Saturday, August 6, 2011

With Liberty and Justic for ALL

http://images.sodahead.com/polls/000467887/polls_pledge_of_allegiance_in_school_0815_205193_poll_xlarge.jpeg

Unless you were a feisty kid who was committed to only doing what you believed in or understood thoroughly, you probably grew up saying the Pledge of Allegiance.  
Not many people know that the Pledge of Allegiance has gone through some major changes since it was first written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy (a socialist).

The first version (1892) read:
“I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands: one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”

The second version read:
"I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the republic for which it stands: one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all."

The third version (1923) read:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States and to the republic for which it stands: one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all."

The fourth version (1924) read:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands; one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all."

The fifth version (1954) read:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."

Under god wasn’t added until 1954. In a country that claims to separate church and state, this addition does not make sense.  But it also doesn't make sense to close all government offices for Christian holidays but not close them for Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, Hindu or Jain holidays. 

The pledge was supposed to be quick and to the point.  Bellamy designed it to be recited in 15 seconds.  In his initial version he considered using the words equality and fraternity but decided not to because he knew it would not be approved by the state superintendents of education on the committee.  They were against equality for women and African Americans.
 http://www.missouri-slave-data.org/GirlsBuncetonBBall.jpg

Through all these changes, I can’t help but notice that one part was not messed with:  “….with liberty and justice for all.”

I am surprised that no one thought to eventually change it to  “With liberty and justice for all humans.”  ….just to reflect the reality of our laws and social structure. 
 http://www.modernhippiemag.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/EarthTalkAntibioticResistance-300x186.jpg

Just like the golden rule, we somehow conveniently forget to actually pay attention to the literal meaning.  In the golden rule, Others means Others…all others.  In the Pledge of Allegiance, All means All.  The most accurate way to define all is probably “anyone who would benefit from liberty and justice”. 
Let your imagination run with that.  Who would benefit from liberty and justice?  All humans, all species, all life and the earth itself. 
It is much easier for me to imagine pledging allegiance to the earth and all life than to a piece of fabric with a design on it.  So, here is my suggestion for revision number 6 of the Pledge:

“I pledge allegiance to my earth home and all life which it supports. We are but one world, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”

And just for fun, watch this little you tube ….


 http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-54xNZdkYKlc/Tbhidgv25rI/AAAAAAAAAIw/73whZvpmIRE/s1600/earth-day.jpeg