Saturday, January 26, 2013

What? A Daily Pledge of Allegiance Isn’t Good Enough?

Every day, in every classroom from coast to coast and in Alaska and Hawaii, millions of American school children pledge allegiance to the American flag and to their country.
Every. Damn. Day.
But that is not good enough for Arizona State Representatives Bob Thorpe, Sonny Borrelli, Carl Seel, T.J. Shope, Jeff Dial, David Livingston, Chester Crandell, and Steve Smith. No, not by a long shot. These miscreants, Republicans all, have devised a plan to force every Arizona high school student who wants to receive a diploma sign a loyalty oath. The loyalty oath, as currently proposed reads like this:
“, _______, do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge these duties; So help me God.”

The italics are mine.
Taking an oath freely and without reservation, the consequences being NOT receiving a high school diploma is not, in my opinion, an oath taken freely.
And the requirement that everyone should include in their oath the words “so help me God” runs counter to the principles laid down in the 1st Amendment. It is an option, not a requirement.
Up until this point, the only people who are required to take this oath are those who are to enter the military, or to enter political office, or to become naturalized citizens. In the latter case, they also include a clause about renouncing former allegiances to their home country. But this is the first time in American history that a high school student is forced to sign an oath of allegiance.
And you know what? I wouldn’t do it were I an Arizona high school student and not because of the last 4 words either. I would refuse to sign it on moral principle.
Arizona still maintains the lead in right wingnut wackiness, but I am waiting for one of my Texas State Reps to follow their lead because what is good for people who have been in the sun too long is good for people who spend all their time inside cleaning their weapons.

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