Letter to the editor

Dear Editor,
I’m writing in response to the “ ‘Silent’ Protest” article that was published last issue. I quote silent because while the protest of remaining seated during the Pledge of Allegiance may be a silent act, the article certainly was not. Although I’m unsure of which the argument attacks – the Government or Christianity – I intend to defend both. I do not wish to change anyone’s beliefs, just as the other article also stated. Rather, I feel if one can explain to the student body why they choose to sit during what should be an act of respect to our country, I feel obligated to inform them why the rest of us are proud to stand.
The Pledge of Allegiance isn’t a religious creed at all. It was created to show respect to our country – not to God. It’s use of religious references is simply a representation of our country and our Christian roots that can be traced centuries back. One such example lies in our founding document. The Declaration of Independence reads, “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…” “Creator” refers to God, and these ‘unalienable rights’ later became the First Amendment – the law that allows disrespect to the very nation that secures that right.
Protesters of the Pledge seem to have a growing concern with the phrase “one nation, under God.” There have even been efforts to remove it. But why should a nation founded on, and still carrying, largely Christian beliefs, dissociate from a part of our history to accommodate a minority that disagrees? Our nation’s history is unchangeable. Young atheists and agnostics cannot expect to erase our past, and hopefully, won’t cause our forefathers to roll over in their graves by changing our nation’s future.
Many say this phrase discriminates against other religions. However, discrimination is defined as “an action that denies social participation to categories of people based on prejudice.” The Pledge of Allegiance isn’t discriminatory. Everyone is free to participate or free to refuse. It’s not discrimination, just disagreement.
One statement in the article expressed a lack of support for our nation’s military. Apparently, pacifists and humanists do not approve of the governments dealing with ISIL. Do they believe we should be allowing foreign terrorists attacks without defending ourselves? This lack of support for our military translates to a refusal of the Pledge. However, it’s the military that acquired and now defends our freedoms guaranteed to us as Americans. A common expression is that “it’s my right as an American” when discussing the lack of patriotism, protests of the government, etc. since our nation protects the freedom of speech. But remember: those freedoms were bought with the bloodshed of American soldiers. Freedom isn’t free.
Why do I stand? Simple: it’s a blessing from God to get to call the greatest nation in the world my home, and I express my gratitude for the lives lost to earn that freedom by showing allegiance to our nation’s flag.

Kate Hamilton


Letters to the Editor Policy: Contributions from outside the staff will be considered, but student editors and the adviser make final content decisions. The Paolite Staff does not accept unsigned letters to the editor.
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