist1996's picture
Thanks. :-)

Thanks. :-)

Sir Random (Tieler) 's picture
I concur with SSOAB (sorry, I

I concur with SSOAB (sorry, I don't have the patience to write his whole name). Your simply practicing a right. so long as you are not stopping anyone else from doing the same, you (shouldn't) have anything to worry about.

P.S: Long time, no see!

SecularSonOfABiscuitEater's picture
No offence taken.

No offence taken.

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