College Students Ban Pledge of Allegiance

Pledge Student trustees at Orange Coast College have banned the Pledge of Allegiance at their meetings. It does not apply to other student-led meetings or groups at the school. Gee… thanks for that concession. It would be one thing if they had made it optional, much like the 2002 federal appeals court in San Francisco that ruled that requiring it was unconstitutional. But, instead of making it an option, the student trustees BANNED it. (The 2002 case was the one that created a big flap, led by Michael Newdow. Of course, that case was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court because he didn’t really have custody of his daughter. Then Newdow did it again on behalf of three parents and it was upheld.)

By the way, the three students who led this initiative wore revolutionary-style berets while running for this office. Jason Bell, one of the three, said they instituted the ban because they didn’t want to have to vow publicly their loyalty to the American government before their meetings. “Loyalty ought to be something the government earns through performance, not through reciting a pledge,” he said.

Unfortunately, Jason, you’re wrong. The government’s authority isn’t earned. It’s defined as authoritative by civil law. Its authority is per se authority. And that doesn’t even mean it always is correct in its judgments. But, it’s still the government.

Ironically, Bell, a self-described atheist and socialist, is unaware that citizenship in a country that allows him to be stupid requires submission to authority, and, in banning the pledge, his authority as student trustee has become even more of an an imposition on others. These students are being totalitarian in a country that allows them to be. That might just be the definition of abuse of freedom.

Here’s what I wanna know… What is so wrong with patriotism? When did that become no longer cool? Believe me, I’m no great fan of the use (misuse?) of religion in politics, and I think patriotism is a poor substitute for loyalty to God, but, this is just… dumb… misguided teenage angst. Why is so cool to hate the country that has arguably done the most good in the history of the world?

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