Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Let's Not Forget Our Pledge of Allegiance

I pledge allegiance
To the Flag
Of the United States of America
And to the Republic
For which it stands
One nation
Under God
With liberty and justice
For all

When was the last time you really thought about the words that you had to speak everyday at the beginning of class throughout your childhood? At that time, after awhile, you spoke it by rote while barely placing your hand over your heart, not really paying attention to what you were saying, giggling with your friend at the next desk over about some joke on the playground. So over time, it lost all meaning.

But suddenly, your rights are stripped away, and you think, "How the hell did this happen?" And then you remember. "Didn't I pledge something, about a Republic?" And suddenly, that droning recital you gave every morning at school has a whole lot of meaning.

I pledge allegiance

Those of us fighting for our equal rights have been accused of being non-American, of trying to thwart the very foundation of our country. Yet, if I remember right, my history teacher told me that the very reason our country exists was because the colonists who worked their hands to the bone to establish this country (or worked their slaves' hands to the bone), believed they didn't have a voice in how they were governed. "Taxation without representation," became their motto. And if I'm not confused, am I not paying taxes NOW for numerous benefits I'm being denied? Where's my representation? So fighting for my rights, my equal rights, to those benefits, is in the exact nature of how our country even began! I'm standing by my allegiance!

To the Flag
Of the United States of America

. . . 48, 49, 50. Yep, there's still fifty stars on that flag. Meaning, all states make up the Union. Oh, wait, there's thirteen stripes, representing the original thirteen colonies that fought for their voices to be heard. So if I'm interpreting the flag correctly, those fifty stars stand in solidarity with the intent of the colonies to have equal representation.

So why is it that each state can decide for itself whether or not to allow some people marry? Why is that I can get married in Connecticut, but then drive to North Carolina and suddenly not be married? That doesn't sound like a Union to me.

And speaking of the Union as a whole - the federal government doesn't recognize some marriages while it does others? Even going as far as to discriminate against its employees? Doesn't that go against the very essence of equal representation that its creation was based upon?

And to the Republic
For which it stands. . .

A republic. A republic? What's that?

A Republic is representative government ruled by law (the Constitution). Then what's a democracy? A democracy is direct government ruled by the majority (mob rule). A Republic recognizes the inalienable rights of individuals while democracies are only concerned with group wants or needs (the public good). Of course, if everyone remembered this, or agreed with said definitions, maybe I would still have my rights. Hopefully, President Obama will remember.

One Nation
Under God


"Under God" was an addition first introduced by the Knights of Columbus. Need I say more? Their version of God is not quite mine. I do believe in a higher power, but I don't believe that the higher power is condemning me to hell for loving another person, whether or not they are of the same sex as I.


One nation. I pledged that. I'm not trying to tear us apart. I'm trying to regain my rights and fight for the rights that my fellow citizens already enjoy. If anything, that's unifying our nation. But I believe if someone is actively trying to take someone's rights away, they're trying to divide. So in effect, are they not breaking their pledge?

With liberty

I don't have the liberty to marry whom I want. I did. At least in California. But that was taken away. But a bare majority. (Re-read what a Republic is)

. . . and justice for all.

Ah. Justice. I'm still waiting to see if the California Supreme Court will issue justice here. During the Proposition 8 arguments, they kept referring to the will of the people, almost as if they had the final say. But in a republic, "people" is singular. Each individual has a say. Each. And their say is protected. In a democracy, "people" is plural, and the majority rule.

I believe I am a "people." I believe my LGBT community is a "people." And my will, along with theirs, is to have the same rights as my fellow citizens.

Having those rights is justice. FOR ALL.

Citizens for Constitutional Government, "Republic vs. Democracy"
Wikipedia, "Addition of the words 'Under God'"

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