Each year, I dedicate a pair of posts to remind this nation what it’s supposed to be. This post focuses on Red Skelton’s telling his audience about the Pledge of Allegiance. Here is the transcript of that story:

I remember this one teacher. To me, he was the greatest teacher, a real sage of my time. He had such wisdom. We were all reciting the Pledge of Allegiance one day, and he walked over. Mr. Lasswell was his name. He said, “I’ve been listening to you boys and girls recite the Pledge of Allegiance all semester, and it seems as though it is becoming monotonous to you. If I may, may I recite it and try to explain to you the meaning of each word?”

I: me, an individual, a committee of one.
PLEDGE: dedicate all of my worldly goods to give without self-pity.
ALLEGIANCE: my love and my devotion.
TO THE FLAG: our standard, Old Glory, a symbol of freedom. Wherever she waves, there is respect because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts freedom is everybody’s job.
OF THE UNITED: that means that we have all come together.
STATES: individual communities that have united into 48 great states.
Forty-eight individual communities with pride and dignity and purpose, all divided with imaginary boundaries yet united to a common purpose, and that’s love for country.
OF AMERICA
AND TO THE REPUBLIC: a state in which sovereign power is vested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people and it’s from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people.
FOR WHICH IT STANDS
ONE NATION: meaning, so blessed by God.
INDIVISIBLE: incapable of being divided.
WITH LIBERTY: which is freedom, the right of power to live one’s own life without threats, fear, or some sort of retaliation.
AND JUSTICE: the principle or quality of dealing fairly with others.
FOR ALL: which means, boys and girls, it’s as much your country as it is mine.
Since I was a small boy, two states have been added to our country and two words have been added to the Pledge of Allegiance: UNDER GOD
Wouldn’t it be a pity if someone said, “That is a prayer,” and that would be eliminated from schools, too?

Soak up Mr. Lasswell’s words. Indeed, as Red Skelton said, he has “such wisdom.” Here is that story in video form:

This nation truly has been blessed by God. Specifically, we’ve been blessed by the God of the Christian Bible. It’s worth noting a few words/phrases:

AND JUSTICE: the principle or quality of dealing fairly with others.
FOR ALL: which means, boys and girls, it’s as much your country as it is mine.

Are we living up to those principles? That’s up to each of us to determine individually with guidance from the Torah through the Revelation of Christ.

TO THE FLAG: our standard, Old Glory, a symbol of freedom. Wherever she waves, there is respect because your loyalty has given her a dignity that shouts freedom is everybody’s job.

That’s exactly right. It isn’t a symbol of white supremacy or white privilege. The men and women who revere Old Glory have liberated white Europeans, yellow Japanese and South Koreans and Muslims from Kuwait, Iraq and east Africa. If we’re racists, we’re the worst racists in history.

It’s time we reminded each other that we’ve truly been blessed, each one of us. Any nation that’s lifted men like Ben Carson, Barack Obama, Collin Powell and women like Condi Rice to cabinet positions and to the highest office in the United States isn’t systemically racist.

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