Two words (under God) within the Pledge of Allegiance has managed to spark a massive controversy in the United States of America.
One group believes those words should be included to prove we are a Christian based nation and this will cause us to be blessed by God.
Another group thinks the words should not be included, because we are a diverse nation. There are many religions represented in America. There are also agnostics and atheists in our country. Removing those two words would support that diversity.
I think the “under God” argument distracts us from a bigger problem.
Why don’t we take time to focus on what else is written within that pledge? Why don’t we stop fighting over two words and start working toward building a united nation (one nation)? Why don’t we spend more time ensuring liberty and justice for all citizens?
When a poor person spends years in prison for a non-violent crime (drug possession for example) and a rich person is allowed to walk free after spending a couple months in prison for a violent crime (rape for example), the entire pledge seems meaningless.
We could keep fighting over those two words or we could work together to create the ideals represented within that pledge.
I was reading The Indian Heritage of Americans by John Franklin Phillips and I was struck by how much my European ancestors owe to the American Indians.
The early European settlers would have died of starvation. They were ill prepared to farm the land and had no idea what crops would grow in this country. American Indians took pity on the strangers and taught them what and how to farm. They saved the lives of countless people.
In some ways we even owe the American Indians for helping America establish a democratic form of government. The American Indians were already using a form of democracy when the Europeans arrived.
A few of our founding fathers believed it was impossible to unite the colonies and form a united nation. Benjamin Franklin disagreed and said:
It would be a strange thing if Six Nations of ignorant savages should be capable of forming a scheme of such a union and be able to execute it in such a manner, as that it has subsisted for ages, and appears indissoluble; and yet that a like union should be impracticable for ten or a dozen English colonies, to whom it more necessary and must be more advantageous, and whom cannot be supposed to want an equal understanding of their interest.
Unfortunately, the generosity of the American Indians was not repaid with kindness. The Europeans decided to annihilate them.
The American Indians had many great qualities and they are deserving of our respect.
I found Mortified Nation on Netflix. The documentary shows adults reading journals or diaries they wrote as teenagers.
I was constantly laughing during the show. I wasn’t laughing at the person, instead I was laughing at how they believed the world to be as teenagers and at how I also had many of those same ideas. In a way, I was also laughing at myself.
I forgot what it was like to be a teenager. I forgot how scary it was to have all those first time experiences. I forgot how confused I was about how to survive in this world.
The documentary ends with a reminder: We are all freaks, we are all fragile, and we all survived.