If you want to hear one of the craziest things to come out of a Republican mouth this week, it’s the Republican objection to anyone reading the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic. This apparently deplorable display of patriotism took place on March 18 during National Foreign Language Week, of all things.
Look, I’m all for stupidity carrying the day on Fox News. I mean, where better, and who better to recite it than the Queen of Dumb, Elisabeth Hasselbeck? But c’mon. Who knew that reciting the pledge of allegiance in Arabic could make kids want to join ISIL? I wonder, if I recite it in Latin, if I will want to become a new Mussolini and restore the Roman Empire (look out Carthage, I’m coming for you first!). Or if in Old Norse, I will seek to follow in the terroristic footsteps of that feared freebooter, Harald Hardrada and sack York, or in lieu of York, because it’s far away, New York. Or even Ragnar Lothbrok (Ragnarr Loðbrók, “Ragnar Hairy Breeches”) and sack just about everything I can get my hands on (starting with Fox News).
Who knows what reciting it in French might do to a kid…why, he might start putting plants and solar panels on everybody’s roof, and then where would we be? Egads, I can barely breathe. Somebody help me… I don’t know what sort of bizarre alchemy Republicans imagine, but neither it – nor they – are of this world. Unfortunately, we’re stuck with them because even if Jesus came back, he wouldn’t want them, and who can blame him, really?
Media Matters compiled some of the crazy remarks for our amusement (or horror):
Radio Host Laura Ingraham Compares Saying Pledge In Arabic To “Skinheads” Saying Pledge. On the March 20 edition of her radio program, Laura Ingraham said, “What if the skinheads want to do the Pledge of Allegiance? Are we going to do that too?” and, “Most people who love this country love it enough to speak the language [English].” [Courtside Entertainment Group, The Laura Ingraham Show, 3/20/15]
Fox’s Alex Ferrer: Pledge Should Not Be Read In Language “Tied To … Terrorist Attacks.” On the March 20 edition of Fox News’ Outnumbered, guest host Alex Ferrer said “the Pledge of Allegiance, I don’t think, should be read in a different language, but especially not — especially not — in a language that is so tied to the terrorist attacks that we’re seeing all the time.” [Fox News, Outnumbered, 3/20/15]
Fox Guest: Reciting Pledge In Arabic Inappropriate Because “We Are At War” With Many Who Speak Arabic. On the March 20 edition of Fox & Friends, President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy Zuhdi Jasser suggested reciting the Pledge in Arabic could encourage young Muslims to join ISIS and said the Pledge should not be in the language of “communities or nations we’re at war with.” [Fox News, Fox & Friends,3/20/15]
Daily Caller: The School “Screw[ed] Up The Pledge Of Allegiance.” Reporting about the incident, the Daily Caller called the high school’s decision a “gimmick” and said the school “[managed] to screw up the Pledge of Allegiance.” [Daily Caller, 3/20/15]
Fox Host: School Should “Keep The Pledge Of Allegiance In English.” On the March 20 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, host Martha MacCallum said “I’m not sure it was the brightest idea to have them do the Pledge of Allegiance in any language except English.” MacCallum later added “maybe you ought to keep the Pledge of Allegiance in English.” [Fox News, America’s Newsroom, 3/20/15]
Fox’s Todd Starnes: Saying Pledge In Arabic Means “Islam Is Given Accommodation.” In a FoxNews.com opinion piece on the controversy over the Pledge being recited in Arabic, network radio host Todd Starnes claimed “our schoolhouses have become places where Christianity is marginalized and Islam is given accommodation”
What is far worse than all this nonsense from conservatives is that the school actually apologized:
The intention was to promote the fact that those who speak a language other than English still pledge to salute this great country. We sincerely apologize to any students, staff or community members who found this activity disrespectful.
Indeed. Apologize for a display of patriotism? In a foreign language in a nation of immigrants during a week celebrating foreign languages? What is our once great country coming to?
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.