Tuesday, March 30, 2004

What She Said

I recently blogged on the pledge of allegiance. Essentially I said it just isn't important to me. In my comments section, an anonymous visitor "YY", took the time to reflect on its effect on her/him as someone from a different culture than my own. So profound was this comment, in my mind, that I wanted to put it on the front page. Here it is:

"As a foreign (Japanese) kid in an American school in the fourth grade when first confronted with the pledge becoming familiar with the pledge was part of learning the new language. The act of reciting an oath to the flag of a country not my own (being just a visitor) did not bother me very much and I understood the politics of it for what it was. What always did bother me was the "under God" phrase.

"Growing up in the latter half of the twentieth century in a secular society, in a non-religious household, my natural inclination was toward, how shall I put it, atheism. I felt a greater deal of discomfort in acknowledging God than in proclaiming allegiance to country not my own.

"Americans typically would not be conscious of the invocation of God that occurs in context of authority as would a visitor from a more secular society. Sudden surprise of finding God reference occurs in typical instances: "In God We Trust" on the currency, in the pledge and in numerous instances of prayer as opening to gatherings. Being non-religious, these reminders do cause some discomfort, as blasphemy would to the religious. YY"

I don't think I could summarize the importance any more succintly than this. Thank you, YY. If you ever come back by this way, linger and get to know us. You are very perceptive and articulate. I'd like to get to know you better.

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