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I've been seeing shit like this a lot.  Basically, it's a growing consensus among the severely religious deluded that says that the National Anthem represents a violent nation so it shouldn't be sung.


How long has the fight to restore the original Pledge of Allegiance gone on?  Or at least a version that was used before xtianity was cooked into it to scare the Russians?  I'd guess about the entire 57 years since "one nation under god" was added.

"I choose to belong to a strange tribe. Goshen College, my alma mater, made national news this month when its board of directors decided that the “Star Spangled Banner” would not be played before athletic events.

As could be expected, the decision was met with confusion and contempt. Wasn’t this just another example of our traditional values being trampled by the unrelenting march of political correctness? What sort of ingrates object to our nation’s anthem, anyway? Fluffy-headed campus philosophers? Lazy latte-sipping liberals?"

Traditional values being trampled, I believe is also how the fight to remove the names of religion-specific deities from our Pledge was also described.  So it becomes clearer and clearer.  The motivation by the far right xtian movement isn't to secure a piece of their own freedom.  It is to seize control, make this a religious state - much like they accuse the Muslims of trying to do with their "sharia law" line of shit - and finally place some church ordained nut case in the Executive Branch's seat as the ruling monarch of the US.

Perhaps the fight to kill the National Anthem by a growing number in the xtian ranks isn't any less honorable than mine to sterilize our government of any trace of state sponsored religious delusion, if I look at it strictly from a speech freedom perspective.  But from my point of view it does have an interesting twist.

If I don't like "one nation under god" because it brings your xtian god into view as a sovereign over me even though I don't have any use for, belief in, respect toward or patience for your puny, stupid grasp for power over non-believers by co-opting the things they do respect, well then I suppose I could pretty much fuck off and leave the church.

But what about the one who shows disrespect for the country, or founders' choice of Anthem, the remembrance of the battle that freed us from the very religious tyranny we're now having to fight all over again?

Is it just as right for me to tell you to pretty much fuck off and get out of the country or convince Texas to secede already and turn it into whatever dysfunctional church state you wish?  Move to an island somewhere so we can bomb the living fuck out of you, take everything of value and once and for all expunge the blood line of the blood thirsty Puritans who are the bane of our history?

Mm.  Probably not.  But let's get one thing clear.  This isn't your call.  Don't sing the National Anthem if you don't wish to.  That's your right to observe whatever twisted perception of "patriotism" you want.  But understand the fight to keep you from making the rest of us follow your upside down world view by infesting our government, protected from your tyrannical control by the very ideals upon which it was founded (which ironically are the same ideals that keep you free to serve whatever hateful, bigoted, poisenous deity you wish) marches on.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Here's how I say the pledge (8+ / 0-)

    I pledge allegiance... to the republic... with liberty and justice for all.

    We kidnap. We torture. It's our policy. Embrace it or end it!

    by Mosquito Pilot on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 07:07:57 AM PDT

  •  I used to be a schoolteacher. (7+ / 0-)

    7th and 8th grade, in Texas, of all places. I had a homeroom class. At the beginning of each semester, I had a talk with my homeroom class. It went like this:

    COMMONMASS: How many of you are not citizens of the US?

    CLASS: about 30 percent of the hands went up.

    COMMONMASS: OK. Let's talk about the Pledge of Allegiance. It was written by a Baptist lay preacher and first published in a boy's magazine about a hundred years ago. It's a nice sentiment, but it has become a loyalty oath. I do not recite loyalty oaths. I find them really offensive, and I want you to know that I will not be reciting the pledge of allegiance in this classroom and neither of you are obliged to either.

    RESULT: No one in my class recited it.

    That pretty much sums up how I feel about the "pledge". I am a practicing Christian, and I object to mixing any kind of "god talk" with politics and with the State.

    Craft is what emerges when you hit inspiration over the head with a stick.

    by commonmass on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 07:09:15 AM PDT

    •  I should also add the reason why I asked (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      codobus, Catesby

      who was not a citizen: the other part of the discussion was that it was inappropriate to ask legal (I don't know if they all were, but I made the assumption) residents that are foreign nationals to make a loyalty oath to a foreign country, even if they were living in it.

      Craft is what emerges when you hit inspiration over the head with a stick.

      by commonmass on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 07:12:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  watching Christian networks I am struck (8+ / 0-)

    by the increasing politicization of religion in the US dating back to Jerry Falwell's Moral Majority whereby he felt radical Christians had the potential to control and dictate the path of not only political organizations but educational and mainstream religious ones as well, creating a monolithic sort of state religion.

    The Mennonites' stance on the Pledge is quite refreshing as several of the faiths growing from the Dissenter tradition also proscribe public oaths and other methods which may be seen as taking a deity's name in vain.

    Should you be interested in following those who combine religion and politics, I would suggest

    •  if you look up Falwell's history.... (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bythesea, BlackSheep1, Samer, trumpeter, dwayne, BYw

      ... you find that he started his career as an advocate for racial segregationism.

      Some of his then-powerful pals went to him and told him that if he wanted to hit the big-time, he should drop the race thing and go after homos*.  The rest as they say, is history.


      *I'm one, I can use that word.

    •  Technically, the Mennonites are correct from the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      point of view of the Ten Commandments and the advice of Christ in the Gospels.

      Do not swear, Jesus said, by the heavens -- God's throne -- or by the earth -- God's footstool -- or by the hair of your own head as you cannot make even one hair either white or black.

      Falwell, I will always believe, corrupted (and was aided and abetted in so doing by Robertson, that idiot at Focus on the Family, and others of that generation of rogue preachers gone TV-star) the tenets of Christianity in a personal pursuit of political power. He wanted to be the guy to step in and save the world ... politically.

      LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 10:15:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  ummmm..... what? (10+ / 0-)
    But what about the one who shows disrespect for the country, or founders' choice of Anthem, the remembrance of the battle that freed us from the very religious tyranny we're now having to fight all over again?

    "The Star-Spangled Banner" was written about the Battle of Fort McHenry during the War of 1812, and wasn't adopted as the national anthem until 1931.

    Which makes one wonder how it could have been "the founders' choice of Anthem" when many of the founders of the country were dead when it was written, to say nothing of each and every one of them being dead by the time it was actually chosen as the national anthem.

    That's also a pretty novel interpretation of the War of 1812, seeing as a battle that "freed us from religious tyranny." To which noted historian are you appealing in presenting that interpretation?

    •  The Sarah Palin School of U.S. History seems ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to be spreading its influence even to Daily Kos, doesn't it?

      PROUD to be a Democrat!

      by leevank on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 08:45:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Speaking of National Anthems... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yaque, gsenski, BYw

      The Germans get a Haydn string quartet.
      The French have La Marseillaise (originally Chant de guerre pour l'Armée du Rhin or "War Song for the Army of the Rhine").
      The Austrians bogarted a tune from a Mozart cantata.
      The Norwegians commissioned a new tune from Rikard Nordraak ("Ja, vi elsker dette landet.")

      And what did we do?
      We ripped off a British beer drinking ditty and slapped a secon-rate poem on it for our national anthem!

      "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction." - Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Pensées, #894.

      by maf1029 on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 09:01:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Also, Christianity isn't a monolith. (12+ / 0-)

    If you want to talk about a group of Christians who are explicitly not theocratic and not interested in "seiz[ing] control and mak[ing] a religious state," Mennonite Anabaptists would probably be at the top of your list. Mennonite and Anabaptist theology explicitly rejects the idea of Christians seeking worldly power or using violence, including the violence of the state, to impose their beliefs on others.

    The fact that you lump perhaps the most anti-theocratic and anti-violent group of Christians out there in with the theocratic Moral Majority types is prima facie evidence that you have absolutely no idea what the hell you're talking about.

    •  I tipped and rec'd this diary (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      codobus, dwayne

      because, as you can see by my comment above, I dislike loyalty oaths. Yes, there are some inaccuracies. But it spoke to me. By the way, check your KosMail.

      Craft is what emerges when you hit inspiration over the head with a stick.

      by commonmass on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 07:43:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree about oaths (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass, RockyMtnLib, BlackSheep1

        but the fact that the diarist has evidently not even stuck around to read the comments and correct the inaccuracies means no T&R from me.

        •  I read the comments. (0+ / 0-)

          It took you 45 minutes to write yours.  How in the fuck long do you want me to sit here and watch a failing diary die for chrissake.

          •  long enough to realize that.... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            .... Mennonites have been a highly progressive force at various times in our history, and in no way are part of the monolithic religious right.

            If they, as absolute pacifists (a position I used to hold but no longer do) want to extend the consistency of their pacifism so far as to avoid singing the National Anthem, that's their right; they can sing America the Beautiful or whatever they choose or nothing at all.  A quantity of absolute pacifists is necessary in the overall cultural ecosystem in any society, in order to temper the willingness to go to war.  

            It's not the same thing as injecting religion into public policy for example through the inclusion of "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance: the exercise of the extreme religious right in its perennial quest for theocracy.  Meanwhile we can always simply take a breath during the phrase in question, and when enough of us do that at the same time, the drop in audio volume in a crowd during that moment will be noteworthy.

            •  My opening line explained (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              that I've been hearing this "refuse to sing" meme from the entire religious right.  I just used the story as an example of one particular religious person since it appeared in today's news.

              Forgive me if I lump all religious zealots under the same DSMIVTR diagnosis for delusional.

              •  Please provide evidence... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                leevank, G2geek

                ...for this assertion.

                My opening line explained that I've been hearing this "refuse to sing" meme from the entire religious right.

                The link in that sentence went to another Mennonite.

                Mennonites ≠ the Religious Right, in any way, shape, or form.

                Where are your examples from the Religious Right of their "refusing to sing" the Star-Spangled Banner because of its martial origins?

              •  I flatly don't believe this! (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Jehovah's Witnesses, Mennonites, and the other "peace churches," perhaps, but they're HARDLY members of the Religious Right.  I have NEVER heard of ANY members of the so-called Religious Right who refuse to sing the Star Spangled Banner.  Generally, they like to do it combined with the Lord's Prayer, which some of us regard as bordering on blasphemous.

                But your last paragraph amply demonstrates that you are so overflowing with contempt toward ALL people of faith that you see no need to distinguish between them.  Just call them whatever pejorative things you feel like, because they deserve them all -- that seems to be your attitude.

                I hope you realize that when you do that, you're doing pretty much the same thing as people on the right do when they insist that President Obama is a communist Muslim or some such nonsense.  The fact that YOU don't like somebody doesn't mean that they're whatever negative description you can dream up.

                PROUD to be a Democrat!

                by leevank on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 02:39:13 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Arguably, if we made America the Beautiful our (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              trumpeter, leevank, G2geek

              anthem, we'd all be better off.

              Not singing a bar tune.
              Not espousing martial spirit.
              Not destroying a soloist's throat with that insane scale variance.

              LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

              by BlackSheep1 on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 10:18:46 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  You apparently didn't read them... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RockyMtnLib, leevank

            ...or else you would have noticed that your diary, which is built on the logic that those who are refusing to sing the Star-Spangled Banner are the same people who want to impose their religious beliefs on the rest of us by using the violence of the State, is completely and totally refuted by the undeniable fact that Mennonites are not theocrats, and explicitly reject theocracy and violence as a basic tenet of their theology.

            (You also got some pretty significant facts wrong about the National Anthem itself.)

            This diary made it clear that your apparent complete ignorance about the diversity of ideologies present in American Christianity is no obstacle to your posting a piece that puts that ignorance on display for the world to see.

            Your responses to the criticisms of this diary have made it clear that you would prefer to remain ignorant, rather than allow those who actually do know something about the thing you're writing about to educate you so that next time you might actually make the distinction.

  •  I can't really grasp the point you're trying to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leevank, BlackSheep1

    make in this diary.

    liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

    by RockyMtnLib on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 08:08:36 AM PDT

  •  I'd encourage you to read more abt this situation (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leevank, BlackSheep1

    Goshen College is very far from the religious right, very strong in commitment and activism for social justice and quite committed to separation of church and state.  These strike me as principles that most readers of this site would support.

  •  If you think Mennonites are part of the ... (3+ / 0-)

    so-called Religious Right, you evidently know very little about either Mennonites or the Religious Right.

    Mennonites are historically pacifists who believe in strict separation of church and state, so it makes sense to me that some of them would object to singing a national anthem that celebrates victory in a battle.

    PROUD to be a Democrat!

    by leevank on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 08:41:52 AM PDT

  •  He is Mennonite (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    they are in no way representative of the religious right - which is fervently in favor of war and star spangle banners and such shit.

    They are s small weird sect that is sort of like the Quakers in their opposition to war, death penalty, pledges etc - except they have this cultlike quality sot of like the JWs too.

    In general they are very peaceful and do a lot of charity work.

    John McCain is deeply disappointed that Barack Obama has failed to follow through on John McCain's campaign promises.

    by tiponeill on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 08:56:58 AM PDT

  •  Thats not the worst that they wish to do (0+ / 0-)

    These Xtian nutbags are currently pushing as hard as they can that there "is no seperation of church & state" : that it was only meant to be "one way". Of course, they are either ignorant (well, we KNOW that!) or else they are simply lying. Because the original intent is well documented, both through the writings of the founders and also through the well documented history of the events that led to the creation of this country (the religious wars in Europe, St. Bartholamuews massacre, the arrest, torture and execution of the Knights Templars, the inquisition, the burning of "witches" (practitioners of early medicine) at the stake, etc.).

    Watering down the seperation of church & state is necessary for the Republicans to keep power: that's all this is about. . . a power struggle.

    All that need be done to refute their idiotic claims is to provide the Letter from Madison to Edward Livingston. End of fucking arguments, nutbags.

    •  Why do they have to be (0+ / 0-)

      "xtian nutbags"? They are also, almost exclusively, caucasian... if they are supposed to be representative of everyone who professes Christianity, should they not also be representative of all americans of european descent? Including those here decrying their idiocy?

      They are nutbags. Period. They are representative of themselves and any others who share their ideological and political stances and no others.

      Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

      by awesumtenor on Sun Jun 26, 2011 at 10:06:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  sos sorry but. . . (0+ / 0-)

        . . .with the evangelical set, their xtianity is the root cause of their idiocy. It's a willful ignorance beget by a stupid adherence to a "literal translation" and their lunacy permeates everything around them. These are not the old line Christians of my youth. This is the new breed that attend the large hootenanny churches, flail around in wild abandon slapping their tamborines and flinging themselves into an enorphine fueled frenzy. They are the ones trying to infiltrate school board meetings insisting upon the teaching of creationist views. These are the ones trying to infiltrate every aspect of American life and to defile our democracy.

        These are the ones whom you cannot even hold an intelligent conversation with, without every other thought being about God and Jesus and praise god this and praise god that.

        The Repuglicans cannot get elected without them and so, even moderate Repugs have to avail themselves of those lunatics. It's a sad dance indeed.

        •  history... (0+ / 0-)
          with the evangelical set, their xtianity is the root cause of their idiocy.

          disagrees with you. Western european christianity has, from from the sack of rome by the visigoths, been about wealth and power; getting it and holding it. Since the 10th century and charlemagne it has been a license to print money and carte blanche to oppress and exploit as long as your oppression and exploitation had the church's blessing... which could be had if the price was right. It was western european Christianity that made the selection of bishops, archbishops and  cardinals a cash and carry transaction. With the spread of Christianity in western europe among a largely illiterate landed gentry, the church became wealthy and politically powerful beyond measure... and all of the evangelical denominations and sects today... including those which demonize the papacy and Catholicism, are branches on that tree.

          As the bible states, there is nothing new under the sun. The present day American evangelicals are playing the game no differently than the Borgias and the Di Medici's did. As such, their perpetuating the greed and naked and aggressive ambition of their european ancestors is the real root of their idiocy; Christianity as they practice it is simply a tool to achieve their desired ends.

          Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

          by awesumtenor on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 10:15:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  so then. . . (0+ / 0-)

            . . .where exactly, do we fucking differ?

            •  we differ (0+ / 0-)

              where you say that it is their Christianity that makes them that way; my observation of the history of western civilization leads me to conclude that they were that way when they became Christians and Christianity was just, for them, another tool to maintain the status quo.

              Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

              by awesumtenor on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 08:22:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Did you even read the article? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I mean, I get it, you hate christianity.  I'm not one, and while I'm more sympathetic than you I've still heard plenty of potentially valid reasons to dislike the belief, so whatever.  

    But what's your point here?  The article is a guy writing about a PRIVATE college, run by a PACIFIST religious organization.  They don't want a violent anthem at their private events.

    This guy also mentioned that the Mennonites' doctrine requires explicit separation of church and state.  He points out at the end that he simply eschews ALL pledges, presumably "under god" or otherwise.  

    It looks like you wanted to rant about statist power grabs by the religious culture in this country, using some other notion of patriotism to beat them with.  And to achieve this end, you picked on a group that, as religions go at least, is basically the panacea to the problem you went on and on about.  

    So, I'm sorry.  I can agree with your unease about religion working its way into the law.  But this is a great example about how just because you're right on an issue in theory, that doesn't mean you're immune to all the classic emotional biases of perspective, even the drastic ones.  Try and be a little more careful next time.  

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