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I recently had an interesting conversation with a friend.  She is about 10 years older than I am.  I have known her for a few years though our relation is more of a business relationship I consider us to be friends.  She is in sales and I am the customer.

We were sitting at a bar and she knows that I am an atheist, I was always pretty positive she was not.  For some reason she goes into this rant about the Pledge of Allegiance. She feels that things have only gotten worse since it can’t be said in schools..  I asked, “What things?”  She talked about school shootings, kids having no respect, those kinds of things.  She feels that we took God out of schools and things went to Hell.  Not her words, I am paraphrasing here.

It’s an interesting argument.  It’s simply not true.  But, as she continues talking about all this.  I knew exactly why she felt the way she did.  It’s ignorance.  Now I don’t mean that in a bad way.  I love this person.  I am not saying she’s an idiot.  I think deep down most people probably feel the way she does about it all.  In fact, it’s part of what made me write this rant today.

Here’s the thing.  People are really bad at seeing how easily they get manipulated by religious propaganda.  There is an insane amount of brain washing going on here.  Some of it is deliberate but in all honesty I don’t believe that most of it.  In my experience propaganda is most effective when selling an idea that people already want to believe.  And, if your uneducated or simple stupid it becomes very easy to believe the lie when people you like, love or trust tell you something.  Education is always the best defense against manipulation.

People do things and say things and have no idea where they come from.  So many thoughts and phrases that we take for granted, that we absolutely should not. The history of the Pledge of Allegiance is fine example.  It gets forgotten and we for some reason assume, it has always been as it is now.  I don’t know what it is about the Pledge that has people thinking that this thing is like some religious document, it’s not.  It’s just a pledge that was originally composed by Francis Bellamy in 1892.  And it went like this, “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Notice anything about it? There’s no God reference in it?  Well, isn’t that shocking?  So where did God come from?  Why do we say One Nation Under God now?  Well, in 1954 our great congress was terrified of Communism.  And sadly, instead of actually doing things to fight Communism it does as it always it does, it will pass stuff to make us feel better.  It was too difficult go after real communists so instead it attacked Hollywood in an attempt to label some of the biggest actors of the time as communists or at least communist sympathizers.  It also decided to label Russia as a Godless community.  And, what a better way to do that then to label our country as the “One nation under God…”

In 1942 congress had already adopted the Pledge as the official pledge said before all sorts of government meetings.  So, it was pretty easy to just change the lyrics and add in, “under God”.  This made us feel strong, Russia, Godless!  America, Strong!  But, we never talk about the political reasons for using God in the Pledge.  It had nothing to do with wanting, loving or respecting God.  It had to do with politics and that’s the only reason God’s name is in the Pledge.  However, Christians have been using it as a form of propaganda every since.

The Bellamy SaluteIn fact I need to blow your mind here.  You know how you put your hand over your heart when reciting the Pledge?  That changed in or around 1942, I am too lazy to go look it up the specific date. Anyways, It used to be called the Bellamy Salute and it looked like the photo to our left here.  Notice anything scary about that? Well, the Salute either started with our hand over our heart and ended with our hands outstretched or Vice Versa.  As a country we had been doing this since Bellamy wrote the damn Pledge in 1892.

Well as World War II raged on in Europe and American’s began to finally give a shit about what Hitler was doing over there we couldn’t very well have our students pledging allegiance like Hitler’s army Saluted to their country.  So we went and changed our salute to the flag by just placing our hand over our heart.

Now what started all this today for me was that I wanted to post Charlie Daniels Band’s “The Devil Went Down To Georgia.”  Love that song.  But, I listened to it and he changed the words.  He kept saying Son of Gun, instead of Son of Bitch and that was pissing me off.    It’s what made the song so bold and so great.  It was a screw you to censorship, it was raw.  So while searching for the original version of the song I come across this Pledge of Allegiance story originally read by Red Skelton that Charlie Danial’s re-did.

It’s very powerful and emotional.  In fact let me throw up the link here so you can listen to it.  Very American!  Very Proud!  But, their was something wrong here and I couldn’t let it slide.  Here’s the link take a listen first…

So, Charlie Daniels mentions God? Makes sense, God is in the Pledge now. But, was God in the “pledge” when Red Skelton was in the 7th Grade. The answer to that would be no! So what Red Skelton told as nothing more than made up story of patriotism has now become “A true story” that is now accepted by millions as something that really happened that never did! Now I am sure there was no attempt by Red Skelton to do anything more than to tell a good story for his show.  It’s religious propaganda and a good example of how ignorance breeds stupidity.

Another thing it does is foster hate masked at patriotism and religious freedom.  Just look at the comments under this video.  “Liberals hate this.”  Here’s another comment by another dumbass comment posed by “NC Patriot II”.  “It’s sad that the Pledge has become just a bunch of recited words. Everyone should know the true meaning of the pledge, and what it stands for. I’m glad people like Red Skelton are courageous enough to let people know, and for people like Charlie Daniels to repeat it again. God Bless America!”  I mean this douche even has the Confederate flag as his avatar.

Think about what this idiot just said. Everyone should know the pledge and what it stands for.  They should know what it stands for?  NC Patriot II, is so fucking clueless.  He’s praising others for their ignorance of the Pledge while being completely ignorant about the “pledge”.  He is doing exactly what he is preaching against.  He is stupid on so many levels it boggles the mind.

Anyways, I see this video and I have to go watch the original with Red Skelton and sure enough he mentions God in his story.  And, as I have already shown, when Red Skelton was in the 7th grade, god wasn’t in the pledge.  God should have never been in there because of the separation of church and state issues alone.  It’s the same reason In God We Trust shouldn’t be on our money.  However, when it comes to the “pledge” with its “under God” part, what I find most offensive is that it wasn’t added because American’s love their gods, It was added solely for political purposes and that is just wrong on so many levels.

But look, I am not here saying we need to have it removed.  It’s been on the money and in the pledge my whole life.  I don’t have a huge problem with it.  What I do have a problem with is dumbass people using their ignorance of history to justify their belief in a god or to somehow claim they are more American then I am because they are too stupid to know their own history.

I have no problem with those that believe in a higher power.  I believe in a higher power.  For me it’s science and rational thought.  For others it’s space aliens and space ships.  Some believe in an invisible old man kinda like Santa Clause that knows if you’ve been bad or good and they call him God.  That’s fine.  Believe what you want to believe but at the very least, know you’re history.  If you don’t question your faith, you’re become nothing but a waste of space.

I question mine all the time.  Every time I read something that sounds interesting and I want to share it, I look it up first.  I make sure that I at least have a clue as to what it is that I am talking about.  I check multiple reliable sources and then I check their sources.  The truth really is out there but it’s rarely ever just handed to you.

We have got to get back to a place in this country where the truth still stands for something.  Where facts are always respect over mysticism.  Because the simple facts are that this is not a Christian nation. It never was “one nation under God” and it was never “in God we trust.”  These are all flat out lies told for political gain and political or religious propaganda.  How quickly we love to turn these un-American events into acts of patriotism.  It’s staggering how the stupid are always so proudly preaching things they know so little about.

It’s scary how much people don’t know.  It’s terrifying to me because what most people do when they don’t understand something is first fear it and second, make shit up about it.  If you don’t believe me, go back and look at all the ignorant comments under that Charlie Daniel’s video.  All these self proclaimed American’s. So proud of themselves and patting themselves and others on the back and they have no fucking idea that they are completely wrong. They are all so proud and obviously know so little about this great countries history, it’s embarrassing.

We should know better than this.  But, we don’t.  We accept what we’re told and that is what’s wrong with this country.   If these people could just every once and a while question something they believe to be a fact.  Just take something they think is true.  Just try to confirm it.  You can learn so much.  It can deepen your faith in things.  It can make you smarter and most of all it can keep you from being gullible.

I never stop asking questions.  I learned an important lesson a long time ago and it’s a shame more people haven’t learned this as well.  There is huge difference between a fact and an opinion.  The problem people tend to have in life is that sometimes we hear an opinion that is masked as a fact and we simple believe it.  A great example of this is one that almost everyone believes.  That is, if a baby bird falls from it’s nest we shouldn’t touch it and put it back because the mother will detect our sent and reject the baby.  It’s not true at all.

We need to fact check things and we need to stop paying attention to people that promote lies.  Mistakes happen, sometimes we say something that isn’t true.  If more of us would openly correct ourselves and others, it would be a lot harder for things like ignorance, hate and bigotry to propagate.