Thursday, July 22, 2010


In this, last segment on the debate about whether "under god" should remain a part of The Pledge of Allegiance, I will look at the decorum maintained by disputants in the debate. We have looked previously at the historical and constitutional components of the arguments.

The argument is made that the opponents of the inclusion of the words in the pledge is some sort of plot to steal religion from the American public. These tend to be ranting screeds that range from incoherent ramblings to vulgar condemnations.

It is interesting that these also tend to be the most entertaining to read! They often claim that the atheist side of the debate is full of angry, rude, or stupid people. Interestingly, in the news, I have seen a couple different versions of the original billboards defaced, but none of the evangelical billboards defaced. Which side has the decorum?

Aside from the laughable attempts at proving their religious beliefs by citing them (there is a god because the bible says so…), there are some quite interesting logical and linguistic leaps of faith in the discussion. Some of my favorite non sequiturs are: (From the ABC News Website Discussion Group)
One Nation, Under God...... we are weather you like it or not! – (whether)

Did God came and took away something from anyone? – (not sure what this even means…)

Like it or Leave. No one asked you here. – (No, nobody asked us here… most of us were born here!)

It's not about religion; it's about a relationship to Jesus Christ. – (I can't even parse the logic here!)

Why are athiest so afraid of a God in whom they do not believe? – (Technically, since atheists don't believe in a god, the can't be afraid of him.)

…what makes me mad is the STUPID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!athiast's – (Interesting spelling and punctuation!)

Memo to Atheists:The Constitution reads "...freedom OF religion" – (Actually, those words don't appear anywhere in the document.)
Which is not to say that there weren't examples of poor spelling and grammar on both sides, I just found these particularly entertaining.

Personally, I fall into the centrist position. I really don't think that either side has either an overridingly strong argument for their case or against the other. I agree with the countless people on both sides of the argument who said "if the words bother you, don't say them."

I had a Catholic upbringing in Florida and noticed pretty early on that my Minnesota relatives didn't say the suppertime prayer the same way we did in Miami. They added a couple extra words in there. "…we ask this through Christ [your son] our lord, amen!" It threw off the cadence in a somewhat mildly jarring way. What was my solution? Just to not say them… No biggie, no reason to expend that much time and energy worrying over it.

Wherever you are today, I hope that you will have an excellent day!

Don Bergquist – July 22, 2010 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

No comments: