I am currently a student in a class called "Deviance, Crime, and Social Law" here at my college. It discussed all kinds of social and legal norms (and their violations) ranging from body modification to NAMBLA. Recently, our discussion was on an incident that took place at the Yankees stadium a few months ago. A group of people refused to stand for the national anthem and were consequently removed from the stadium despite the fact that they had purchased tickets.

While this act could spark a debate in itself, I would like to focus on the argument that ensued. For the sake of summing up this long story, the entire class felt as if they should have stood. Although some of them respected the fact that they should be free to do as they choose, they believe that their actions were disrespectful and rude. Some students flat out thought that they should be punished.

Now, for anyone that knows me, you know that I don't back down from my personal views. And I am incredibly active in discussions both academic and social. So of course I got involved! Because I sit (politely, quietly, and non-violently) during the Pledge of Allegiance. I have done this for eight years (since I entered high school). And that's my right.

But now I'm constantly being pressured to stand during my graduation commencement in May. Things like "It will ruin graduation!" or "How could you do that to your parents?!" or even "You should leave the country if you hate it so much!" are constantly being said to me. But you know what? It would ruin MY graduation if I stood up for something that I did not believe in. I'm graduating with 400 other people. I'm not making a protest. I'm not trying to ruin anyone's day. And I feel that if ONE student sitting during ONE part of the graduation is going to ruin your graduation, that's your problem, not mine.

But recently my dean, who is on very friendly terms with me, took me aside to ask me politely to stand during the commencement. I politely told him that I would think about it, but that I reserve the right to sit if I wish. I've been thinking about it for days.

What are your opinions? It's my right to sit. It would violate my beliefs and thoughts to stand. I would be disappointed in myself. But then again, it's only one day. And other people seem very bothered by the idea that I might sit. What do YOU think I should do?

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That's mainly it. It's so unconstitutional for Under God to be in it at all. But even if that phrase wasn't part, I probably would continue to remain seated.
My mother just wants me to be happy. And you're absolutely right.
Technically my college is methodist, so it is going to be given by my dean, who is also a reverend. It already puts me on edge.
I once refused to stand during a pep rally and it infuriated the vice-principal so much he sent me to detention. I had just transfered to the school and had not good will to draw on - you do. This remains a high point in my life. Don't give an inch to the weasels.
maybe you can ask the dean to let you deliver the pledge if it is that important to him that you take part. and of course then you will be standing (in front, at the podium with the mic). and you can let him know you will deliver the ORIGINAL pledge (that's the one without "under god" in it).

(if that's the only part that bothers you. if the part about pledging to a piece of cloth is the problem, then never mind.)

personally, i think something without both jingoism and superstition would be a better pledge, and maybe a little humanism thrown in. for example:

I pledge allegiance
to the people
of the United States of America
and to all the people of the world
one species
with liberty and justice for all
discuss the problem to all (your parents, school-heads) so that they will not be shock on that day hahahah

and yes it will ruin a bit the day.
if you pledge then you'll be uncomfortable....can't enjoy 100% the day.
if you just sit there you'll make them uncomfortable too...

people normally feel uncomfortable when they see something different like them.
i spent my whole life seeing people uncomfortable with me coz they know i'm different from them...heheh

why not, tell them that when that pledge time comes you'll excuse yourself and come back when it's over???
one missing sit doesnt really bothers heheh (maybe some will think ah...she maybe call by nature hahah)

my country also pledge by standing and putting right hand on left breast/heart...
everytime it comes i just stand quietly (no hand on heart/breast) thats my showing for respect of there beliefs.
well, people here don't really give a damn if you sit or stand as long as you don't make scandal or anything to ruin it.

i don't like nationalism/religions/traditions but i give respect for there rights for there beliefs.
i just hope that they must also respect my own beliefs even it contrast on them.

i believe we're all equal. Even if you're a God and i'm only a human. Just respect.
there are people with the mentality of, 'you're either with us or against us.' so if you refuse to stand then it means you hate america. You should do what makes you happy. As long as the people who get offended don't make your day uncomfortable then i say go for it & stay seated.
I think you should do what U want. No one has the right to tell u to "politely" stand for something you are disagreeing with. If it ticks them off, FUCK 'EM! Sit down proudly. My graduation from community college is coming up and I will do the same when the Pledge comes up.
Just wanted everyone to know that I handed in my application for graduation today. I checked off the little box on the bottom asking if I wanted to participate in the graduation ceremony.
hi carolanne..coming from NORTHERN ireland (UK) we put a lot of importance in things like national anthems we had a long disagreement with other "irish" people over this we have ...god save our queen..in our n/a i always stand for the anthem but will not sing/mouth those words... .. :-)...but ur pledge i thought was for your country i have heard it a few times and i too would resent the god bit hes not your "god" so would it not work if you just didnt say the god-bit its gonna save you some un nessasery hassle in the long run...is the graduation thing really important? i never went to university and have lived ok without it i try to avoid "the system"....just a thought....alan
The New Zealand national anthem mentions god several times. When ever i sing it, as we have to, I replace some of the words to turn it into a more acceptable song. Barely. We have to listen to a 'school' prayer, too. I don't bow my head like everyone else. New Zealand is like a mixing pot of nationality. Compared to USA we barely have any praticing christians although people still belive in a 'personal god'.
If it is dangerous, which i doubt, you should submit to their praising of non-logical brain patterns. Otherwise, I think the other postings have good suggestions.


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