Monday, January 21, 2013

Pomp and Chauvinism

Okay, I admit that I got teary watching the Inauguration.  And the Battle Hymn is one hell of a song and the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir gave me the chills.

Now allow me to revert back to my true nature.

I was more aware than ever today of how our country drips in the words of Christianity.  Which leaves me, a non-Christian, unimpressed with the rhetoric that pretends to include the rest of us.

I do not take the Pledge of Allegiance.  Have not done so for I don't know how many decades.  I do not take pledges.

I am proud of the fact that I live in a country where, despite what some think, we are not forced to pledge allegiance to the flag.

Our greatest goods and our greatest evils come from the kind of chauvinism that occurs when people pledge to God and country.  We need to unite to perform the greatest good,  but these days, some of the groups that are most united do so in the name of power and greed for the purpose of coercion.

The National Rifle Association will have us all armed presumably to protect ourselves and our property, but in reality to increase profits and corporate power.

Anti-abortion groups have taken the great feminist Susan B. Anthony and sullied her name by forcing their cause on her. Where irony knows no bounds, the narcissistic Paul Ryan who has again co-sponsored the ever-so-ironic "sanctity of human life act" will be keynote speaker for the anti-abortion group which I just learned is called the "Susan B. Anthony List."

In the name of corporate freedom, governors and legislators from states like ours are joining forces with groups like ALEC to make certain that our workers will always work cheap, our taxes will be too low to provide good education and health care to its citizens, and the wealthy will continue to be in charge.

And every one of the people who are responsible for the damage done by their work takes the Pledge of Allegiance, proudly, publicly, and as often as the cameras will allow.

It's good that today we are inaugurating a president who fights for the people of this country.  I am cynical (of course) about just how strong his allegiances are to the 98 percent vs. Wall Street and PhRMA, ExxonMobil, and the others of great wealth and privilege.  I wonder if he has further entrenched the spy and war machines into our lives in the name of security rather than take the riskier path of fighting for our individual freedoms while working to keep us safe.

And yet he has fought for equal rights and equal opportunity in a way we had not seen for eight years.  So for that, when he was sworn in today, I was proud and yes, even shed a tear at the pomp and pageantry, though not the chauvinism.

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