A small story about an extemporaneous modification to the Pledge of Allegiance caught my eye in this morning’s paper.
Counselor Margo Lucero, leading the Pledge of Allegiance over the public address system at Everitt Middle School in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, substituted “one nation under your belief system” for “one nation under God.”
I am not going to go off on a rant here about deconstructionism and relativism as threats to the Republic – though they are – and I am not going to stoop to defending the United States from the charge that we have not always lived up to the principles implied by the words “liberty and justice for all.”
I am not even going to assay the question of whether “God” should be included. I’ll just say that the intent and symbolism of the Pledge does not contemplate “your belief system” if that includes, for example, ritual child sacrifice. A pledge to nothing in particular is a waste of breath.
Ranting aside then, the story reminded me of Tony Hendra’s excellent 1972 National Lampoon parody of Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata (if ever a poem begged for parody, that is it).
I include a link to Desiderata since some may be unaware of it and appreciation of parody improves if you know what’s being parodized. Desiderata is here in its full, treacly glory.
The bit from Hendra’s spoof, Deteriorata, that connected to Ms. Lucero’s inadvertant parody of the Pledge is this:
Therefore, make peace with your god
Whatever you conceive him to be—
Hairy thunderer, or cosmic muffin.
Here is Tony Hendra’s Deteriorata. Listen to the whole thing, it is funny,