Apparently, all the other religion and government issues have been resolved, so now we can tackle the crap issues. Not that this isn't important, but in light of evolution v. creationism in government schools, and the U.S. Military freeing the people of Iraq to come up with a Constitution based firmly and solely on Sharia law, this is really small potatoes.
I like the fact that Tom DeLay calls the Pledge a "vital, ennobling part of our national identity", despite the fact that the Pledge was written in 1882 by Francis Bellamy, a Baptists minister, Freemason, and Socialist in order to foster a his socialist vision of a centralized government run economy; that he put in "one nation" to support the Lincolnian vision of a federal republic superior to the individual States and the people; and the "under God" clause was not added until 1954 after a campaign by the Knights of Columbus, a Catholic lay organization. Vital and ennobling my aching ass - it's a way to indoctrinate youths into the social order our Government has in store for them. It fits very well into the structure of public schools, derived from Prussian military schools where the commoners went to learn basic skills, learn to follow orders, obey the command structure, and jump when a horn was sounded.
From a strictly procedural position, it could be worse - we could have the pledge devised by George T. Balch in 1892, which included a flag salute that included, with the right arm, touching your forehead, then your heart, then outstretching it, palm down, in the direction of the flag - in other words, a very scary mix of the Catholic ritual of crossing oneself (minus the shoulder to shoulder motion) with a Nazi salute (to be fair, the Nazi party wasn't in existance yet). His pledge also included pledging your hearts and heads to God and Country, and endorsed the notion of an official language.
Some interesting links on the Pledge:
World Peace Herald
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