Oh My God

Oh My God

As a child I never thought about the words I was reciting when, with the rest of the classroom, I mumbled, sometimes stumbled, over the words of the Pledge of Allegiance. If you’ve read the news today (oh boy), you’ll have most certainly read about the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a 1954 decision that put “under God” into the pledge. It went on to say that it violated the separation of church and state, and was, therefore, unconstitutional.

I don’t recite the Pledge of Allegiance. It’s not because I’m ashamed to be American, or anything of the sort. I just don’t feel that my God likes to have his name attached to much of anything, especially something that would alienate people that don’t believe in the Judeo-Christian idea of her. I don’t preach to people about my spiritual beliefs unless prompted to do so. I don’t try and convert people to the Temple of Brad, which is actually the Temple of Everyone. I do, however, have a problem with people using God’s name to hurt other people, and that includes feeling alienated.

I suppose that it’s ultimately up to the individual that may feel alienated to take responsibility for their own emotions. In other words, if you feel alienated by the Pledge of Allegiance, don’t feel alienated. Just because you don’t believe in the God that President Eisenhower or Congress had in mind when they added the words, doesn’t mean you are any less American that someone who does. They are just words. Change the words or keep them the same, but I think there are far more important issues to deal with.

You can argue that the pledge is as American as apple pie, but so what? It’s also American to stuff your face at McDonald’s or drive SUVs in major metropolitan areas. Does it make it right? Not in my book, but again, I do my best not to judge. What is right for me is not right for everyone and that’s fine. The problem lies in people being unaccepting of beliefs that are different from their own, which also happens to be a common American trait.

Truth be told, I kind of hope that I live to see our own demise. If I don’t, perhaps your children will. I’m of the opinion that we’re doomed, and I’m not talking about us all going to pearly gates or the fiery depths. I’m talking about the fact that people do not, and it seems, will not, change to better our time on this planet. For that reason, we will be responsible for our own extinction. Until people wake up, and it’s going to take more than a couple of airplanes flying into buildings and killing three thousand people to do it, we will continue in a downward spiral. It’s not about nationalism, it’s about humanism.

I still have hope that humans can change, but not much. None of it really matters anyway. We’re just a drop in the bucket. We don’t matter as much as we would like to think. Life will go on without us. Perhaps the next time around we will not repeat the mistakes. We will not be so self-centered, ignorant, intolerant and hateful to people with different ideas, skin color, sexual preference, etc. Perhaps the next time around we can embrace diversity, for the world would be a better place. Have a nice day.

4 thoughts on “Oh My God”

  1. well shit, Brad. you beat me to the “what’s wrong with people” rant. I was writing something along similar lines. but I’m still writing.

    the pledge of allegiance thing reminded me of when I was in elementary school, and, being raised buddhist, I was quite confused as to what I should say when we all stood up and were forced to put our hands on our hearts. everyday I would just stand there and pretend like I was a part of their little scheme while wondering if the rest of them had any clue what they were saying. or why they were saying it.

    I knew that alienation you speak of well at a young age. sometimes it can be a good thing tho, it forced me to think about certain things more. mind you, i said sometimes.

  2. “…thank goodness for the good souls that make life better…”

    that fits somewhere in here.

  3. Nice work, Brad. I’m glad you didn’t get high-school-angst-against-anything-mainstream-or-anything-parents-might-be-into preachy with this subject. Lately (well, not that lately… lots of gloomy, monster faces hovering around the general past; this must be one of them, since I can’t remember any specifics, just impressions), I’ve been getting sick of that angst-filled fight-the-power bull shit. You hit what is for me the operative point squarely in the jewels. Cosmically, or from a perspective of great distance or expansive vision (like I envision god’s to be), little monkeys we are… at best. At our least significant (actual state? maybe. well, probably), we don’t even create a blip on the universal radar. Thank god for that – it certainly takes the pressure off. Incidentally, we little Kansas monkeys miss you, friend.

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