Allegiance to U.S., not to God

Amanda Hem

As the granddaughter of a World War II Army veteran, the niece of a Vietnam Navy veteran, the daughter of a Vietnam Air Force veteran and as a member of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary, I resent the column written by Blaine Moyle.

I grew up in a household that every day had an American flag hanging above the front porch, not because everyone in the country was experiencing a unifying tragedy but because my parents loved their country, every day, all year long, no matter what was going on in the world around us. I was taught from the time that I could walk that when you saw the American flag go by in a parade you put your hand over your heart, to silently pay tribute to those who had given their lives for that flag and the country it represented.

I knew that when the “Star -Spangled Banner” was played I should stop talking, look to the flag and put my hand over my heart to show my love and respect for the country in which I live. And every day in school when the principal on the intercom led us in saying the Pledge of Allegiance, I knew why.

It was because not everyone lived in the kind of household that I did. Not everyone heard stories of losing friends in the war. Not everyone went to Veteran’s Day Parades and saw men and women crying as the flag went by, thinking of loved ones. Not everyone was taught that United States was their home and above all should be loved and respected.

There was never a doubt in my mind why I was pledging allegiance. And never once, even to this day do I think of it as pledging allegiance to God, no matter that the Pledge contains those words. It is a pledge of faith and trust to the country. If you don’t like the idea of pledging an oath to a god you don’t believe, omit the words that offend you.

As far as this country being founded on the idea of escape from religious persecution by the king, that’s true. But this country was also founded by Christians. Plain and simple. ALL of the founding fathers were Christians, no matter their denominations; they all joined in the love of one God. So you can’t dismiss the fact that at the roots our country is one that does, for the majority of people, believe in the Judeo-Christian God.

Trying to reinstill the Pledge of Allegiance in to the lives of children that have no idea what this country is based on is not a bad or evil thing. It’s not an attempt to make them intolerant of others.

It’s not an attempt to make them think that anyone who doesn’t say it should be ridiculed or persecuted. It is an attempt to teach them that being proud of their country is not something they should be afraid to show.

Amanda Hem