I don't know of anyone who ever watched Red Skelton perform who did not love the man. It was as if his soul was on display and pure goodness shone through. So it is to be expected that when explaining the Pledge of Allegiance to school children that Red would cast the Pledge in a favorable light. With all due respect to Red I have come to see it a little differently.
According to Dr. John W. Baer the Pledge originated with the socialist Francis Bellamy in 1892. You remember socialism; the theory of advocating State ownership and control of production, distribution, and exchange. I think the world has seen enough of socialism and its attendant evils. So, right away there is reason to be wary of the Pledge. Then, to make matters worse, Bellamy was a member of the National Education Association and through his influence managed to begin a Flag Raising Ceremony with his Pledge in the Public Schools. There were a couple of minor changes to the original Pledge along the way and then in 1954 with President Eisenhower's support the words "under God" were added.
The current form has it: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands: one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all. So, hand over heart, we would unquestionably begin our day in the Public Schools with this oath and prayer.
Breaking the Pledge down using the Oxford Dictionary of Current English we find that the word pledge means promise. Allegiance means loyalty. Flag means a cloth attached to a pole as a country's emblem. Republic means a State in which supreme power is held by the people or their elected representatives or by an elected or nominated President. Nation means a community of people of mainly common descent, history, language, etc. forming a State or inhabiting a territory. God means God. Indivisible means not capable of being divided. Liberty means freedom from captivity or the right to do as one pleases, and justice means justness or fairness.
So, we have: I promise to be loyal to a piece of cloth attached to a pole that is the emblem of the United States of America and to the State for which it stands in which supreme power is held by the people or their elected representatives or by an elected or nominated President: one community of people of mainly common descent, history, language, etc. forming a State or inhabiting a territory, under God, not capable of being divided, with freedom from captivity or the right to do as one pleases and justness or fairness for all.
The first concept to address is that of loyalty. As a Christian my first loyalty is to my God and Saviour, the second to my family, and the third to my neighbor. Any loyalty to State, Republic, or Nation will be conditioned on the conduct of that entity. Now that I think about it, I am really bothered by the idea of a republic in its pure form. Our Constitution is supposedly the supreme law of the land such that we are a nation of laws and not of men. Should I show respect to a State that neglects and abuses their own supreme law? And, of course it would be in error to define us as one community of people of mainly common descent, history, and language since multiculturalism is the order of the day with our ballots in multiple languages and our signs dumbed down with pictures. Then, there is under God. This is certainly offensive to the atheists among us. And, as our current leader just told the world, we are not a Christian nation. So, to what God does the pledge refer? Perhaps the God Molech. We could return to the practice of sacrificing our children on the burning red hot arms of the idol. Why not? We have already had men in black robes suspend the civil rights of the unborn in a case brought before them that they were not authorized to adjudicate.
How about not capable of being divided? I don't know about capable, but it is certainly difficult. The victors drove that point home at the cost of some six hundred thousand lives during the war between the States. And, then they wrote the history books leaving out a few facts along the way. The freedom from captivity or the right to do as one pleases has been under attack here in the United States for a very long time. Servitude is a natural consequence of taxation. The more taxation the more captivity. The larger the leviathan government the more restricted are our rights to do as we please. When 85% of the people are against the recent bailouts and yet an arrogant Congress and President passes the legislation regardless, you know your government has become oppressive.
Finally, is there justness and fairness for all in this land? I will leave it to the reader to make that call. No, I won't be saying the Pledge again. I don't even like the national anthem. I much prefer America the Beautiful. But, as the fellow said, "We're going to keep singing the anthem until we get it right."