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View Full Version : A boy and his flag: Why Will wonít pledge.



Shang
11-18-2009, 06:58 AM
I've heard that a substantial number of people are up in arms about the ten year old boy who refused to recite the pledge of allegiance in school.

"...At the end of our interview, I ask young Will a question that might be a civics test nightmare for your average 10-year-old. Will's answer, though, is good enough ó simple enough, true enough ó to give me a little rush of goose pimples. What does being an American mean?
'Freedom of speech,' Will says, without even stopping to think. 'The freedom to disagree. That's what I think pretty much being an American represents.'
Somewhere, Thomas Jefferson smiles."

http://www.arktimes.com/articles/articleviewer.aspx?ArticleID=2f5d7a3b-c72a-446b-8d20-3823aa79c021

Jim Ledger
11-18-2009, 07:16 AM
Without the Pledge of Allegiance in the Preamble, the Bill of Rights might as well be just another piece of paper.

That lad gives comfort to our emenies. Waterboarding's not good enough for the snotty little bastard.

WX
11-18-2009, 07:18 AM
That lad gives comfort to our emenies.

Not to mention our/your enemies:D

Jim Ledger
11-18-2009, 07:21 AM
We've met the emeny and he/she is ours/yours.

downthecreek
11-18-2009, 07:22 AM
What does being an American mean?
'Freedom of speech,' Will says, without even stopping to think. 'The freedom to disagree. That's what I think pretty much being an American represents.'
Somewhere, Thomas Jefferson smiles."


Good lad! :)

LeeG
11-18-2009, 07:25 AM
in grammar school we said the Pledge every morning. Then in sixth grade we had to individually recite the Pledge and Preamble to the Constitution for a test. That's when I discovered I had never memorized it. Said it nearly 1200 times and I couldn't remember it.

Jim Ledger
11-18-2009, 07:29 AM
It's the Richard Stanz bit that threw me.

huisjen
11-18-2009, 07:32 AM
I don't pledge either. The flag is a flag, an emblem, not a focus. My allegiance is to the constitution.

Dan

LeeG
11-18-2009, 07:35 AM
It's the Richard Stanz bit that threw me.

Whitchit Stands, that and the number of holes in the acoustical ceiling tiles.

rbgarr
11-18-2009, 08:01 AM
The pledge has a long and circuitous development. The Wiki, fwiw: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-18-2009, 08:11 AM
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6c/Pledge_salue.jpg

McMike
11-18-2009, 08:26 AM
Without the Pledge of Allegiance in the Preamble, the Bill of Rights might as well be just another piece of paper.

That lad gives comfort to our emenies. Waterboarding's not good enough for the snotty little bastard.


I think itís good for kids, even if they arenít as clear as Will, to test what it means to be an American. The point is to create thinking children not robots. To this day I wonít say under god when reciting it, because I donít think it belongs there. That is my freedom given to me by the founders.

After 9/11 it was very hard to outwardly oppose what our country was doing. I remember not being able to have a conversation about Iraq because it was unpatriotic to oppose our president they said I dishonored the sacrifice of our soldiers and that I was dividing the country instead of uniting it. What in fact was happening was a suppression of my rights. As it turns out I was right to question the invasion of Iraq but those who were caught up in revenge and nationalism suppressed my voice and many others.

I find this boy has the potential of understanding more deeply than most the meaning of freedom because he questions the status quo. He stated more clearly than most of us could, a very intelligent and pure reason why he made his choice.

I find it interesting that he encountered what we are currently encountering, an irrational backlash to difference.
 
Form the article:
"After Phillips put a post on the instant-blogging site twitter.com about the incident, several of her friends got angry and alerted the news media. Meanwhile, Will Phillips still refuses to stand during the pledge of allegiance. Though many of his friends at school have told him they support his decision, those who don't have been unkind, and louder.
"They [the kids who don't support him] are much more crazy, and out of control and vocal about it than supporters are."
Given that his protest is over the rights of gays and lesbians, the taunts have taken a predictable bent. "In the lunchroom and in the hallway, they've been making comments and doing pranks, and calling me gay," he said. "It's always the same people, walking up and calling me a gaywad."
 
I find it deplorable that the children who are verbally assaulting Will are allowed to do so. What is this going to teach them? To be unquestioning followers and bullies?

Jim L, I donít understand where your venom is coming from. Without the spirit, intellect, and sense of courage like Willís, this country would have never been. The pledge means nothing if you are deaf and blind to what ideas you are pledging to be united for. Will already stands on a higher moral value than most of our politicians, to silence him is to create more of the same.

Bruce Taylor
11-18-2009, 08:37 AM
Jim L, I don’t understand where your venom is coming from.

From here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satire).

McMike
11-18-2009, 08:39 AM
From here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satire)


Ohhhhhhh:o!!! I read it to quickly? Sorry Jim.

elf
11-18-2009, 08:53 AM
I, too, at age 10, stopped saying the "under God" part when it was put in. I have no idea what gave me the idea to be offended, and I continued religious explorations and being seriously involved with a very conventional and historically old urban Unitarian church for nearly 10 years after that.

Something about it offended me way back at that age.

The kid's school needs to deal with the bullying.

perldog007
11-18-2009, 08:59 AM
I can go along with waterboarding since his objection is to the "liberty and justice for all' language. If he doesn't believe in it, we have a duty to re-enforce that for the sake of his self worth :rolleyes:

I don't understand the uproar at all. If you believe in the POA you have to believe in his right to refuse to say it.

Rich VanValkenburg
11-18-2009, 09:14 AM
I remember way back in grade school, (when classrooms had 40 kids or more) there was a girl that refused to even stand up during the pledge. She was of Jehovah's Witness and they let her show her religious objections even though the rest of us thought it was out of line. Our general thought was that if you don't like it, don't live here.

John Smith
11-18-2009, 09:16 AM
I was in elementary school when "Under God" was added to the Pledge. Haven't said it since that day.

As one who does not believe in God, America decided she's not interested in my allegiance.

I do remember asking back then why were weren't pledging allegiance to the human race, or the planet earth.

perldog007
11-18-2009, 09:21 AM
Arrogant little bastid needs a good flogging. This is what your ACLU is promoting...

_puts_tin_foil_hat_on_


Actually, those fscking facists at the ACLU are actively promoting a society where the kid would be machine gunned for dissent. They are just wrapping themselves in the constitution WHEN IT IS CONVENIENT TO THEIR GOALS.

_taking_protective_tin_foil_hat_off_

Andrew Craig-Bennett
11-18-2009, 09:47 AM
When I was a little boy I went, briefly, to an American elementary school and we went through the flag business every morning.

I asked my mother about it and she said that when in a foreign country one should in courtesy follow local customs.

Hwyl
11-18-2009, 10:04 AM
British state schools don't have much to be proud of in this area either. I understand the law to pray every day is widely ignored but it is still the law.

paladin
11-18-2009, 10:05 AM
as to the above remark that if you don't like it then don't live here.....
I will remind you that there's the good chance that you are here only at the point of a gun, and the folks here first may object to your presence....If you truly believe in your remark then I suspect a bit of hypocrisy in your statements.

wizbang 13
11-18-2009, 10:07 AM
my countwy,white or wong

David W Pratt
11-18-2009, 10:53 AM
I said it in public school kindergarten, then went to private school and didn't encounter it again until my son was in Boy Scouts. The "under God" surprised me. I think it spoils the meter.

pefjr
11-18-2009, 11:07 AM
I've heard that a substantial number of people are up in arms about the ten year old boy who refused to recite the pledge of allegiance in school.

"...At the end of our interview, I ask young Will a question that might be a civics test nightmare for your average 10-year-old. Will's answer, though, is good enough ó simple enough, true enough ó to give me a little rush of goose pimples. What does being an American mean?
'Freedom of speech,' Will says, without even stopping to think. 'The freedom to disagree. That's what I think pretty much being an American represents.'
Somewhere, Thomas Jefferson smiles."

http://www.arktimes.com/articles/articleviewer.aspx?ArticleID=2f5d7a3b-c72a-446b-8d20-3823aa79c021 I would not use Thomas Jefferson as an example of liberty and justice for all.

John of Phoenix
11-18-2009, 12:49 PM
‘With all due respect, ma'am, you can go jump off a bridge.'

He got sent to the Principal for that? What happend to the 1st Amendment? :D

This kid's going to do ok. I see him leading the ACLU some day.

skuthorp
11-18-2009, 01:19 PM
The pressure to conform is very strong in society. People get scared by something/someone different and often that manifests itself in violence, verbal or actual. The boy will/is be a focus of politically motivated comment and action, the press will use it to sell more ad. space, I admire his courage.
We had a 'pledge' of sorts when I was a kid at primary school, designed to brainwash really, nationalism has always been a dangerous thing and a distraction from a countries real problems.

pefjr
11-18-2009, 01:32 PM
This is a just cause but I personally would not use my 10 yr old child to megaphone my cause. I would also teach my child to respect his teachers and to tell one to "go jump of a bridge" is not respect. Old school? maybe.

John Smith
11-18-2009, 01:44 PM
This is a just cause but I personally would not use my 10 yr old child to megaphone my cause. I would also teach my child to respect his teachers and to tell one to "go jump of a bridge" is not respect. Old school? maybe.

When I refused to say the Pledge, all I got was some strange looks.

I'd love to make a deal with the religious folks: take "Under God" out of the Pledge and put Christmas Carols back into school concerts.

One need not be Italian to enjoy pizza, and one need not be religious to enjoy the music.

pefjr
11-18-2009, 02:05 PM
One need not be Italian to enjoy pizza, and one need not be religious to enjoy the music.Funny you say that as I bite into my calzone, while listening to Mark O'Conner and The Boston Pops playing "Amazing Grace".

Robmill0605
11-18-2009, 02:15 PM
I watched the CNN interview on this kid. He is quite bright and articulate for a 10 year old. That said, he is making this "stand" on gay marriage and gay rights. Rights belong to individuals, not groups. Assuming there are "Gay Rights" assumes that gays have separate and distinct rights from everyone else. I think the kid has guts and brains to take a stand on principle, I just think he is wrong.

BrianY
11-18-2009, 03:01 PM
. Assuming there are "Gay Rights" assumes that gays have separate and distinct rights from everyone else.

I classify "gay rights" as a subset of "human rights" and therefore I agree that they are not separate and distinct from everyone else. The point is, though, that gay folks are denied certian rights that should apply to them. Our laws and culture define their rights as being separate and distinct. At a fundamental level, "gay rights" advocates are not asking for special treatment or separate rights. They're asking for the same rights as everyone else - rights that have been and contiue to be denied them.

Seneca
11-18-2009, 03:08 PM
Freedom is the right to burn the flag or refuse to say the Pledge without retribution. I started refusing around 6th grade, but I always stood....

Cuyahoga Chuck
11-18-2009, 04:30 PM
I'm always put off by children who take hard stands on issues that will get them a lot of ego-pumping media attention. By the time this kid is an adult he might be pursuing an ego trip by becoming an "ubersturmbanfurher" in some neo-group in Idaho.
The kid's parents would be doing the teacher and the rest of the class a favor by telling their kid to "Shut up and do what everyone else is doing. You don't have to believe in it. Just do it."

SamSam
11-18-2009, 04:35 PM
We have people on our county commission and our school board who won't say the pledge of allegiance.

Bob (oh, THAT Bob)
11-18-2009, 04:46 PM
I'm always put off by children who take hard stands on issues that will get them a lot of ego-pumping media attention. By the time this kid is an adult he might be pursuing an ego trip by becoming an "ubersturmbanfurher" in some neo-group in Idaho.
The kid's parents would be doing the teacher and the rest of the class a favor by telling their kid to "Shut up and do what everyone else is doing. You don't have to believe in it. Just do it."

Whoa, whoa, whoa. You just bred a million yes-men who keep quiet to fraud, embezzlement, theft, blacklisting, war crimes, lynching blacks, exterminating jews, bashing gays, you name it, all because they should not speak up, just do what everyone else is doing.

Questioning authority, logically, reasoned, calmly, and courageously, is the best defense against the above.

On the job years ago, I was asked to do something unethical. I refused, the boss was adamant. I walked. I did so alone. My dad said at the time it was not my responsibility at my level to think about the ethics. A few years later, things started to unravel with the first large scale accounting scandals and he admitted he was wrong. And I found out a year later that the boss was canned shortly after I left.

Kaa
11-18-2009, 04:48 PM
The kid's parents would be doing the teacher and the rest of the class a favor by telling their kid to "Shut up and do what everyone else is doing. You don't have to believe in it. Just do it."

I very strongly disagree. Didn't Nuremberg teach you anything?

Shutting up and doing what everyone else is doing is precisely what created a lot of sturmbanfurhers.

Kaa

pefjr
11-18-2009, 05:02 PM
I very strongly disagree. Didn't Nuremberg teach you anything?

Shutting up and doing what everyone else is doing is precisely what created a lot of sturmbanfurhers.

KaaIf the kid is so intelligent maybe he should advise the writer of this story to not use a slave owner to illustrate freedom and justice. I refuse to read this article, you can "go jump off a bridge". :D

Kaa
11-18-2009, 05:08 PM
If the kid is so intelligent maybe he should advise the writer of this story to not use a slave owner to illustrate freedom and justice. I refuse to read this article, you can "go jump off a bridge". :D

Since you refuse to read the article, you're hardly in position to discuss it, aren't you?

In any case, the issue is freedom to disagree. I don't know why are you dragging in justice and other freedoms.

Kaa

pefjr
11-18-2009, 05:18 PM
In any case, the issue is freedom to disagree. I don't know why are you dragging in justice and other freedoms.

Kaahmmm.... thought it was a protest by two parents of a 10 yr old speaking through the 10 yr old to refuse the pledge to protest some rights that gays are not getting, or something like that. I'm wrong? It will be the first time I have ever been wrong. :D

Kaa
11-18-2009, 05:21 PM
hmmm.... thought it was a protest by two parents of a 10 yr old speaking through the 10 yr old to refuse the pledge to protest some rights that gays are not getting, or something like that. I'm wrong? It will be the first time I have ever been wrong. :D

Oh well, there is a first time for everything... How did you like it? :D

Kaa

ahp
11-18-2009, 05:35 PM
There are people in coastal Georgia that won't say the Pledge? Who would have thought it here in Georgia. They must have educated or born someplace else.

pefjr
11-18-2009, 05:36 PM
Depends on how you define "it"?:D


Wait a minute, I can't do this. This is Popeye's system. Disregard.

Have seen him in awhile????

John Smith
11-18-2009, 05:42 PM
Funny you say that as I bite into my calzone, while listening to Mark O'Conner and The Boston Pops playing "Amazing Grace".
Joy Behar tells of how she opened for Glen Campbell on tour one year. Part of his concert that year was "Amazing Grace" on the bagpipes. Unknowingly, one concert was in a highly concentrated Jewish area, and a large chunk of the audience walked out. Too bad, they missed a lovely piece of music.


No matter that at another show he might play "Hava Nagela".

John Smith
11-18-2009, 05:45 PM
I watched the CNN interview on this kid. He is quite bright and articulate for a 10 year old. That said, he is making this "stand" on gay marriage and gay rights. Rights belong to individuals, not groups. Assuming there are "Gay Rights" assumes that gays have separate and distinct rights from everyone else. I think the kid has guts and brains to take a stand on principle, I just think he is wrong.
Maybe if you view it as the INDIVIDUALS who are a member of one particular group are being denied those rights everyone in all the other groups have, you'll see it differently.

pefjr
11-18-2009, 05:47 PM
Amazing Grace O'conner

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUjfWW9CMfM

Stan D
11-18-2009, 11:32 PM
Let's just change the Pledge to say "Liberty an Justice for All, unless you're Gay". That'll fix it, won't it?