Yep I’m still on that whole Pledge uproar issue. We got into talking about it at work today seeing as there wasn’t a whole helluva lot else to do thanks to a power outage that started just prior to my arrival. Someone brought up the question of “What harm do those two little words really cause anyone anyway? I mean, how are they really offensive?”
By way of example I pointed them to The Smoking Gun web site. More specifically, to their article Blue License Plate Special, which is all about offensive license plates or rather what the States like Florida and New York consider offensive and the people who have bitched about them. Here we have a collection of vanity plates with, at most, a couple of words on them. Many you can understand why some folks would find offensive. Others, however, leave one scratching his head. One person got pissed over a plate with SONOFGOD on it because they felt the owner was claiming to be THE son of God and there was only ONE true Son of God.
Who gives a shit? Right? Yet someone sat down and dashed off a letter to try and get someone’s vanity plate yanked because they felt it was objectionably offensive. How about the plate “4 KAU 2” which someone complained was obviously shorthand for “Fuck You Too”? Do you see it? I don’t. In some cases the request to have the plate pulled was denied because the owners of the plate were able to explain what they were REALLY meant to say instead of what someone else THOUGHT they meant.
The point being, if we’re paying this much attention to something as trivial as a vanity license plate in the name of not offending people, then why should the Pledge of Allegiance be held to any lower of a standard? If a bunch of people can get pissed over the fucking confederate flag and force it’s removal from government buildings under the pretense of being offended because of what they believe it STANDS FOR, then why should atheists be expected to just shut up and deal over issues like the Pledge and the National Motto where the meaning of the religious text in question is so obvious? Does the confederate flag really hurt anyone by flying over a government building? Well, no, not really. It does offend some of them though, much in the same way those two little words offend those of us who don’t believe in such fairy tales.
According to Census 2000 figures 36.4 million people, or 12.9 percent of the total population, listed themselves as being Black or African American. According to the latest American Religious Identification Survey (ARIS – 2001) there are 29.4 million people who count themselves as non-religious, nearly 13% of the total population. Given that we’re not as small a percentage of the population as so many tend to think, why shouldn’t we expect to have our grievances acted upon?