In the latest smoking gun example of how the administrators of public schools are widely recruited from the Homes For The Bewildered, we learn of Rocky Mountain High School in Fort Collins, Colorado, where the principal, Tom Lopez, and his staff agreed to let the school’s “Cultural Arms Club” lead the student body in an Arabic version of the Pledge of Allegiance, one that replaced “under God,” the ill-advised addendum to the Pledge added by Congress when the U.S. felt under siege from “godless Communism” with “under Allah.”
As further proof that they should be managing a street corner balloon establishment, the school’s administration professes amazement that parents and citizens are upset with this, and as more evidence yet, places the blame on the students. After all it was their idea, and if they voted to have their fellow students recite the pledge in duck voices, or Pig Latin, or punctuated with “Heil Hitler!” salutes and “der Fuhrer” in place of “God,” I’m sure that would be okey-dokey too.
“These students love this country. They were not being un-American in trying to do this. They believed they were accentuating the meaning of the words as spoken regularly in English,” Lopez explains. I’m sure this makes sense to him. Now, silly me, I tend to think that the best way to accentuate the meaning of text written in English is to recite it in a language I can understand, but I’m just peculiar that way.
I digress, however. Today’s Ethics Quiz is not about whether Lopez and company are as dumb as bricks and unqualified to teach basket weaving—they are. The Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz question, rather, is this:
Is having a high school student body recite the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic, substituting “Allah” for “God” unethical, or just so strange and icky that it seems unethical?
Do you have your answer?
1. In a way, it’s a trick question. The conduct is unethical, because it is so blatantly incompetent and shows such poor judgment that every second the administrators allow themselves to remain in the school with control over any aspect of the students’ lives is a breach of responsibility. What would we think of a school administrator in the early Sixties who responded to a crack-brained request from a student multi-cultural club (not that they had such things in the early Sixties, which shows that the Vietnam era wasn’t all bad) that he direct the student body to deliver the Pledge in Russian by saying, “Sure! What a great idea!” He’d be fired, of course, and J.Edgar Hoover would build a file on him thicker than the Manhattan phone book—and the administrator would deserve every bit of what he got. There’s a powerful and deadly foreign entity out there openly vowing to take over U.S. liberties and culture, and the guy thinks it’s appropriate to show what such cultural subjugation would look and sound like, and that it wouldn’t be all that bad. Yeah, I want to trust him with my children every day.
2. The “Allah” substitution highlights what’s wrong with having “God” in the Pledge. It’s school indoctrination, and compelled worship, whatever the deity or holy personage is that is placed by fiat in the children’s mouths. It’s wrong, but so is that aspect of the Pledge in its proper language.
3. A one-time delivery of the Pledge in a foreign tongue is harmless, but it is also wrong-headed. Nations need to strengthen, not weaken, a common culture, and language is a cornerstone of any successful culture. The U.S. must ensure that its citizens communicate first and foremost in English, and this stunt sends a confusing message.
4. It is disturbing that a large percentage of the students didn’t refuse to recite the pledge in the language of those who murdered the 3000 on September 11, 2001. I guarantee most of my class would have walked out if we were asked to give the Pledge in Russian. Of course, we had better role models then...
5. On the whole, however, I vote “Ick!”, not unethical.
But really, really stupid.
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