On Monday morning, during the graduation ceremony at Justice High School in Fairfax, Virginia, the senior class president delivered the Pledge of Allegiance and said “under Allah” instead of “under God.”
If you’re a normal person, you’d say, Huh. That’s different. But whatever. For Muslims, “Allah” means “God,” so this is probably the student putting her own personal stamp on the ritual. (The school said it didn’t approve that change in advance, which means it was just the student’s decision.)
If you’re someone at the right-wing media outlet Newsmax, however, you throw a hissy fit and have a five-person panel discuss how awful and unpatriotic this student is.
The panelists said the move was an “absolute disgrace,” “un-American,” and “unpatriotic.” They even blamed it on Joe Biden… somehow. But when each panelist got a chance to speak, they somehow made everything even worse.
Republican strategist Amanda Makki said the Pledge has included the phrase “under God” since 1942… which is a lie. “Under God” was added in 1954. The original Pledge didn’t include the phrase at all. Then she said the student should be stripped of her diploma… for not properly bowing down to the Christian God, I guess.
GOP strategist Mark Vargas said the student should serve a year in the military and that people who were in combat, like him, know better. He neglected the fact that there are countless atheists in the military who would undoubtedly defend that student’s speech.
Another panelist, Melanie Collette, bizarrely claimed that the student should have stuck to the script because “we don’t include our own God” in the Pledge… even though that’s exactly what Christians did by sticking “Under God” in the Pledge.
The one voice of reason on the panel was… no one. Because this is Newsmax.
Anyway, good for that student for changing up the Pledge. If the district doesn’t like it, there’s a way to make sure it never happens again: Eliminate the Pledge from the graduation ceremony. It’s a pointless ritual that serves no purpose. Anyone who wants to say it can do so on their own on the drive over. Graduations are long, anyway. The less fluff, the better.
(via Media Matters. Thanks to Brian for the link)