Maybe It’s Time To Skip The National Anthem And Pledge

Anywhere you look now, some group is refusing to stand for the National Anthem or Pledge of Allegiance. It is a protest vehicle.

A preacher posted a blog that brings standing for the Anthem and kneeling in prayer to be birds of a feather. This plays into the hands of those who protest. There is no constitutional requirement that people stand. Making a big deal out of not standing brings attention to the causes of protesters.

The simplest solution is to stop playing the Anthem at all. For those who are disappointed there is a Plan B. That is to play the Anthem while people are coming into the venue. Those who want to stand and those who want to ignore it can do both do what they want.

This was the resolution of standing during the Pledge of Allegiance in schools. Some students are not ready for class so they scurry about during the Pledge and others stand. It all works fine.

By discontinuing the ritualistic character of the Anthem and Pledge we could be proactive about a coming controversy. It is the question of how to reflect the two in our increasingly diverse society.

Many of us can remember when there was a hubbub about the way black soloists sang the Anthem. This subsided after a while.

What if, however, the Anthem was regularly sung in a language other than English? It seems like dropping it from the script would be the best solution.

36 Responses

  1. Matt Noah

    The Constitution is not the only binding law in our land. We also have Federal, State, Municipal, Regulatory, etc.

    Included in that is the US Flag Code, sections 170 and 171. You can reference them at http://www.usflag.org/uscode36.html#170

    Now, I assume you law-abiding atheists and anti-theists don’t condone breaking laws.

    It is quite refreshing to see a Diocese make a stand on the National Anthem – http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/09/13/amen-catholics-do-what-nfl-refuses-to-do-stand-up-for-america.html

    Now, people can protest US policy in any number of ways. But for those who show disrespect for National Anthem or US Flag, I would like to have them visit Arlington National Cemetery and witness firsthand the multitude of graves of men and women who died in defense of our country, some of them even unknown. Please visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgoZWQ1opDE

  2. Matt Noah

    Also interesting to note are the special days that the flag is to be displayed, from section 174 of the US Flag Code: Note that Easter and Christmas are included but not certain other religion’s holidays. I wonder if that has something to do with those who claim this was founded as a Christian nation? What other explanations are there for this curiosity?

    (d) Particular days of display
    The flag should be displayed on all days, especially on New Year’s Day, January 1; Inauguration Day, January 20; Lincoln’s Birthday, February 12; Washington’s Birthday, third Monday in February; Easter Sunday (variable); Mother’s Day, second Sunday in May; Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May; Memorial Day (half-staff until noon), the last Monday in May; Flag Day, June 14; Independence Day, July 4; Labor Day, first Monday in September; Constitution Day, September 17; Columbus Day, second Monday in October; Navy Day, October 27; Veterans Day, November 11; Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in November; Christmas Day, December 25; and such other days as may be proclaimed by the President of the United States; the birthdays of States (date of admission); and on State holidays.

  3. Juan Ruiz

    The problem with the Pledge, along with other set pieces (oaths, declarations, prayers) is that they are repeated so often that the speaker no longer dwells on the meaning of the words. In some cases, the words themselves are archaic (“who art in Heaven,” “thy name,” ” for thine”), and are never used in contemporary speech. They become mantras to be mumbled and then packed away for the next time.

    1. Matt Noah

      There is a “problem” with everything. I have no problem with rote prayers, pledges, practices. Reflecting on the words of these gems is inspiring if you try.

        1. Matt Noah

          Regardless, it is not an excuse for omitting the Pledge or the National Anthem.

          The Mass is rote in many ways as it is a reenactment of the Last Supper. The Rosary is rote in many ways. The comfort of rote prayers while in a POW jail cell is real. Rote prayers pledges and anthems bring us together as a country or a religion. If you watch the Olympics, most participants are mouth or singing the words of their National Anthem on the Awards platform.

          Perhaps all should watch a short video on the Star Spangled Banner at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaxGNQE5ZLA

          1. Juan Ruiz

            “The Mass is rote in many ways as it is a reenactment of the Last Supper.”

            It’s really more than that. Yet there is an example of how set texts lose their meaning. The “magical words” hocus-pocus are a corruption of the Latin “In hoc est corpus meum.”

          2. Matt 11:52 Hocus-Pocus. Let’s not confuse witchcraft with the sacred words of the Mass as enunciated by an ordained priest.

            That’s a tough one. “In the beginning there was the word…” I’m unable to differentiate between whatever word god used to create the universe and “abracadabra”.

          3. Matt Noah

            In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

            Jon could easily have done his research on this topic but is too filled with hate. He likes to work on the feeble-minded. The “word” is certainly not an utterance as Jon states. The Word was God as declared in John 1:1.

            We people cannot fathom an eternity so God simply states through Scriptures that in the beginning … We can all relate to a beginning. Mystery is foreign to the atheist.

          4. Matt 4:29 Mystery is foreign to the atheist.

            In the case of this stuff in the Bible, there is no mystery. It was just made up. If you want to pass along some actual mystery then we can see if it is foreign to atheists.

          5. entech

            Mystery is foreign to the atheist.
            Going by this definition from Merriam-Webster we have to come to one of our rare agreements. By definition an atheist must be a stranger to mystery.

            a : a religious truth that one can know only by revelation and cannot fully understand
            b (1) : any of the 15 events (as the Nativity, the Crucifixion, or the Assumption) serving as a subject for meditation during the saying of the rosary
            (2) capitalized : a Christian sacrament; specifically : eucharist
            c (1) : a secret religious rite believed (as in Eleusinian and Mithraic cults) to impart enduring bliss to the initiate
            (2) : a cult devoted to such rites

            Can’t remember the full text now but Gregory the Theologian while trying to explain the trinity said contemplation of such things leads to madness so we treat the whole thing as a divine mystery.

        2. Juan Ruiz

          “In the beginning was the Word”

          In Greek, “Logos,” a concept found in Hellenic philosophy. Philo of Alexandria discussed it before it found its way into John.

    2. entech

      Juan, I think the continued use of archaic language is a deliberate attempt to give authority to the words, one of the general religious arguments is “it is so old, has been around so long that it must be true”. When the King James Bible was first put into general circulation a lot of the language was long out of date but retained for the same reasons. Based on Tyndale’s translation to a large extent, some hundred years earlier.
      Around this time Caxton was contributing to the standardization of English spelling and usage from the multitude of dialects, as is still the case change is often resisted and the older styles more respected if not revered.

      1. Henry

        I don’t know what you are talking about. I am trying to build up Hillary. Doesn’t she look great? What is wrong with you?

      2. entech

        Not only phony as a three dollar bill but losing whatever he had left. Talking to himself, 5 posts. It just confirms what I have always thought, he just waits for a response and then says whatever he feels like ignoring the response, now he has stopped waiting.
        Don’t mind me just chat amongst yourselves

        1. Henry

          entech 11:42, Looks like you can’t count, either. I see three of my posts in response to your 10:30, not five. I think you are seeing things.

          In addition, your 11:42 is in response to your 10:30 based on the threading (the fourth comment of four in response to 10:30. If anyone is talking to himself, that would be you. Hmmm…..you are seeing things that aren’t there and talking to yourself. That may be telling.

          1. entech

            Your right 1 in the morning here long past this little old mans bedtime. The indentation was deliberate intending to include all in between. Another failed attempt at a good thought.

            Nonetheless, you are still king of the phonies. Good night or where you are have a nice lunch.

  4. Retired Major

    I would like the words “Under God” dropped from the pledge of allegiance and make it mandatory in some settings. If you aren’t willing to make a non-religious pledge for the country maybe it’s time to look for a new one. Not sure about the anthem though.

    1. Retired 12:39 I would like the words “Under God” dropped from the pledge of allegiance and make it mandatory in some settings. If you aren’t willing to make a non-religious pledge for the country maybe it’s time to look for a new one.

      Do you not agree with those who believe free speech includes the right not to say certain things, like the pledge? The specter of police removing someone from a football game because they refused to say the Pledge, even a secular one, is daunting to me.

      1. Retired Major

        I don’t think the pledge or the anthem need to be said or sung at a sporting event. That is not a venue for demonstrating patriotism. I’m not sure where it should be mandatory, but if you are a citizen, shouldn’t your allegiance be to this country instead of some other country?

        1. Retired 2:22 I don’t think the pledge or the anthem need to be said or sung at a sporting event. That is not a venue for demonstrating patriotism. I’m not sure where it should be mandatory, but if you are a citizen, shouldn’t your allegiance be to this country instead of some other country?

          Good thought. There may be places where the Pledge is appropriate–even if everyone does not participate. I agree sporting events are not one of them. If one is inducted into the military, the Pledge is sort of a contract as to who you are serving–not the enemy.

  5. I’ll wait to see if every other nation in the world stops singing or performing their national anthem before I agree to a moratorium on ours.

    Freethinkers. That’s rich. If our nation were suddenly under the total governance of the Freethinkers I can guarantee there would be no more free thought.

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