As I was scrolling through Facebook yesterday, I saw a post about children saying the pledge of allegiance daily. I “liked” the post and then I noticed that my friend asked others how they felt about children saying the pledge each day at school. I was kind of surprised to see that a few people said that they were against it and felt that it was kind of Hitler-ish or brain-washy to “make” our students say the pledge every day. (I am summarizing here). I guess I can see the picture they’re painting, but geez, I’m a kindergarten teacher and I have to tell you that there is a part of me that LOVES standing to do the pledge in my little Texas classroom with my babies. I love telling them what all of those big words mean and why I believe it’s important to be loyal to things/ideals/people and your country. There are LOADS of things that I disagree with about my government, but I am very thankful to live in a country where I can express my opinions freely and I have the power to make a difference if enough people agree with me. I am embarrassed by things about the good ol’ U.S.A. and I’m ashamed when I realize how insensitive I am about issues because I’m an upper middle class white girl that has never had to deal with some of the things that far too many people in our world have to deal with daily. With all of that said and meant, I do pledge my allegiance to the United States of America because, in spite of it’s faults and failings, it is a blessing to live here and have the freedoms that we are allowed, such as the freedom to openly worship my God, the freedom to peacefully protest corporate giants like Monsanto, the freedom to choose public, private or home school for my children – or all 3, as we did…
Gosh, this world is run by people. Of course there are going to be shortcomings. What happened to loyalty? What happened to being part of the solution and not just turning your back on the problems while enjoying the good stuff? I’m not advocating ignorance. I just think that if we choose to live here, we can be part of the solution or we should probably find another place that fits us as perfectly as we believe a place should, where we don’t have to complain and point fingers while encouraging others to be part of the problem, too.
So, then I continued to scroll down my facebook newsfeed page and I came across another friend who posted something about how it would be a better country if people would fight as hard for healthy school lunches as they fight for kids to say the pledge every day. Well, healthy food is one of my passions, don’t ya know… I drive our sweet lunchroom ladies a bit bonkers on many a day. I encourage my parents to pack healthy lunches for their babies if at all possible. It is heartbreaking what we feed our children because we can’t trust the powers that be to keep the dangerous junk away from us because money is more important than people to them. If parents knew what was really in a lunchable, they would never buy one for their child again. I’m sure of it.
Then I realize the underlying belief is that Christians believe that school children saying the pledge each day is more important than feeding our precious children healthy food. Right? Because I’m trying to figure out why both of these things seem to be exclusive to one another. Can’t we want our children to pledge their allegiance to the United States of America AND stand up for them, fight for their right to healthy, affordable food without cancer-causing chemicals in them or breads, milks and yogurts that are full of unnecessary sugars?
I realize I am walking on shaky ground here. I know I have some conventional farmer friends who just don’t want to hear this and I have LOTS of friends who just don’t want to know or even think about it. Because you know, if we don’t know about it, it won’t hurt us,
until we get cancer, high blood pressure or diabetes or…
And I realize it isn’t just in our non-organic, GMO food, it’s in the air and the ground from the chemicals we spray on and inject into our food plants, which runs off into our water supply. Sometimes it feels like too much and a losing battle, but our children are worth it. We are all worth it. I think it’s un-American for me not to stand against this wealthy beast that is poisoning us. I know it’s easier to try to shame people like me into being quiet and treat me as if I’m a bad Christian because I’m passionate about the Earth that He so generously entrusted to us. I’ve lost a few friends on facebook because of my beliefs. I’ll admit that I am hurt by those occurrences. It’s painful to feel so passionately about something that big corp spends billions of dollars trying to cover up. It’s hard to know that lots of people just don’t want to know and they are angry with you for bringing it into the light even when you know that you are telling people because you love them and want what is best for them.
One of my best friends got cancer several years ago and my daughter and husband started having a bunch of health issues around the same time. I felt so helpless about my friend that I felt like the only way I could help was to do some research. I was shocked by what I read. I am still shocked by what I read. The first book I bought was from a Christian bookstore and it opened my eyes to the difference between our diet and health system and other countries. I completely changed my family’s diet. They hated me for awhile. The food was pretty bland, at best, honestly. Since then we have come a LONG WAY, BABY! Eating organically has been expensive, but I’m a huge believer in “pay now and feel much healthier or pay later and feel worse along the way.” I still get on my kids’ nerves, but they have done their own research and they are committed to doing the same for themselves and their families. We all realize that this is not a guarantee that we will never get cancer, high blood pressure, or diabetes, but we are committed to fighting until the end. My Honey’s and daughter’s hbp has completely disappeared, as has his gout. He still has diabetes, but his medicine dosage has been lowered twice in the past few years and he’s been able to stop taking the other one. We are committed to supporting our local organic farmers whenever possible. We are committed to growing our own food and being informed and standing up for what is right even when others try to shame us because what we have to say scares them. We peacefully march against Monsanto.
There are times that posts about Monsanto have mysteriously disappeared from fb. There is corruption in this blessed, wealthy country of ours. Too many times our government has supported this company in spite of how much damage they have and continue to do to our health and our Earth. Still, I pledge my allegiance to the United States of America and so do my children because we are proud to be Americans where diversity is embraced, where we can stand against injustice without being jailed or worse, where we can worship our God with abandon, where there is room for improvement and where we can put our money where our mouths are. I am a hippy, a tree-hugger and a Christian. Praise the Lord!!!