My kind of pledge of allegiance

Opinion

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I have never really cared for the Pledge of Allegiance ever since my high school senior English teacher, Mrs. Edith Head (but not THAT Edith Head) diagrammed it on the blackboard in class. That was back in 1973.

When one understands sentence structure, it’s obvious that most people, especially Christians (“Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” or something like that), should be a little upset. It starts, “I pledge allegiance to the flag….” Huh? I’m supposed to pledge myself to an inanimate object? Hmmm. I don’t think so. And I’m not even a Christian!

It goes on, kind of like an afterthought “….AND to the republic for which it stands….” That’s certainly good, but then it gets bad again: “….one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

When one understands religions, one would naturally ask, “Under whose god?”

And even at the tender young age of 18, it was evident to me that there was no “liberty and justice for all.” Liberty and justice was reserved for the rich and the white. I don’t think anything has changed in 41 years.

At a recent home inspection, there was a pledge of allegiance hanging on the wall, a pledge that I fully support:

I pledge allegiance....

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I pledge allegiance
to the Earth
and all the Life
which it supports.
One Planet,
in our care,
irreplaceable,
with sustenance and respect
for all.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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13 thoughts on “My kind of pledge of allegiance

    1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

      So you were a questioner…..

      I started teaching chess at a new school (for me) yesterday, and the most advanced student in the class asks a lot of questions. As soon as he gets an answer that he understands, he exclaims, “Got it!”

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      1. laurie27wsmith

        Indeed I was, although it tended to put you on the wrong side of the teachers. I still question things, especially when watching the news. I’ll stop now and refuse to rant. 🙂 A chess teacher, your talents know no bounds Russel, good on you.

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        1. Russel Ray Photos Post author

          People whose talents know no bounds often are called “Jacks of all Trades.” It’s been a detriment to me most of my life. However, it’s been very useful to me since October 2001 when I started my home inspection company. People who are spending thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and sometimes even millions of dollars, want someone to whom they can relate. Being a Jack of all Trades allow me to relate to just about anyone because I know something about everything and everything about nothing.

          The new school that I am teaching chess at is Maranatha Christian Schools. Imagine me, an agnostic/atheist/spiritualist, openly gay person in a 20-year relationship teaching at a Christian School…………. What do I do when one of the kids asks me my wife’s name?

          From around 2003 to about a year ago, I was doing a lot of business with a 3-person real estate team here, all devout Christians, so much so that their emails to me started off, “I pray that you are well” or some such. Finally, one of them said, “You never talk about your wife. What’s her name?” Oooops. “Well, I’m married but not traditionally. My wife is actually a husband named Jim. We’ve been together for 20 years and we got married on October 30, 2008.” The shock on his face. Haven’t heard from those three since, and I suspect I never will again.

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          1. laurie27wsmith

            Jack of all trades, master of none. See, it did work out for you, it enabled to you to broaden your horizons. You would certainly get to meet a diverse collection of folk in your line of work. You’re certainly working right out there on the edge at that school. If a kid asks and you don’t want it known, say my wife’s name is Jamie. 🙂 I have to shake my head and sigh when I see things on the news about churches’ up in arms on gay issues. There’s supposed to be some universal love happening, except the love’s only going to who they approve of. I would have loved to have seen the look on the faces of the real estate team, priceless. Yep, good Christians until it means looking outside the box. It takes all kinds I guess Russel. We solved the Jehovah’s witnesses fortnightly visits. A neighbour wanted to run some horses on our place (40 acres) so we put an electric fence up inside the front gate, haven’t had a visit since.

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          2. Mélanie

            🙂 I can imagine the shock in “puritan” America… and btw, I won’t pray for you, I’m totally agnostic and I do respect people’s choices, decisions, faith, etc… cheers and I do vote for your pledge! 🙂 Mélanie P.S. in French we have a pun(wordplay): gay is O.K. as he/she is merry, too! 🙂

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  1. stregajewellry

    Russell, I am so happy to see this old “hippie” pledge appearing once again and so glad you shared it. I think I have had it hanging on my wall in one form or another for the past 25 years. It’s timeless and much more appropriate. Thanks for sharing with your many followers.

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  2. coastalcrone

    I love this pledge and want to steal it. Thank you for sharing it. I am old enough to remember when the “under God” was added to the traditional pledge. Thanks too for the recent visit and comment. I have not given up blogging but the cold dark days of January slow me down. It will be in the 70s this weekend so I will be inspired. Peace and happiness to you and Jim.

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