Thursday, February 08, 2007

correction on Firestone, and the Pledge of Allegiance

Two posts ago, I suggested not buying firestone tires as a response to firestone's abuse of their employees in Liberia. Upon further reflections, this may not be the best course of action.

Perhaps not buying the tires will deprive these worker's of even the infinitesimally meager wages they earn. Perhaps the better thing is, buy whatever tyres you would otherwise buy, and *if* they are bridgestone firestone--be aware of this issue, and be vocal about it to the company as one of the their valued customers. That way we don't deprive the worker's in Liberia of their wages by driving Firestone out of business. Maybe there is hope for change from the inside. Hmmmm....

Today the American Pledge of Allegiance was mentioned in a CNN report (which I saw on YouTube) on atheists in America. One religious journal editor claimed that atheists are partly to blame for their bad image in this country, because of things they do like ... suing to have the words "One nation under God" removed from the pledge of allegiance.
For those not from this country, my understanding is that most schoolchildren in this country are led in 'the pledge of allegiance to the american flag' every school day. I certainly said it regularly in school as a child.
I now find this very very strange. Why are children being taught to ritualistically pledge their allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands? I don't get that. I don't want my daughters making such a pledge. It seems eminently un Christian and jingoistic and insular and a bit scary. And yet it is seen as so normal to so many americans. Even at the preschool classes at a really big mainstream eastside church called Westminster Chapel in bellevue, the children were putting their little hands over their hearts and saying this pledge. I don't get that.
For Americans: Does the pledge seem normal to you? If you are a Christian, does it seem reconcilable with Christianity? why or why not?
For non, half, or some other proportion Americans: Is there something like this in other countries? How does it strike you?

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