One definition of fatale is “a fatal mistake in calculations.”
That is about as close of a description as any I can think of concerning some unsolicited posts I have received recently on my Facebook page. The posts in question referred to none other than politics and religion.
The political post stated to the effect that if you don’t love your country like I do (that the Pledge of Allegiance should be recited in schools) then you can leave the country. The religious post (if you don’t believe as I do then you can go to He--) was even more vitriolic in its message of hatred; pretty ugly stuff for a nation that prides itself on freedom of (or from) religion and free thought.
I should have left Facebook alone that night in my hotel room in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, but I succumbed to my Facebook addiction and read a forwarded post concerning the Pledge of Allegiance. One of the hazards of Facebook is that most of these posts never originate with the person you personally know but are usually forwarded by some "dittohead" too dumb to think for themself. That probably upset me more than the message. If you want to state political or religious views, please do it with your own thoughts and in your own words and I will respect and respond to that. If you don’t, here is what happens: I responded with a rant and rave stating that nobody was going to tell me what to think or what to believe. The next day I posted on Facebook the following: “To all you religious/political zealots: If you tell me what I have to believe in, expect a scathing reply.”
I did get a few responses; all from people who agreed with my stand. Did I accomplish anything with the people who posted? Probably not.
My response to religious posts: I love Christians and Muslims alike. I love Jews, Mormons, Buddhists and Pagans. Name your religion and I am fine with it — treat me likewise.
Concerning the Pledge of Allegiance posting: The slogan I have detested for the past half century is “Love it or leave it.” I hated it in the sixties and I hate it today. The slogan goes directly against the main principles this country stands for and was founded on.
To be very clear, I do not love my country, I love my wife and kids. I love friends and family. When I had a back-breaking accident last winter, my friends told me that the first words out of my mouth were, “I love this car.”
I don’t "love" my country, but I am often very proud of it, especially when we lead the way in aid for disaster. Sometimes I am not so proud of my country, especially when we kill people because our oil happens to be underneath their sand. I highly appreciate my country for the rights given to me to speak about the very things I write about. Like most citizens, I am patriotic in my own way.
What, you may ask, is the problem with “The Pledge of Allegiance to the United States of America”? Nothing, if that is what you want to do. Just don’t require every school kid or citizen to make a similar pledge.
Why? Go ahead and recite the Pledge but replace the United States of America with The German Republic. Now replace the words “to the Republic for which it stands” with “The Third Reich.” Replace those same words with “The People’s Republic of China” and “The Red Army.”
Adolph Hitler and Mao Tse Tung utilized very similar pledges to mobilize their youth. I would hope everyone remembers the results. All I am saying is that pledging a blind allegiance to any country, whether right or wrong, can have disastrous results. I prefer to stand by my country when I feel it is right and to try to correct my country when I believe it is wrong. It’s my country too and I ain’t goin’ nowhere.