Observations by Key Monroe~~Home of Right Opinions, Cynical Viewpoints, and TMI in Hefty Doses
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August 01, 2005

Freedom of Religion

Miss Priss has a little boy in her class who is not allowed to celebrate ANYTHING. No pledge. No holidays. Every day is as another.

He literally sits quietly as every other child stands and pledges their allegiance to the United States of America.

There is no Christmas and no birthdays. I actually overheard his mother tell the teacher that he is not to be a part of ANY holiday or birthday celebration, not even so much as to indulge in the consumption of a cupcake from another kid's birthday party.

Now. FAR be it for me to judge an area as sensitive as religion... But, somebody tell me, WHAT kind of religion deprives a child of EVER opening a gift? And what kind of religion forbids a citizen -who indulges in the greatness of this country- from pledging their allegiance, with or without the words "under God"?

Seriously, I am apparently just not familiar with this particular religion. Somebody enlighten me. I need to hear an upside, so that I no longer feel obligated to mourn this kid's lost childhood.

posted by Key on 10:50 PM | Comments (16) | TrackBack (0)

That poor kid. He will be such an outcast.

Posted by: Kate at August 1, 2005 11:08 PM

That's freedom FROM religion. I so want to take that child aside, behead a chicken, and allow him to explore the joys of Santeria.

Posted by: Velociman at August 1, 2005 11:15 PM

That would be 7th Day Adventists, I believe...the pagans have the best parties. Reason enough to join. But they also have some of the ugliest members. Reason enough to drink a lot before the sabbats.

Posted by: LauraN at August 2, 2005 09:59 AM

If I remember correctly, some Jehovah's Witnesses don't celebrate ANYTHING.

We used to live next to this sweet couple when I was little, and one Christmas I brought her a present. The woman told me they couldn't accept it because they were Jehovah's Witnesses and didn't celebrate Christmas.

Posted by: Karen at August 2, 2005 10:56 AM

Jehovah's Witnesses, I went to school with a girl who just stood there while the rest of said the pledge of alligence and had parties. It was so sad, so I asked her about it. Her family tried to convince me it was the only way to live. They also believe the male is the dominant member of the family and actually condone wife beating. I hate those fuckers.

Posted by: livey at August 2, 2005 11:03 AM

So sad for the child. Unbelievable that someone, in a name of religion, could condone that.

Posted by: Moogie at August 2, 2005 11:11 AM

Karen and Livey would be correct.

Posted by: Dana at August 3, 2005 10:58 AM

Although no longer one, I was raised as one of Jehovah's Witnesses. It wasn't so bad. But I celebrate every Christmas now and have a good excuse to go overboard expecting gifts when I want to. (And Birthdays as well.)

Posted by: WitNit at August 4, 2005 12:58 AM

I used to go to school with a couple of JWs... same deal. No celebrating anything.

I think the time I started paying any attention to it though, is when a girl in the class had a birthday, and her best friend was JW... and had to sit in the hall. (Mom's instructions) She was cryin'.

Posted by: That 1 Guy at August 4, 2005 10:49 PM

He may be a Jehovah's Witness. I know they can receive presents just not at birthdays or Christmas,which they do not celebrate.Re not getting presents at Birthday and Xmas,not a big deal in the end as the boy probably gets given presents at other times. To those who criticise, do you get Hannukah or Eid presents?No,because you are not Jewish or Muslim? Do you feel sad because you haven't? I didn't think so.Well its the same with this boy. He may only feel bad because Xmas is a pervasive celebration that is right in your face whether you celebrate it or not. I can take or leave it. Re the Pledge of Allegiance this according to JW's is Idolatory and is against the Commandment,thou shall not have false Gods before me.

Posted by: janice at August 5, 2005 09:00 AM

Jehovahs Witnesses can open presents, they just do not celbrate any pagan events. Weddings as an example they do give and receive gifts. My Aunt's family had little family days when gifts were given but not for celebrating pagan events. Just thought you'd like to know.

Posted by: wendyt at August 5, 2005 03:22 PM

Thanks for the explanation Janice. I have no clue if the child is JW, so wasn't being a smartass, have been receptive to the infor. I was, in fact, completely stymied as I tried to ponder a reason for the Pledge abstinence.

It does seem though, that the UNDER GOD part would clear up any idolatry conflicts?

I'm not one for theological debate, but I'm thinking I wouldn't mind having one with a JW. Next time they ring the doorbell, I'll invite them in, make coffee...

Posted by: Key at August 5, 2005 05:52 PM

This brings to mind the 3 little boys I used to babysit when I was a teenager. They were a very religious family. It was around the holidays, and I mentioned Santa Claus to the boys. Their mother promptly told me not to mention anything about Santa, or the Easter Bunny, etc. When I asked why, she said because someday they'd find out that Santa and the Easter Bunny were lies, and not real, and that that might make her kids think the same thing of God -- the He was just a lie also.

That was the stupidest thing I'd ever heard, I'll never forget it.

Posted by: Alaska Kim at August 5, 2005 06:24 PM

Key, no worries :-)

Posted by: janice at August 6, 2005 10:38 AM

Regarding the pledge I don't say it myself, mainyl for religious reasons, but partially political/philosophical. But I'll get to miy objections in a minute.

The pledge is directed towards the flag as a symbol of our republic. It's not hard to see how strict constructionists of the Old Testament can view that as idolatry; it's idolizing a material object & swearing fealty to it. If said religious views prohibit paintings or movies or statues then it's not thta hard a jump to see how pledging loyalty to the flag (even if as a symbol) would not be okay. The "...under God..." part would be about as useful as telling them they could drink toasts to the Lord using Jagermeister (assuming they would view drunkeness as a no-no that is).

Me personally? One of the few strict constructions of the Bible that I hold to is a verse which says that you shouldn't swear nor promise nor assert ("let your yea be yea; your nea be nea, for anything more than this is evil" if I recall correctly) anything. A pledge is too close to a promise for my views to condone it.

But politically - the pledge is promising loyalty to a flag as a symbol of a republic. Now I'll grant it's supposed to be taken symbolicly but how many folks do you know who'd be in favor of an anti-flag burning law? The thing that we should e trying to defend in this country is the constitution, not a piece of cloth. In addition our loyalty should not be first to this country. I think most of you can see that should one have a religious leaning then that deity heading that religion should rightfully have first dibbs on a persons efforts. After that (or in place of that) the thing we hold up should not be a piece of cloth or a nation, but the ideas which were the basis for forming that nation. Our national government was instituted not to give us a soccer team to cheer for every now & then, but in large part to enable us all to have protection of our equal Rights. Note; I did not say to grant us Rights. Rights (at least the natural ones) pre-date government. Enshrining something in law does not make a Right, nor does ommitting it dissolve it. But in any event the principles behind the founding of this nation should be adhered to even moreso than the present incarnation of the nation. Then comes not the nation but the state. Not The State, but the state. Your state. Where you were born & raised. Then & only then should any faith be placed in the nation. & in all of those I do not mean the folks running them (i.e. government), but the people & places that make them what they are.

So I simply don't have room for allegiance to a piece of canvas no matter how nice the design; nor do I think that the political structure of the country should be exalted above the principles that it was founded on, or its controlling document. I'll try my best to be right with my God. I'll do my best to defend Life, Liberty & Property. I'll come a running if North carolina ever needs me. & after that I'll do what I can for America. But I won't swear fealty to a government nor its banner.

But that's just my take on things & I mainly presented them to you to hopefully help you understand how some folks may view the Pledge as less than desirable.

Posted by: Publicola at August 11, 2005 05:22 AM

Jw I've had a few in my class they would say I can't make that we would just say well you've got to cut it out and put the project together and then we would just say put it in the trash. You still need to learn to cut and paste in the real world.

Posted by: georgia at August 12, 2005 08:40 PM
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