Ed Team

What it means to be an American....

Filed By Ed Team | December 08, 2005 12:40 AM | comments

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"I do not think everyone in America is ignorant! Far from it!! But we are today, probably, the most uneducated, under read, and illiterate nation in the western hemisphere. Which makes it all the more puzzling to me why the biggest question on your small mind is whether or not little Johnny is gonna recite the Pledge of Allegiance every morning! I'll tell you something else, Mr. Brickett. I have had it up to here with you and your phony issues and your Yanky Doodle yakking! If you like reciting the Pledge of Allegiance everyday then I think you should do it! In the car! In the shower! Wherever the mood strikes you! But don't try to tell me when or where I have to say or do or salute anything, because I am an American too, and that is what being an American is all about! And another thing.........I am sick and tired of being made to feel that if I am not a member of a little family with 2.4 children who goes just to Jerry Fallwell's church and puts their hands over their hearts every morning that I am unreligious, unpatriotic, and un-American!! Because I've got news for you, Mr. Brickett...........all liberals are not kooks, anymore than all conservatives are fascists!! and the last time I checked, God was neither a Democratic nor a Republican! And just for your information, yes I am a liberal, but I am also a Christian. And I get down on my knees and pray everyday ---- on my own turf --- on my own time. One of the things that I pray for, Mr. Brickett, is that people with power will get good sense, and that people with good sense will get power.........and that the rest of us will be blessed with the patience and the strength to survive the people like you in the meantime!!"

-Julia Sugarbaker from Designing Women


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How many of you are aware that in its inimitable wisdom, The General Assembly passed a law last year requiring that all students recite the pledge and also requiring a moment of silence? (Remember that this is the same body that declared pi to be 3.2 to make it easier for Hoosiers. That attracted lots of business -- from buggy-whipmakers.)

Now mind you-- the law doesn't say HOW to do this. Soo... in practice, students are now reluctantly standing -- some do not say anything -- some are fervent -- and some just follow the teacher and place the hand over the heart and repeat. Our school went on to have someone record the pledge -- but it is said much slower than a normal person.. so it actually drones on.

Interpretation of "moment"-- so how long IS a moment. And what does silence entail-- no scuffling of feet? a prayerful bow? a full-out minute? In my classroom -- it's usually that last moment I take a breath before I plunge into the day.

I'd like for ONCE these idiot legislators to realize that you can't demand reverence -- to the flag, the country, to God -- or heaven forbid -- to THEM. And get on to more important matters that actually WILL make a difference in students' lives-- like funding. Of course, that would require them to work out compromises and not give them any easy- cost-free way to grandstand for the voting public.

Side note: My colleague is a German citizen. Her nation is a good example of what blind obedience can drive a well-educated and civilized population to do. For that reason, she refuses to swear a pledge of allegiance to the flag-- under which her son proudly serves as a Marine. Is she right or wrong? Is she worthy of being a role model? Is she an unpatriotic traitor in our midst? I think you know MY answer -- but heaven forbid Brandt Hershman/ Micah Clark or Eric Miller gets ahold of her.