Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Pledge of Allegiance Project

Since May 15, Alonzo Fyfe has been posting exclusively about the Pledge of Allegiance and the need to remove the words "under God" from it. He calls it The Pledge Project.

In his opening salvo, titled "The Pledge Project: Acting Against Anti-Atheist Bigotry", Alonzo declares:

I consider 'under God' in the pledge, and the national motto of "In God We Trust" to be the most significant cause of the deteriorating political situation that atheists in specific and secularists in general are facing in the United States, and I want to see these practices ended.

He goes on to write:

Let's be honest – these policies were adopted, and they continue to be enthusiastically supported – because they serve as a way of keeping political power out of the hands of any person who will not pledge allegiance to 'one nation under God'. They are loved (by those who love them the most) because they endorse a religious barrier to public office that only allows those who are willing to express a belief in God can pass through.

I won't reproduce any more of it here. Some of you may have already read it, and for those of you have not, you can just click on the link above.

To be honest, fighting to remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance was never something that resonated with me. While I agree in principle that the Pledge should be restored to what it was before those two words were added in the mid-Fifties, I always felt that it would amount to expending a lot of time and effort on something of symbolic value when there were more substantive issues that demanded attention. My thoughts on the issue are pretty much summed up in one of my first posts on this blog, "One Nation Under Zeus".

Still, reading one of Alonzo's posts recently got me to thinking about the Blasphemy Challenge that drew a lot of interest last year. As you may recall, the Blasphemy Challenge involved people filming short videos of themselves "denying" the Holy Spirit and posting them on Youtube. Well, I figured, why not adopt the same idea for The Pledge Project? How about we make videos of ourselves and others saying the Pledge of Allegiance sans the words "under God"?

I left my suggestion in the comments section of one of Alonzo's posts, but thus far he has not responded.

Well, at any rate, I have decided to take the first step, and have filmed my two children saying the Pledge of Allegiance without the words "under God." It seemed appropriate, because they have to say the Pledge every day in school, whereas most of us grownups are rarely ever in situations where we are required to recite it.

Here is the video for your viewing enjoyment:

I expect to add my own recital of the Pledge too either today or later this week. I don't know if this will catch on with the rest of the atheist blogosphere (at least for those of us here in the United States), but let's see what happens!


tina FCD said...

I absolutely loved it. And your children are beautiful. :)I snagged it and added it on another blog of mine, is that okay? If not, let me know and I will remove it. Thanks.

tina FCD said...

I just scrolled down and noticed your "victims of honor killings" slide. How can I repost that on my other blog??

Tommykey said...

Hi tina! Thanks for your comments.

Yes, absolutely you can add it you your blog.

As for the "Victims of Honor Killings" slide, if you click on the link in my sidebar for Iraqi and Kurdish Woman's Rights Organization, there is a link to another site where you can get the code.

PhillyChief said...

I think it's a brilliant idea. Perhaps you should email Hemant or even Brian at RRS since Brian may have the resources to establish a dedicated website like for the Blasphemy challenge.

tina FCD said...

Great idea phillychief!

Tommy, almost every comment on your vid was "Yes! That's the way I learned it in school!
But, one comment was..."We say the pledge like this, even my children, is there another pledge?"
I don't know if she caught it or not? In every school that says the pledge, isn't "in god we trust" in there?

tina FCD said...

Well hells bells! I meant "under god!" lol! Sorry.

Tommykey said...

Hi Philly and Tina. Thanks for the suggestion Philly.

Tina, where are these comments appearing? When I click on my video at the Youtube site, no comments appear.

Alonzo Fyfe said...


I have forwarded your suggestion to the Rational Responders, thinking that they are better suited to run such a project than I am. I hope they respond favorably.

I am also going to encourage my readers to promote this idea to the Rational Responders as well.

In the mean time, I will do what I can from my own site.

PhillyChief said...

Good because I got ignored, but then I'm nobody.

vjack said...

I think this is a good idea and will do what i can to help publicize it. If enough of us write posts about it and submit it to various social networking sites, maybe it will catch on.

Tommykey said...

Thanks for your comments guys. I will try to do my video tonight.

PhillyChief said...

I'll be going to the FSGP's Anti-Superstition Bash 2008 tonight and will bring it up to whoever I get to talk to.

Anonymous said...

When I was in school, and we were forced to recite the pledge at the beginning of each day, I refused to utter the "under god" portion.

Great post!

The pledge would be more accurate if it stated something like, " nation under stress/duress"

Anonymous said...

..oops hit return accidentally before I got a chance to comment on how cute your kids are. :)

Tommykey said...

Thanks Honji!

They get their good looks from their mom!

Yvette said...

Those are the CUTEST damn kids ever! Inspired me to make my own video :)