Monica Pilman (TACVMCP@VM.TCS.TULANE.EDU)
Fri, 31 May 1991 13:30:55 CDT
The pledge I was taught to say goes:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to
the republic for which it stands: one nation, under God, indivisible,
with liberty and justice for all."
The phrase "under God" was not originally a part of the pledge. It was
added due to the efforts of Dwight Eisenhower during his presidential term.
I personally like the idea of a nation free enough and wise enough to
welcome even the ungodly, and offer them the same protection under the laws
as the most pious among us. And the same penalties, too. I have personally
known people who have professed to be godless, and they were nice, decent
people who lived by a moral code as rigid as anyones, and did so very well
too. Because I have known such people, I find it difficult to agree with
anyone who believes that a person who does not worship God is necessarily
evil, or a bad influence.
I have a great deal of trouble with labeling people in general. If we
label all non-believers as evil, we do injustice to those who are clearly
not. This same sort of thing applies to the ethnic or minority group of
your choice. I have met good Christians whom I think less well of than
my moral but atheist acquaintances.
I am not a non-believer, and perhaps, at its root, that is why I can't
perceive that not allowing non-believers into scouting may be an injustice.
But I have known some very decent non-believers...and I sympathize with
their desire to have BSA acknowledge that decentcy by allowing membership.
The same sorts of sentiments could apply, I suppose, to decent people
who happen to be black, female, gay, whatever.
--- Monica Pilman
Unit Commisioner, Troop Committee Member
New Orleans Area Council
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City