Thursday, March 10, 2005

How do you recite the pledge in "Dumbass"?

So, from MSNBC, I see this:

A ninth-grader is protesting his school’s decision to broadcast the Pledge of Allegiance in foreign languages as part of National Foreign Language Week.

Patrick Linton said he and other students at Old Mill High School sat down rather than stand Wednesday when the pledge was read over the school’s public address system in Russian. Linton’s teacher told him if he had a problem he should leave the room.

He did, and did not plan to return this week.

“This is America, and we got soldiers at war,” the 15-year-old said. “When you’re saying the Pledge in a different language which nobody understands, that’s not OK.”

Charles Linton, Patrick’s father, said the use of other languages is disrespectful to the country. “It’s like wearing a cross upside down in a church,” he said.

Now, considering this kid's dad is obviously dimmer than the other bulbs, I can't really blame a 15-year-old for finding this scary. Doesn't Fox News tell him every day that his country is under siege from spooky furriners who want to take his dad's job and bring the United States to its knees? What I would like to do is take the kid aside and let him know that, here in Afghanistan, I've met numerous soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines whose first language was not english. In fact, I've met five soldiers -- two Poles, a Russian, a Pakistani and a Mexican -- who didn't speak any English until they joined the military.

Postcript: I'd also like to mention to Chuck that the inverted cross is also known as the "Cross of St. Peter." As the Church father Origen wrote: "Peter was crucified at Rome with his head downwards, as he himself had desired to suffer." It's a symbol of his humility, as he said he wasn't worthy to be crucified as Christ was. I think there are some who find it less than disrespectful.


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