WingNutDaily rants on about Governor Schwarzenegger’s silence during Pledge at Reagan’s funeral.

The most common argument I’m given by folks who support the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance is that no one is forced to recite the Pledge at all if they don’t want to. When I point out that this is hardly an option for many children because it will result in harassment from their fellow classmates—particularly if they leave the room during the Pledge as some people suggest—I’m told repeatedly that such harassment is rare if it happens at all. To anyone with half a brain this line of argument is obviously transparent, but you’d have a hard time convincing the people who make it that this is so.

That’s why I find this news item from the folks at WingNutDaily so interesting. It seems that during the funeral for former President Ronald Reagan, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was caught on camera not reciting the Pledge with everyone else. Not only didn’t the Governator not recite the Pledge, but he also didn’t sing the National Anthem, though he did stand at attention during both rituals. Needless to say this has caused quite a stir:

His silence during the pledge prompted phone calls to Joseph Farah’s WorldNetDaily Radioactive program, and a host of letters to the editor after Farah publicized the incident in a June 21 commentary.

“He needs to explain himself and apologize for the poor etiquette and unpatriotic attitude he displayed during the Reagan funeral,” Farah wrote. “It was a slight not only to the United States of America, but to the late president.”

Some of the reaction letters to WorldNetDaily include:

  • “My wife and I both noticed [Schwarzenegger’s non-pledge] at the time and we thought: ‘How rude!’ Something else we noticed and commented on amongst ourselves was, when everyone was standing and singing along to the National Anthem, Arnold again had his lips firmly locked closed. It does make you wonder just how seriously he takes the citizenship oath.” (Brian Davis, Indianapolis)
  • “I, too, noted that Arnie didn’t participate. I was wondering who would bring this matter up. The U.S. has made his successful life possible. What is wrong with this man?” (Paula Moore)
  • “Not only did Margaret Thatcher say the Pledge of Allegiance, she sang the National Anthem through to the end. Neither Arnold nor Maria did. Even if you can’t sing, you can mouth the words.” (Shellie Grant)
  • “Arnold swore an oath to ‘absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty,’ yet clearly has not done so. Then again, as governor, he swore to ‘defend the Constitution of the United States,’ but that hasn’t stopped him from embracing ‘gun control’ and endorsing Dianne Feinstein’s quest to make permanent the ban on semi-autos. So much for oaths. Like most politicians, it appears his primary loyalty is to himself. (David Codrea)
  • “Arnold will just explain it away or ignore it. Sad, sad, sad.” (Jim Harrison, Westerville, Ohio)

A lot is made of the fact that former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher did recite both the Pledge and sing the National Anthem as though this somehow made Schwarzenegger’s silence all the more scandalous. Now if a fully grown adult and elected official can’t keep silent during the Pledge and the National Anthem (for whatever reasons he may have had) without getting this kind of backlash, much of which calls into question his patriotism, then how the hell do these people expect me to buy the idea that kids aren’t going to get harassed?

Combine this with the big uproar when Rep. Jim McDermott left out the words “under God” while leading the House in reciting the Pledge back in April and news items from the same month about a student in Washington who was punished by school officials after he left the words out while reciting the Pledge over his school’s PA system and you have to wonder how someone could suggest that anyone, let alone a kid in a public school, can decide not to recite the Pledge or to leave out the words “under God” without fear of harassment for their decision. This all puts the lie to the popular Conservative claim that no one has to recite the Pledge as it’s currently written and that there’s no pressure from others to do so.

14 thoughts on “WingNutDaily rants on about Governor Schwarzenegger’s silence during Pledge at Reagan’s funeral.

  1. Yet another example of what liars and hypocrites most of these “good Christians” are.

    I guess Matthew’s directions do not apply, since the Pledge is a display of patriotism (though in its current form, it’s PRAYER):

    Matthew 6:5 – And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.

    Matthew 6:7 – But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

    From the remarks of the “good Christians” at WND, it would appear that failing to make a public display of one’s faith and patriotism make one suspect.

    Kids who leave out the words aren’t/won’t be ridiculed by their peers?  Puh-leeze! 


  2. Are we really all that surprised? I wonder what excuses will be made, and what Arnold will reply with (if at all). I hope he doesn’t backpedal.


    (“private” – as in the choice to not recite “under God” isn’t?)

  3. Y’know, I stopped saying the words “under God” in 5th or 6th grade, and no one ever bothered me about it. Occasionally someone would ask me why but I never encountered any attitude more hostile than “Oh that june, she always has to be different”. I guess I was just lucky.

  4. What always amazes me about the religioids who insist on requirements for public display is that (since it IS coerced) it renders the saying completely meaningless

    And they’re OK with that!  They’ll even say, “It doesn’t mean they are believers but that they recognize America’s history as a Christian nation, etc., blah, blah, blah.”

    You’d think they would want to promote meaningful religious expression.  That is, people expressing heartfelt devotion to god, not just mumbling to stay under the religious radar.

  5. DOF, they don’t care what you REALLY think and feel.  They just want you to shut up and support THEIR beliefs, no matter what.  They want you to “recognize” (that is, acknowledge) that their version of the truth is the winning one. 

    In other words, they want you to support the “majority rule” as long as it’s them.

  6. When I went into the Navy we were all sworn in and I chose the option of affirming rather than swearing (if you affirm you drop the ‘so help me god’ line too), and was the only one who did. I got some odd looks but at 6’4” I never really got too many smart remarks – to my face. If I am ever required in court to take the oath I will again choose to affirm rather than swear to a god I do not believe in. I agree with GeekMom on WHY they want to force a rectiation of the pledge but how much does it honor their god if all I do is humor the zealots?

    “I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.” (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

    Submission = pressure. Go figure.

  7. You know, Arnold was not born here.  He didn’t go to primary school here.

    Perhaps … he does not know the pledge.  Perhaps he doesn’t know the words to the National Anthem, either.  People who really care have to much damned time on their hands, and should be kept busier :/

    Yes, he’s in office now.  I believe he should have taken the time to memorize both.  However, if he didn’t, he’s far wiser to choose to be silent than to wait for the bozo lipreaders to try to catch him in an error in either.  Some people care about the silliest crap, I just don’t get it.


  8. When I was 13 I went to a baseball game with my father and his 4 brothers and numerous of their friends, every one of which had faught in Vietnam.  The flag was flying and the commentators led the crowd through the pledge and the national anthem (the last two words of which are ‘play ball’, if I recall correctly).

    I had made the personal decision that pledging allegiance to a flag felt meaningless to me… I feel allegiance to principles like freedom and democracy, but those two principles are often in practice rather decoupled from the government that the flag has come to represent – not the country, mind you, but the institution of government.  Something Thomas Jefferson warned us would happen.

    At the ball game, when the pledge began, all of the veterans around me stood silently, hands at their sides.  No hand on the heart, no salute as they were entitled to, just silent reflection.  None of them needed to go through any meaningless ritual to prove their commitment to this country.  (If anything the country needed to acknowledge the debt owed to these men for all they did and all they lost in the war.)

    I’m not making un-due parallels with Arnold here, I’m just pointing out that whether or not you participate in these rituals is a personal thing, sensitively dependent on the context of your life.  If it becomes compulsory, it becomes meaningless at best, and a tool for fascism at worst. 

    Pointing out the heretics in the crowd who are not participating in the ritual reeks of fascism… have we become a country where we will denounce someone for not properly following the rituals of the party line?  Didn’t we fight in a World War to try and make that sort of thinking go away?

  9. Didn’t we fight in a World War to try and make that sort of thinking go away?

    Thank you, foobario, for putting it so succinctly.

  10. Seems to me some of Arnie’s buddies should learn a little something about keeping their fucking mouths shut.

    How can the California State Education Secretary Richard Riordan jokingly tell a child her name, Isis, meant “stupid dirty girl”?!

    He gives no explanation for his behavior. I say something stinks!
    I named my daughter “Athena”, I bet he’d have the same words of wisdom for her.
    What a shithead!

    See Education chief calls preschooler ‘stupid dirty girl’ for more.

  11. The silver lining is that this might become a campaign issue when Arnie runs for President, and we won’t be inflicted with Reagan II.

    On the other hand, the Right is not renowned for their retentive memory…

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