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Been a while since I posted, but given the recent flap with Carl Paladino's speech on the dysfunction of homosexuals, the flap over the "Ground Zero Mosque" and the upcoming upcoming trial of Ahmed Kalfan Ghailani, I thought it was important to remind folks of pledges made some time ago.
Most Americans of an age, started their school days with a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. I have no doubt that most American reading this can recite the Pledge from memory, and without really thinking on it too much. Announcements, turn to the flag, find out what's for lunch in the cafeteria, discover that the football team is getting out early for a game, and realizing that means all the cheerleaders will be leaving too. Which was, perhaps good news for some, and heartbreak for others who pined for the lovely ladies with the short skirts and pom poms, or the strapping young men destined for the gridiron later that day.
We have said these words, over and over again. Automatic response, hand over heart, eyes often vaguely glazed. In repetition, we grew familiar, and reflexive. And the words, and the oath lost its power.
There is debate over the place of the Pledge of Allegiance. It's language, its purpose, the use of God and the separation of church and state, but that debate can be set aside for a moment, when you have to ponder how often folks in power, as of late, have forgotten the promises made, and that we made daily.
For all the jingoist patriotism that has been bandied about in the last election, and now as we hear condemnations against so much, and this particular Administration, I thought it wise to bring up the Pledge. Especially for the brand of patriots who want Americans to regain their pride, to resist the siren call of Socialism, the homosexual agenda, the rising threat of Islam and Sharia law in this nation.
These fair weather patriots have forgotten their basic and oft repeated oath.
I Pledge allegiance
To the Flag
Of the United States of America
And to the Republic for which it stands
IndivisibleWith Liberty and Justice for all
You will note, that in that pledge and promise, that we have sworn, over and over again, thousands of times over the course of our lives, that our nation is a Republic, that we've sworn our loyalty and faith to that system of governance. Not just to one party, but to the nation as a whole. One nation. Not simply "Real America" and the heck with those faux Americans who live in the original Thirteen Colonies, with their fancy book learning and where the history is kept. To not contemplate the division and secession of parts because we don't like what our neighbors are doing. That we are united as a nation. Single and indivisible. Not Red states vs Blue states. Not just America until the gub'mint does something to piss me off.
You will note, the last portion. "With liberty and justice for all." That part is more telling. More important. That is the promise of our nation. Liberty and justice for all. Not just Christians. Not just citizens. Not just straight people. Not just those with money in the bank, or property. But all.
It is a shame that so many have forgotten their oaths. That so many seem to think that the Fourteenth Amendment is inapplicable today.
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
I have bolded the important parts of Section One. The parts that folks who've sworn their allegiance to the Republic, and the basis of our law and citizenship.
You will note, that Section One doesn't say, "Any persons but the homos" or "Any person but dirty Muslims" or "Any citizen" even. But simply "any persons." Equal protection of the law. Equal. Not just a little bit, but equal. As in the same protection of the law.
We have repeatedly sworn to uphold the Republic. Using the flag as symbol of that Republic, we have sworn to uphold her promise of liberty and justice for all, and it is a shame that so many who claim to love this land, this nation, have forgotten their oath. To uphold liberty and justice for all, and then tirelessly work to limit the rights of homosexuals, who should have equal access and protection under the law to marry and live their lives with dignity, to be the same as all others. To try to demonize and limit the rights of Muslims to practice their faith, to build and prosper within the communities that they live in. To cry and wail on the right to a speedy trial, and work to limit and even deny folks the right to a trial.
It is a shame that so many, who claim to love their country, have forgotten their oaths, and we are damned by this lack of faith, and this lack of vigilance to to uphold the ideals of our nation, that we have so often sworn to.
I ask that maybe it's time to remind folks what they pledged to do, over and over again, and to remind them of what it means to be Americans, and what we hold most dear and precious. Because it seems that a lot of folks have forgotten that oath, and our values.