September 3, 2009

Not to get all political. . .

Thanks for all of your opinions! I really like this discussion thing. I think I'll do it again. Any suggestions?

So, I thought, since all of you had so kindly shared, that I would let you in on my opinion of the matter. The reason that I posted this at all was because the other night on the news there was a big controversy over it being shown in an elementary school here in Utah. Some of the parents were just furious. I found the video on You Tube to see what all of the fuss was about. As I started watching it I couldn't help but wonder.

Yes, let's smile more. Please go volunteer some more. Find people out there to help. Okay, let's take better care of the planet. Please make friends with your neighbors. Great. Awesome.

And then we get to the end. "I pledge to be a servant to President Barak Obama."

Now, don't get me wrong. I am all for respecting the President of the United States. He has a daunting job. He needs all the support and goodwill that he can get. I am on the side of uniting this country. "A house divided [could] not stand" one hundred and fifty years ago and it cannot stand today.

However, the glorious thing about this country lies in its different opinions. "All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression." This was true over two hundred years ago, when it was first spoken by Thomas Jefferson and remains so today. One of the greatest attributes of our country is our freedom of speech.

Now, had the video announced that they pledged to stand as one nation united or pledged to respect the President I would have no qualms whatsoever. The term "servant," however, struck a chord in me. By definition a servant is one who expresses submission, recognizance, or debt to another. A subordinate. Not one whose opinion is valued, let alone asked.

As for it being shown in elementary schools, I agree with most of my commenter's. It needs to be shown to an older age group. One who does not mistake star power for final authority. One old enough to ask thoughtful questions and understand the connotations involved.

So there you have it. If you have any further thoughts I'd love to hear them!


Kristina P. said...

I don't generally read political blog posts. Just as a general rule. I can see where parents were concerned and I think it was a bad call to show the video. Does it signal the end of the world? No.

The Boob Nazi said...

At least it doesn't say slave?

janae said...

With all do respect and love, I disagree completely with your definition of servant. The Savior himself was the 'servant of all' and shed a different light on that word. Perhaps that's where the discord was in the last post - perhaps we all agree in concept, but understood the verbiage differently.

Either way, I luv ya! :)

InkMom said...

I should have commented on the video yesterday, but it took a while for my thoughts to settle out and congeal into something coherent.

So here's my spin: most of those things that people "pledged" to do are things that we should be doing anyway, with minor exception. I don't expect to teach my 4-year olds about stem cell research, unless I want to really make a big deal about cord blood storage for this next baby. So there are some little things in there that aren't just expressions of common courtesy.

And it's hard to make it an even presentation when you leave out things that aren't so "touchy-feely" but would also be things someone could fight for: fiscal conservatism or personal responsibility for your actions or term limits for senators or sex education and abortion prevention aren't exactly easy to portray in an approachable way.

Here's what I disagree with: the equation of having ethics and morals with supporting or serving our president. The implication, and I do not believe it's unintentional, is that those who did not vote for President Obama, or who do not agree with his stances and policies while he's in office, are somehow morally inferior to those who believe in his every word.

It's just the wrong motivator, I think. Yes, encourage our children to become involved in community service; to fight for issues that are important to them. But present both sides of the issues they could care about, and motivate them with a higher ideal than serving a president who may or may not be in office three years from now: with the knowledge that taking care of each other is the right thing to do regardless of what our president says.

Emmy said...

I posted a link to this video on facebook and have had quite the fun discussion with my friends, many of whom are quite liberal.
In the end, even those who love Obama, agreed that it was a bit creepy, especially the kissing muscle guy and the wording of it.
I really like what you said in this post, you said it very well.

Lourie said...

I don't know how I missed this, but here I am nonetheless. I like the concept. Should they say "servant"? Would it have been better if they pledged to serve their country and its leaders? I will do what I can to serve this country and by so doing I serve its leaders. It's that simple. I think that President Obama has been highly glamorized and commercialized ...I find it disrespectful to the office he holds. So no, they shouldn't say servant and Obama together. Rather serve the country and its leaders. And that is my NSHO

Carolyn said...

Strange that my kids here in VA didn't see that one. I found it a bit unsettling like the others who commented. Ads like that are a big reason why we don't have cable.

Bloggin Betty said...

I agree that it needs to be shown to older students. And servant is something we should only have to say at church. But the video itself is fine. P.S. I found you through my sis, Chief and will be sticking around if thats ok!

Liesl said...

You dared me so I'm gonna.
Just a question to consider.
If we had elected John McCain and the man in the video had been a clean-cut white man in a suit saying the same thing, would it have generated the same rage?
Just a question to consider. Don't freak out y'all!

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