Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Video is Worth a Thousand Words

Anti-Obama critics have been circulating a story via e-mail among Republicans that the candidate does not say the pledge of allegiance. Many of these e-mails include a photograph that seems to show other Democratic presidential hopefuls with their hands over their hearts while Obama stands impassively on the stage beside them. The text to one of them reads:

Senator Barack Obama, Governor Bill Richardson, Senator Hillary Clinton and Ruth Harkin stand during the national anthem. Barack Hussein Obama's photo (that's his real name)......the article said he REFUSED TO NOT ONLY PUT HIS HAND ON HIS HEART DURING THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE, BUT REFUSED TO SAY THE in the XXXX can a man like this expect to be our next Commander-in-Chief????

Actually the photograph shows the candidates listening to the National Anthem not saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Obama's supporters point out that the full video shows other candidates without their hands on their hearts, and that the convention about "The Star Spangled Banner" isn't as clear, as the authority on Internet legends points out.

Ironically, as a baseball fan, I'm far more likely to put my hand to my heart willingly when the National Anthem plays than for the pledge. In contrast, I feel little need to make any display of saying the Pledge of Allegiance, since I resent the insertion of "under God" during the Cold War era, long after this declaration of public loyalty was composed. Saying the Pledge of Allegiance properly may be becoming more similar to what the Lord's Prayer was during the Puritan period, a test of not being outside the circle of social acceptability and a demonstration of not being a witch.

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