Thursday, June 15, 2006

Concerned, But Not Terribly Concerned About Historical Accuracy

Ah, the Concerned Women for America. "Concerned" anything brings to mind the quintessential church lady frowning slightly, certain Something's Wrong with whatever issue has blundered into her line of sight, but unable to quiiiiiiite put together a cogent argument for why It (whatever it is) should be different.

Yesterday was Flag Day, so the CWA took the opportunity to wax indignant about... the Pledge of Allegiance, in support of yet another Republican base ass-kissing called the Pledge Protection Act (courtesy of Arizona's very own six-letter menace, Jon! Kyl!)--a proposed federal law that would prevent the phrase "under God" from ever being excised.
[Lanier] Swann said, “As Americans commemorate Flag Day, it is also appropriate to remember the importance of keeping God in our Pledge. CWA strongly supports the mention of God in our nation’s oath in keeping with our constitutional freedoms. We are free from an established religion and free to worship as we choose. Men of faith intentionally included the phrase ‘under God’ in an oath that serves as a symbol of loyalty and patriotism to our great country.

It's unclear if the CWA understand that while men of faith inserted the phrase into the pledge, they did so almost sixty years after the pledge was originally penned by an atheist socialist. It's equally unclear whether they understand the constitutional freedoms mentioned so reverently above, as Swann goes on to say:
“The Pledge Protection Act would uphold and protect the sanctity of our age-old Pledge. Children across the country must continue to have the right to recite our Pledge day in and day out. The words ‘under God’ make the Pledge not only a patriotic oath, but a public prayer for our country,” concluded Swann.

Hang on, let me rewind a moment here. In order to fulfill the religious freedoms mandated by the Constitution... we need a federal law... mandating the inclusion of a reference to a deity in the Pledge of Allegiance... in order to permanently establish said pledge as a public prayer.

Makes perfect sense to me.

The other reference I find curious is calling the Pledge "age-old," a phrase usually reserved for certifiably ancient things such as mountains and the British oppression of Ireland. The Pledge was written in 1892, which is definitely old, but not qualified as "age-old" even in the context of the US. To be age-old in America, you need to date to no later than the initial founding and framing spasms of the country, say Bill of Rights or earlier. And since I'm pretty sure the key bit being cited as age-old is the hat-tip to God, age-old apparently means "52" to the CWA, which makes not just the Pledge but also my boss and my Betty Crocker cookbook age-old as well. Who knew?

1 comment:

cfrost said...

"age-old apparently means "52" to the CWA"
Holy shit. I'm 53, so that makes me older than "age old"!! Now if they'd just introduce a "Respect your Elders Act" I'd be happy.