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Jewish World Review June 28, 2002 /18 Tamuz, 5762

Tom Purcell

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Eavesdropping on a San Fran classroom



http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | "Class, now that the Pledge of Allegiance has been ruled unconstitutional by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, I say it's time we make some other edits. Billy, recite the old version of the pledge so I can demonstrate."

"Sure thing, Ms. Smith. Here goes: I pledge..."

"Stop right there, Billy. We don't use 'I' anymore."

"Huh, Ms. Smith?" "Billy, 'I' is so typical of Americans looking at the rest of the world through their own narrow point of view. Say 'we' instead.

"Continue."

"We pledge "

"Stop, Billy. A pledge is so harsh. What right do we have to make people take an oath to supposed American values, when they might not hold those values. Change 'pledge' to "may or may not provide.' Go on."

"We may or may not provide our allegiance "

"Stop! The word allegiance is so confining, Billy. It's all right if someone wants to hold allegiance for their country, but what about those people who don't? Did you ever think of those people, Billy? Change 'allegiance' to "trust.' Commence."

"We may or may not provide our trust to the flag "

"Stop! The American flag is so divisive, Billy. Why else would so many people around the world burn it in protest? The flag is a symbol of American overreaching all over the globe. It's really just an American marketing gimmick, and that's what I want you to call it. Keep going."

"We may or may not provide our trust to the promotional marketing gimmick of the United States of America "

"Stop! There you go again intimating that America is somehow better than other countries, Billy. That's awfully arrogant. But then again the U.S. continually pushes its arrogant values all over the world. On second thought, leave 'United States of America' as is. Go on."

"We may or may not provide our trust to the promotional marketing gimmick of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands "

"No! No! No! Billy, do you realize how naive it is to think that America's democratic Republic is somehow better than the systems used in other countries? Your tone is so condescending. Just delete that section right now. Keep going."

"We may or may not provide our trust to the promotional marketing gimmick of the United States of America, one nation under G-d ..."

"Whoa! G-d, Billy? You have the audacity to mention G-d in a country that holds such strong separation of church and state? This is a government school, Billy. A school for everyone, including those people who have no G-d. How dare you exclude those people just because you are in the supposed Christian majority. Thank G-d the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled this reference unconstitutional. Delete and continue!"

"We may or may not provide our trust to the promotional marketing gimmick of the United States of America, indivisible ..."

"Stop! What the hell does indivisible, mean, Billy? Are you suggesting all Americans are in lockstep with each other, that we're just a bunch of mindless lemmings who will do exactly what our president tells us to do during our alleged war on terrorism? I don't think so, Billy. Delete and continue!"

"We may or may not provide our trust to the promotional marketing gimmick of the United States of America, with liberty "

"Liberty, Billy? You really think we have liberty in America, what with the government pulling our rights out from under us faster than you can say help. Is there liberty for the millions of poor in this country who are held down by the rich and powerful? Give me a break, Billy! Delete and continue!

"We may or may not provide our trust to the promotional marketing gimmick of the United States of America, with justice for all "

"Justice, Billy! You really believe there is justice for all thanks to good old America? We use the vast majority of the world's resources. And to protect our self-serving interests, we oppress innocent people all over the globe through our support of corrupt regimes. Where's the justice in that, Billy! Delete! Now read our new Pledge of Allegiance from the top."

"We may or may not provide our trust to the promotional marketing gimmick of the United States of America."

"Now that's more like it, Billy!"

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Up


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06/14/02: Contemporary Father's Day: A conversation for the ages
06/07/02: Legal rights for animals?
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05/10/02: Don't take her for granted
05/03/02: Letter to the parents of a tubby teen
04/26/02: Zacarias Moussaoui gets expert legal advice

© 2002, Tom Purcell