I caught this on NPR today.


Not only did I learn a new term, "Hapax Legomenon" (which means a word or phrase used only once in a written record or language) but about how the pledge of allegiance was meant as, according to the 9th circuit court of appeals, a

"Proud recitation of the ideals on which our country was founded"

But as Geoff Nunberg points out, "What makes the pledge important isn't the meaning of the words, it is the way we have managed to keep them from meaning much of anything at all." Even though the phrase, "Under God" was not originally put into the pledge until the 1950's as a way to combat "Russian atheistic communism". So as the court of appeals states, this is what our country was founded on, are we then kicked to the curb by Americans again? And what is the purpose of the pledge of allegiance if the words are meaningless and are filled with Hapaxes?


Please think atheist, and comment!

Views: 7

Tags: Court, Geoff, God, NPR, Nunberg, Under, allegiance, appeals, linguistics, of, More…pledge

Comment by Alexandra B. on March 30, 2010 at 11:35pm
It's totally true that the pledge of allegiance's meaning has been washed out- in my school you just say it and sit back down for morning announcements. (You can even get by just putting your hand over your heart and facing the flag) It's a very automated, purposeless part of the classroom experience. I think it's interesting though how "Under God" was slid in there to get back at "Russian atheistic communism."
As a young-ish kid, I wondered if the pledge of allegiance was some sneaky way of legally binding us to the US :/
I guess we have kinda been kicked to the curb by a misconception, which is a little sad, but not surprising for something that is generally considered un-American.
Comment by Matt on March 31, 2010 at 2:37pm
I've always wondered about all the people who aren't followers of the Abrahamic god, how must they feel saying the pledge and then being slapped in the face with religion.
Comment by Jake W. Andrews on March 31, 2010 at 8:50pm
Well Matt, technically we are not followers of any religion, including the Abrahamic religions, so we have a pretty good idea. Aside from that, yeah I often wonder what I Hindu does during the pledge. I personally, have sat down during the pledge, and luckily I had THE liberal teacher for government that year, so she did not mind it, infact stood up for me, no pun intended!
Comment by Johnny on April 11, 2010 at 10:22am
Comment by Mario Rodgers on April 11, 2010 at 1:27pm
One nation under Thor.

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