Forcing Allegiance Is Fascism

The Texas Standard – KEN PAXTON INTERVENES IN SUIT – September 26, 2018

Lauren McGaughey is reporting on this story for the Dallas Morning News. She says the case stems from a suit filed by parents of a student who was kicked out of school for not standing to recite the pledge. The student and her parents say the school violated her First Amendment rights with that punishment.

“Attorney General Paxton says that it’s a ‘moral good.’ He said, in a statement, that kids learn about citizenship and patriotism from saying the pledge every morning,” McGaughey says.

A First Amendment expert McGaughey talked to says he believes the Texas requirement that students recite the pledge is unconstitutional.

The Texas Standard

Ken Paxton is a Christianist. He wants to force Americans to worship his God. This is a documented fact that anyone can find out for themselves with a simple Google search. A good portion of Texas agrees with him and his fascist views concerning the Freedom of/from Religion guaranteed by the US Constitution. If evil exists, and I am agnostic on the existence of evil; but if evil exists his views and the views of his fellow Christianists are an active evil in the mind of modern America. Ken Paxton should be shunned. He should be rejected at the polls. If you vote for Paxton, you are voting for evil.

I have a distinct opinion on the subject of forcing children to pledge allegiance, as the title of this article and the above paragraph should make abundantly clear. My qualms about the wisdom of making children pledge allegiance before they are old enough to know what words like allegiance mean go back to an early reading of The Children’s Story by James Clavell. In that story the children in a generic classroom are introduced to a new teacher sent to them by their new government. That teacher explains the intent behind the words of this pledge they’ve been forced to recite all their young lives, but the explanation she offers is a lie, and the children are too young and impressionable to know that they are being lied to by an authority figure.

These qualms came to a head when Texas passed a law requiring that children pledge allegiance to the Texas flag as well as the U.S. flag. I received a flyer amongst several other pieces of documentation sent home from school with my children the year this law went into effect, a flyer informing me that Texas law required all students to mouth the words of the United States pledge of allegiance, as well as the then newly revised Texas pledge of allegiance (HB 1034) in addition to observing a moment of silence once each day (SB 83) a practice that intended to re-introduce morning prayer into Texas public schools. The sponsor of HB 1034, when queried on the subject of religion, had this to say (source, Capitol Annex: More HB 1034 Exchanges):

BURNAM: Are you aware that Governor Perry has recently said, “Freedom of religion should not be taken as freedom from religion.” And my question is, do you agree with that statement, Ms. Riddle?
RIDDLE: I would say, Amen.

Which pretty much sums up the intent of the modification of the pledge, and the accompanying minute of silence. It also showed the utter contempt the governor and the majority of the legislature had for anyone who didn’t share their particular christian beliefs. Freedom of religion is a meaningless concept unless it includes freedom from religion; requiring someone to have a religion places constraints upon the person, negating any freedom that might be present.

The requirement to recite the two pledges has been on the books since 2003. When they changed the pledge in 2007 they felt they needed to inform parents, once again, of their children’s duty to stand and recite the pledges. This prompted me to fire off a letter to the school in response, telling them in no uncertain terms what I thought of their forced indoctrination into religion and what has become a transparent attempt to create an American theocracy.

Dictators and cult leaders require the slaves under their rule to swear allegiance to them, because power is jealous of rivals. In a free society, pledges of allegiance should not be required, because individuals are free of any allegiance other than to rational self interest. Additionally, pledges required of the public are contrary to the sentiments of the founders of the United States, as it reverses the role of the subservient state and places it above We The People.

Obviously, from the tone of this letter, you will be able to discern that I am hereby notifying you in writing that my children will be exempted from this practice. They will not be required to recite any pledges, nor will they be required to observe a minute of silence. This notice is given pro forma, because my children have abstained from reciting the pledges for the entire time that they have attended school; and they have done this without asking me or the omnipotent state for permission to do so. They have remained silent during pledges even in my presence, when I have recited the pledge autonomically; and I applaud them for their strength of will.

If it was possible, I would extend this exemption to any student of AISD, of any school district in Texas, or of any state in the United States, who wished to abstain from reciting the pledge, but lacks the permission that the state requires.

The Religious Right, the Christianist right, have simply become more strident over the years since 2007, not less.  They do not appear to have learned anything from the many battles they have engaged in and lost when it comes to the subject of making the US a christian nation against the will of the majority who like it just the way it is.

Nor is this an issue of socialism versus fascism, the author of the pledge having been a card-carrying Socialist of his timeSocialism itself is not a bad word. Socialism is another in a long list of bogeymen that really should be retired, since the mindset that inspired the pledges and Marxist Dictatorships of the twentieth century now looks as alien to us as most of the other concepts of the time do. However, it does remain fascist to force conformity to any ideology; fascism being the sole surviving ideology that holds up Authoritarianism as a benefit to society. Freedom of conscience requires that we allow people to believe what they want to believe and to act according to their own conscience. That means that allowing people to abstain from reciting the pledge is the least we can do in acknowledgement of their freedom of conscience. Imagine what it would be like if football fans could be reasoned with in this fashion.

The article that included the letter sent to AISD

Ken Paxton: Future Felon & Vote Suppression Expert

Meet Ken Paxton, vote suppression advocate extraordinaire:

Attorney General Ken Paxton today asked the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a district court’s injunction permanently barring Texas from enforcing its amended voter ID law (Senate Bill 5). The Legislature passed the amended law to comply with a prior 5th Circuit court ruling. In a separate filing yesterday, the attorney general asked the U.S. District Court in Corpus Christi to stay its ruling while the appeal proceeds.

Wednesday, a district court granted a permanent injunction against Texas’ voter ID laws, defying the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), which asked the court to end efforts to overturn the law. In a filing with the court, the Justice Department stated it was satisfied Senate Bill 5 “eradicates any discriminatory effect or intent” and expands voter identification options.

texasattorneygeneral.gov

What Texas voting laws do is suppress votes. This has been true from the very beginning of voting law, when the laws were put in place specifically to keep certain populations from voting; whether those populations were female, black, former Mexicans (the recently created racial category of Latino includes these brown skinned people who represent a near-majority in Texas) Asians, Native Americans, you name it. Voting law has always been about keeping the people that you don’t want to vote, from voting. From exercising the franchise of political participation.

There is no fraud, no illegality of any kind large enough to impact even the closest of vote margins when it comes to people voting who shouldn’t be voting in Texas or United States elections. Ken Paxton thinks any attempt to accurately represent the will of the full population of the State of Texas is outrageous because he knows that such a vote would not only unseat him and his White Nationalist cronies currently running this state, but that if every Texan was guaranteed a voice in Texas politics he would probably be in jail right now:

Paxton, a 52-year-old Republican, was fingerprinted and photographed at the Collin County jail while a throng of media waited outside. It was a frenzy reminiscent of a year ago, when then-Texas Gov. Rick Perry – who was also still in office – was booked after being indicted on charges of abusing his power with a 2013 veto.

abc13.com

He would be in jail because he would no longer be the Attorney General, the head of the Texas legal department, and thereby be unable to manipulate the legal process to his own advantage. Which he has done, repeatedly, since gaining office.

Federal courts have blocked the legislation that Paxton is defending. I guess that is something. At least he’s not the only indicted statewide official currently serving in office any longer:

Ken Paxton, the Texas attorney general indicted in his first year holding the office, no longer appears to be the nation’s sole indicted statewide official.

That’s because a federal grand jury recently issued a 22-count indictment of Allen Loughry, a member of the West Virginia Supreme Court. A listener to the Texas Standard, a public affairs program headquartered at KUT, Austin’s NPR affiliate, brought the indictment to our attention.

politifact.com

For whatever that is worth. Ken Paxton is crony capitalism personified. He certainly doesn’t deserve to be our attorney general.

Postscript

This article originally came into existence as Facebook and Tumblr statuses. They have now been combined and expanded and backdated to the blog to the date when the news made it in front of my eyeballs.

Allen Loughry resigned his office under threat of impeachment after being convicted on several counts. Ken Paxton remains in office even though he is currently being investigated by the FBI on the same charges that were first brought against him in 2015. Texas reigns supreme as the state dumb enough to keep re-electing criminals to high office.

Collin County Booked Ken Paxton Without a Towel and Here’s What It Means

Ken Paxton’s war against equal access to the voting booth continues. He is now taking personal credit for keeping Donald Trump from loosing Texas in 2020 by stopping mail-in balloting from becoming a state-wide standard during the coronavirus pandemic.

This simply underscores my understanding that you have to be willing to risk your life in order to secure the vote for yourself. You can’t simply sit on the sidelines and cry about it. If it helps, you can envision that every ballot you cast is stuffed straight up Ken Paxton’s ass right after you cast it. This might make the pain of wearing a mask and the risk of brushing up against the unvaccinated idiots in line with you to vote less bothersome.

Featured image from Dallas News