The Bill Of Rights Says No One Has To Stand For The Anthem

image of students giving Bellamy salute in 1941
Forced Patriotism circa 1941

I never liked being forced to do something especially if I had major moral issues about it. I had a telemarketing job where I had to sell stuff I knew people didn’t need to buy. As a kid, I hated having to recite the pledge of allegiance and as an adult I refuse to recite it and I don’t stand the for the national anthem. It isn’t because I hate my country, it’s because I love my country and want it to do better. If the pledge and anthem mean anything it’s my right to address my grievances with my government like not standing for the national anthem.

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For Lisa: Gone Too Soon

My sister Lisa Berger Kitchen

Today, my sister would have turned 52 years old. She passed away from cancer in 2003 at the age of 40. Even after all these years she’s been gone, she is not far away in my memories. Countless times I’ve remembered funny things she did and I also remember the challenging times due to her being mentally challenged. I wanted to honor her on her birthday and to share the eulogy I wrote and gave at her funeral.

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Where Did My Thanksgiving Parade Go?

screencap of Jack Lord hosting the Aloha Floral Parade in 1979 on CBS
Jack Lord hosting the Aloha Floral Parade in 1979 on CBS

So I got up earlier than usual on Thanksgiving morning specifically to watch the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I turn on the TV to watch but where is the parade? It is suppose to be on two networks and I see bits of the parade in the background but the hosts act like they are somewhere other than a parade. When did the Macy’s parade become just an advertising vehicle for NBC and CBS? Where did my Thanksgiving Parade go?

Watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade was a ritual growing up. It would be on at Grandma’s house as we kids tried to pass the time before we could eat. We would sneak cheese from the cheese plate as we watched the floats and balloons go by. 

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Openly Secular: A Needed Project With A Vague Name

Logo for the Openly Secular project

I’ve been part of the non-religious community for 20 years and one thing is constant, we have many different groups to support us and it seems new ones show up regularly. Case in point is ‘Openly Secular’, a ‘new’ coalition of several large secular groups. Its mission of drawing attention to discrimination of non-religious people is needed but I’m disappointed in the fact that they named the group ‘Openly Secular’ instead of ‘Openly Non-religious’.

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