Tonight, discussing students in Boulder, Colorado - a city where "Secular-Progressives" have seized control according to Bill O'Reilly - who are protesting the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in school because they feel the phrase "under God" violates church/state separation, O'Reilly, after calling them goofs seeking attention (or something like that, I forget his exact term), said that he bet that those students probably didn't know when the phrase was added to the Pledge.
I thought this an odd turn given that pointing out that "under God" is not original to the Pledge is usually part of an argument of people who are opposed to its inclusion, so I sat forward in anticipation of where he was going. O'Reilly continued by saying that it was added in the 1950s (1954 to be exact, Bill) to seperate America from the Godless hordes of Soviet and Chinese communism. Ok, that floored me a bit since the fact that "under God" is a relic of McCarthyism is one of the key arguments against it.
Yet O'Reilly fully embraces it, however. Yes, in fact, the Pledge means that we are a nation "under the banner of God." This (the students protesting a public school inculcating the belief that patriotism means believing in God and the ritualistic worship of a piece of cloth in an act of social conformity/coercion) is part of the nightmare "S-P" America that will happen if they're not stopped, O'Reilly warned his audience. O'Reilly's guest, a Boulder radio personality, said that these students are trying to force their minority views on the majority. In "traditional" America, apparently, the non "traditional" minority should just accept the notion that they're not quite fully American.
So there it is. If you're Godless, you're not quite an American. Sure, you're nominally an American in O'Reilly's book, and he'll say he's for your rights and all that jazz. But you better know your place. This is a nation "Under the Banner of God" and you're a second class citizen.
Update: Here is the alternate pledge that was read during the student walk-out. It was written by senior Emma Martens:
I pledge allegiance to the flag and my constitutional rights with which it comes. And to the diversity, in which our nation stands, one nation, part of one planet, with liberty, freedom, choice and justice for all.
Jenny Diski's brave scepticism
2 hours ago