Victor mumbled to himself the whole 25 minute drive to the meeting working up a good lather before he walked into the home-school graduation planning meeting.
He just couldn’t get his mind around a group of home-schooling parents who wanted to go all patriotic on the graduation services. First, they wanted to post the colors, and then they wanted to pledge allegiance to the flag and then somebody wanted their daughter to preform a off tune rendition of ‘God Bless America.’ Victor half expected that by the time the meeting started somebody would have recommended that they invite the Army recruiters to set a booth up so the graduates could sign up and enlist after they received their diplomas.
Victor walked into the meeting just before the gavel hit the plate calling the meeting to order. He wanted to make the comment that meetings were the ‘invention of the devil’ but he managed to chew his tongue on that score.
Mrs. Dolby Beckman, the resident Republican apparatchik, who had exactly zero children graduating during the upcoming ceremony started the discussion,
“Well, I couldn’t help but notice that the children left out the patriotic aspect of the ceremony so I thought I would just go ahead and include all of that since I am sure it was just an oversight.”
Jeanie Cheeseman immediately offered her sycophantic gratitude for Mrs. Beckman’s ‘rescue’ of the graduation service. (After all, if one wanted to move up in the “home-school, Republican, I love Jesus” society, one had to do all they could to kiss up to Mrs. Beckman.)
“Oh Dolly, where we would be without your organizational skills,” Jeannie offered, “Dear me, what would have State Congressman Connor have ever thought of us if we had forgotten our good citizenship.”
All the rest of the Mothers nodded in agreement.
Before Victor launched into his observations he first wondered why he was the only Father at this meeting and then he wondered, not for the first time, why he even bothered trying.
Still, Victor was the eternal optimist and regardless of how many times his ideas went down in flames he remained ever hopeful that someday logic would find a way to overcome emotion.
Victor lowered his voice working on keeping it calm and level.
“Ladies given the fact that all of us here have already flunked the good citizenship award I am not sure why we are suddenly concerned about it now.”
Mrs. Beckman in her best ‘affronted Republican I love Jesus’ voice protested, “I don’t have any idea of what you might mean Mr. Nauh.”
“What I mean, Mrs. Beckman is that these parents gathered here, by educating their children at home, have been anti-patriotic by having a loyalty higher then the State, and now that their anti-patriotism has come to a climax in a graduation ceremony that acknowledges their success in keeping their children away from the clutches of the State you want to cover it all in paens to the State. I’m here to register my opposition to pledging an allegiance to a Republic-State that I’ve worked for 13 years to avoid having anything to do with.”
Victor pressed on
“Look ladies, the way I understand the Constitution it should be the Nation that pledges allegiance to the Citizens and not the citizens who should pledge allegiance to the Nation. Second, when it comes to posting the colors I can’t help but think of the holocaust the unborn have suffered under those very colors. I just can’t bring my self to be very respectful to a Nation that continues to offer up its children to Molech and frankly I don’t understand how allegiance to Christ doesn’t trump good citizenship and reciting the allegiance to the flag.” Thirdly …
Mrs. Beckman interrupting Victor’s thought said, almost tearfully, “Mr. Nauh, I don’t know how you can be so Anti-American.”
Victor paused, sighed noticeably and responded, “Dolly, it is because I love America that I have these convictions. I am trying to be an example to my children of what it means to be against America because I am for America. Indeed, I would say that by your entering in to these patriotic frenzies you are the one who is being anti-American if only because by doing so you communicate that you think everything is hunky dory in the ‘land of the free.’ Dolly, everything isn’t hunky dory and there seems to be little sign that it is moving in the direction of hunky doriness.”
Rev. Stan Patrick, who was attending because Dolly figured she might need some heavy artillery to resist Victor spoke up.
“Well, this graduation is happening in my Church and we must at least have a pledge.”
Victor fired back, “Sure let’s have a pledge. I’ll say a pledge to Jesus. I’ll say a pledge to the Church. I’ll say a pledge to my family. Shoot, I’ll even say a pledge to my community. By all means let’s do a pledge but can’t we find a pledge that doesn’t implicitly bind us to the sins of this ‘one nation under God.’ (Victor always wonder just which God the nation was under but he held his fire on this point.)
Trudy Heartshorn, head of the homeschooling organization that lent official sanction to the Diplomas asked, “Victor what was the third point you were going to make before Dolly interrupted you.”
Victor was hoping that the third point would be forgotten but being in for a penny he figured he’d go in for a pound.
“Trudy my third point was going to be an analogy. I was simply going to ask what we would think if we could take a time machine and go back to German Christians in the 1930’s organizing a graduation exercise. I was going to ask what we would think of those German Christians planning a graduation exercise with all the patriotic excesses that we are including. What would we think of German Christians who were going to post the National Socialist Flag and pledge allegiance to the German Nation under one God. What would we think if could go back in a time machine and listen to them going on and on about good citizenship?”
Rev. Patrick and Dolly exploded both at the same time.
“How dare you!”
Victor rejoined, “How dare I what?”
Rev. Patrick answered, “How dare you make a moral equivalence argument between this country and Hitler’s Germany.”
Victor knew he was licked. He slowly got up and collected his things as the hubbub he had created increased in volume as he headed for the door.
Once at the doorway, he turned with this parting observation, “Ladies (and here, in his thinking, he was appropriately including the Pastor in his address) if moral equivalence is in the eye of the beholder we might want to ask the dead unborn if they think there is a moral equivalence between the holocaust today here and the one our imagined German graduation planning committee was living through. If we were to get their answer we might go a little slow on the good citizenship angle.”
Four weeks later they had their graduation ceremony, complete with the posting of the Colors, pledging allegiance and an off tune version of ‘God Bless America.’
Victor and His family were the only ones that remained seated.