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Archive for December, 2007

Pledge of Allegiance

About once a year an atheist somewhere makes headlines by suggesting that the phrase “under god” be omitted from the Pledge of Allegiance. Unfailingly such appeals are met by a chorus of protest from the pious, the uneducated and the uninformed: “What is this world coming to? These liberal atheists have no respect for history or tradition! How dare they suggest we take God out of the pledge!” (more…)

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(Note: I’ve been busy writing and grading final papers, so I’m reposting this article, originally written May 14th, 2007. It was one of my very first blog entries, so most of you probably never read it, but I find this issue as relevant today as when I wrote about it seven months ago. I’ll be back soon!)

People say I spend too much time ranting about the problems with this country and what they will eventually mean for this world and for all the people I love who live here. They say its pessimistic to dwell on such things.

In fact, pessimists don’t care enough to bitch in the first place. (more…)

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Whenever we talk about inequality in my American Education seminar, many of us shift uncomfortably in our seats.

I think we’re torn about whether to feel ashamed or secretly grateful that not everyone can afford the credentialed success we’ve purchased. It’s easier to just believe we all earn our places in life. So maybe we’ll assume everyone who got better grades than us in high school went to off Harvard to become brain surgeons. And maybe, when we look at the people who clean our toilets or pick up our trash, it’s easier to think of them as being punished for something: probably they were the lazy dropouts, and these are their consequences for not working hard.

But when pressed to think critically, we might look back to our own process of “getting in.” (more…)

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