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The Tentacle


July 16, 2002

Leave My Pledge Of Allegiance Alone!

Bethany Stevenson

Cub Scout Day Camp was held last week in Woodsboro. At the beginning of each morning, every Scout and every adult volunteer pledged their allegiance to the United States of America.

The first day, the voices had barely completed "one nation under God," when I found myself choked up with emotion, afraid for the day when the privilege of remembering the true leader of the United States is taken from us, as the Communists did in Russia.

Never had I felt such intense emotion in regards to the words "one nation under God." There have been moments when the pledge was a reaffirmation of my loyalty to the United States of America. There have been moments when the pledge was my support for the Armed Forces as they protected our freedoms.

There were moments when the pledge reminded of the simple freedoms I have that could be taken away by those who seek power over others.

Children should be asked to say the pledge, to let it become a standard that has been memorized. They should be taught to know what "indivisible" means. They should be taught that "liberty and justice for all" does not mean we should all be politically correct and open minded. They should be taught to know the emotives of patriotism when they see the fire truck screaming to a fire with their loyalty streaming behind in the form of the flag.

The Pledge to the Flag will not become an oath of loyalty until the child has grown up reciting it and learning about it. Until the person feels the stirrings of patriotism, the joys of freedom, the gratitude for a nation whose destiny has been guided by a loving Heavenly Father; until they know in their hearts that this is the most blessed nation on the earth, the pledge is only a memorized poem.

But as the Proverb states, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Proverbs 22:6) Eventually an adult reaches a point when the things he has been taught are evaluated and either applied to or discarded from their life.

Hopefully an American will look back at his years of reciting the pledge and see the benefits of knowing the concepts of loyalty to his homeland. Atheists have rights just like everyone else. They can chose to ignore that there is a God if they want, it doesn't bother me. But when they want to change me to fit their model, that is when I start having a problem.

Too many times I have been told that my beliefs are "closed-minded" simply because another person disagreed. It is time now for me to say, "If you don't believe that God is the endorser of our nation, then you are closed minded."

Actually, I have always wanted to say that, but I do not believe it. I believe every one has a right to their opinion, but they do not have the right to change anyone else's opinion.

My 11-year-old has an opinion: the new vehicle 'Aztec' is an ugly car and she would disown her parents if they considered getting it. That is her opinion. I feel no need to change her.

Her 9-year-old brother has a opinion: he thinks the 'Aztec' is great, based simply on the fact that his sister hates it. Nothing else. That is his opinion, although I do not agree with the method of arriving there, I am not going to change him.

I have no opinion about the car, the subject does not interest me. I do have opinions about music: what I love to listen to, what is appropriate for this occasion or that.

I also have an opinion about what music I don't like. I don't like Rap. I think it is a despicable way to abuse music and my ears. However there are those who like it. They can listen to it if they want, but don't force me to choose it or change my opinion about it. Is it closed minded or just opinionated? Are they who enjoy Rap closed minded or just opinionated?

I am not going to force the end of the Rap Music Industry because of my opinion. Nor do I think that Americans who disagree with the acknowledgment of God in the Pledge of Allegiance should force the end of speaking his name. Just ignore it.

It is time people in this country stopped worrying about all the people who get offended at the drop of a hat, and start worrying about the decline of the morals in our country. Just because one parent doesn't care if his 12-year-old smokes doesn't mean all 12-year-olds should smoke.

Save the fight for the terrorists and the criminal minds, leave the Pledge alone.



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