Oh, Neil deGrasse Tyson Done Riled Up the Uber-Patriots

Neil deGrasse Tyson has got himself into bit of a pickle. On Twitter, he shared a meme about what the real Pledge of Allegiance should be in this country and the America First, Go to Hell You Dirty Commie Brigade got all riled up, put on their best Marlboro t-shirts and fired up their keyboards to express their outrage. The meme:

“If the Pledge of Allegiance told the truth,” the astrophysicist wrote on Twitter, along with an image that read: “I pledge allegiance, to the Flag of the Divided States of America. And to the PACs, for which it stands, one Nation, at odds, divisible, with Liberty and Justice for some.”

Some of the dumbest reactions:

Right. Because if someone does science, they can’t possibly express an opinion about anything else, ever, for any reason.

Both simple and simpleminded. Perfect.

Yeah, you know who never gets told that? Those same uber-patriots who rage about how America has turned into Sodom and Gomorrah and is full of welfare cheats and lazy people living off the hard work of others. Only some types of criticism are allowed; anything else and it’s “get the fuck out of my country, commie.”

Harsh. Very harsh.

Yeah, only someone who hates the country would ever criticize it for anything. Except all those wingnuts who criticize it all day long for a million reasons. But that’s totally different, for magic, special, lucky reasons they can’t quite explain.

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Akira MacKenzie

    I prefer my version:

    I pledge unquestioning obedience,

    to the rag of the United $tate$ of AmeriKKKa, and to the oligarchy to which we grovel, one empire, under God (the Christian God and DON’T YOU FORGET IT), indivisible (accept when we want to pick on minorities), with liberty and justice for all… Who can afford it.

  • Lady Mondegreen

    Right. Because if someone does science, they can’t possibly express an opinion about anything else, ever, for any reason.

    Yeah, you know who never gets told that? Those same uber-patriots who rage about how America has turned into Sodom and Gomorrah and is full of welfare cheats and lazy people living off the hard work of others. Only some types of criticism are allowed; anything else and it’s “get the fuck out of my country, commie.”

    Yeah, only someone who hates the country would ever criticize it for anything. Except all those wingnuts who criticize it all day long for a million reasons. But that’s totally different, for magic, special, lucky reasons they can’t quite explain.

    These all sound like responses to RW wingnuttery and defenses of Tyson.

    Think Ed pasted the wrong comments.

  • Lady Mondegreen

    *Emily Latella voice* “Never mind.”

    My phone didn’t load the comments. I was seeing Ed’s responses.

    IGNORE MY PREVIOUS COMMENT

  • http://kamakanui.zenfolio.com Kamaka

    I copped an attitude about the pledge when I was in high school (decades ago). The conformity police had conniption fits when I refused to stand when the pledge was recited. A gym teacher once collared me and offered to kick my ass when I refused his order to stand.

    I took mountains of shit saying hell no, I won’t do it.

    Oh, and fuck the National Anthem, too.

  • http://kamakanui.zenfolio.com Kamaka

    IGNORE MY PREVIOUS COMMENT

    No, no. You own it forever.

  • karmacat

    We should tell the people freaking out that it at least wasn’t like this

    http://bartsblackboard.com/the-pledge-of-allegiance-does-not-end-with-hail-satan/season-5/287/

  • John Pieret

    Please, find a rocket, get on board, and leave this planet.

    A while ago I saw Tyson on an interview show hosted by a comedian where disparate people sat around a table eating dinner and talking. Tyson was wearing a T shirt that said “Occupy Mars” and asked what he’d like most to do in life, he said go to Mars. So, if you uber patriots didn’t keep insisting on cutting the budget for NASA (and most other science projects), Neil might already have gone.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    fuck the National Anthem, too.

    Hear, hear! Fuck nationalism in general. It’s an utterly stupid concept that has been used to divide and rule people for far too long.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    (Addendum to my previous:

    One of the things that fascinates me is that so many freethinkers have managed to struggle to do away with the lies of religion, while ignoring the lies of the other great mechanism for population control: nationalism. I hope that eventually mankind will be able to realize that religion has been the shackles on our arms, while nationalism has been the collar around our necks – and to throw them both off. The lie of religion is that god wants you to behave in ways that just happen to be convenient for the establishment. Nationalism tells a different lie, namely that you should behave in ways that are convenient for the establishment because, um, you really want to.)

  • leftygomez
  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com holytape

    MaxR.S @Randy_Shannon

    Follow

    Please, find a rocket, get on board, and leave this planet.

    Would love to, but you, fuckers won’t adequately fund NASA.

  • kantalope

    anyone else just start flapping your lips and saying blah blah blah? I started that in third grade. I thought being forced to praise freedom was awfully silly.

  • http://kamakanui.zenfolio.com Kamaka

    @ Marcus Ranum

    The lie of religion is that god wants you to behave in ways that just happen to be convenient for the establishment.

    Ruling Chiefs of Hawai’i by Kamakau. His history of the fall of the Kapu system speaks to this in a very direct way.

    *Slog to read.

  • jonathangray
  • jonathangray

    Marcus Ranum:

    One of the things that fascinates me is that so many freethinkers have managed to struggle to do away with the lies of religion, while ignoring the lies of the other great mechanism for population control: nationalism. I hope that eventually mankind will be able to realize that religion has been the shackles on our arms, while nationalism has been the collar around our necks – and to throw them both off. The lie of religion is that god wants you to behave in ways that just happen to be convenient for the establishment. Nationalism tells a different lie, namely that you should behave in ways that are convenient for the establishment because, um, you really want to.)

    There is no such thing as perpetual peace; I don’t care how many democracies you have. There will always be vital interests which states will go to war over. There will always be some kind of strategic problem or ethnic explosion or religious hatred to start the ball rolling. Conflict is, and always will be, a fact of life. Period. And there’s nothing we can do to change that. Kant was hopelessly idealistic on this score. [Woodrow] Wilson believed that too — you know, the crap about ‘Well, if we all got together and talked about our differences, the world would be at peace’. That’s nonsense. We can try to manage those differences, but there’s no way to prevent them.

    – Richard M. Nixon

  • http://kamakanui.zenfolio.com Kamaka

    gray @ 15

    Citation plse.

  • colnago80

    Re Kamaka @ #16

    I don’t know the source of the statement from Nixon but I would not be surprised if it was accurate. It certainly sounds a lot like something he would have said or written. Certainly it’s something that his foreign policy adviser Henry Kissinger would say.

  • http://kamakanui.zenfolio.com Kamaka

    @ 17

    Yah, I agree, that’s why I’m asking for citation.

  • http://www.twitter.com/jablair51 Ouabache

    No one has posted the David Cross video yet? Okay, I’ll do it then: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBlsqtSNWXw

  • Alverant

    Again I’m reminded of the quote about how conservatives love the USA like a child, they could do no wrong as long as they’re the favorite, while liberals love the USA like an adult, aware of the flaws and how there’s room for improvement.

  • jonathangray
  • http://kamakanui.zenfolio.com Kamaka

    K Thnx

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    Richard M. Nixon

    I suppose you could have found a slightly better spokesperson for the status quo, if you tried. But, really?

    Yes, people have always been horrible to eachother. But it takes aggregation of power at the level of large populations and economies to be able to build the weapons necessary to menace the entire planet. I understand the “there will be wars” mindset, because “there have always been wars” but it’s not foolhardy to ask “why not something different?” Mankind’s great accomplishments, such as eradicating smallpox(*) and so forth, have been a result of asking “why not?” instead of accepting the status quo. With global climate change, national interests are going to sink us, and national divisions are going to make the disaster immeasurably worse. It’s a hell of a thing you’re sticking up for!

    (* Except for, of course, thesamples the US and Russia maintain in case they “need” to weaponize them)

  • Doubting Thomas

    “There is no such thing as perpetual peace; I don’t care how many democracies you have. There will always be vital interests which states will go to war over. ”

    See, all you have to do is highlight or copy and paste it into Google and poof, there’s the answer.

  • Larry

    After the gumming de Grasse got from the RWNJs over the Cosmos reboot, I think he is pretty capable of standing up for himself. Just a whole lot of slobber and spit but nothing breaking the skin.

  • http://kamakanui.zenfolio.com Kamaka

    @ 24

    The claiment has the obligation to provide attributions.

  • http://kamakanui.zenfolio.com Kamaka

    Oh, gee thanks, jonathangray, that Nixon link is at least as boring as church.

    Wut? Huh? I asked for it? You must be mistaken.

  • chris69

    Stuff like this always reminds me of the Clash song – Know Your Rights : “You have the right to free speech, As long as you’re not, Dumb enough to actually try it”

  • jonathangray

    Marcus:

    I suppose you could have found a slightly better spokesperson for the status quo, if you tried. But, really?

    He’s an intriguing and complex man, in some ways the ultimate outsider. Kennedy was the establishment figure par excellence.

    Yes, people have always been horrible to eachother. But it takes aggregation of power at the level of large populations and economies to be able to build the weapons necessary to menace the entire planet. … With global climate change, national interests are going to sink us, and national divisions are going to make the disaster immeasurably worse.

    And yet … It’s ironic that the flowering of nationalism in the 18th & 19th centuries was originally seen as a radical, revolutionary, progressive movement championing the rights of the local and small-scale against the Ancien Régime’s supra-national alliance of throne and altar.

    Now you fear the “aggregation of power” manifested by the modern nation-state — justly I think. But what are you calling for to replace the “national divisions” whose effects you so deplore? A supra-national, global authority? If such a thing were ever possible, it would necessarily manifest an even greater aggregation of power than the nation-state. Why suppose that its leaders would exercise that power any more responsibly?

    I understand the “there will be wars” mindset, because “there have always been wars” but it’s not foolhardy to ask “why not something different?” Mankind’s great accomplishments, such as eradicating smallpox and so forth, have been a result of asking “why not?” instead of accepting the status quo.

    Disease is a scientific problem; its eradication a scientific achievement. War is a moral problem rooted in the human will. That moral problems may not be susceptible of a scientific or technological solution is suggested by the uncomfortable fact that “mankind’s great accomplishments” in the areas of science and technology include not only the eradication of smallpox but also “the weapons necessary to menace the entire planet”. Not to mention “global climate change”!

  • moarscienceplz

    I am not a crook.

    – Richard M. Nixon

  • qwerty

    I remember a comic who thought he was saying “I pledge allegiance to the United States of America for Richard Stands” and wondered for years who was this Richard Stands?

  • Al Dente

    qwerty @31

    “Our father who art in Heaven, Harold be thy name….”

  • http://kamakanui.zenfolio.com Kamaka

    Hail Mary, full of grapes…

  • Nick Gotts

    Disease is a scientific problem; its eradication a scientific achievement. War is a moral problem rooted in the human will. – jonathangray

    The usual simplistic hogwash from our resident theocrat. Problems do not divide neatly into “scientific” (“technical” would actually be a better term here) and “moral”. In order to (intentionally) reduce disease, or famine, or war, we have to both take a decision that this is a worthwhile and possibly achieveable aim; and to study the most effective means of achieving it.

  • colnago80

    Re Nick Gotts @ #34

    Ole Jonathan, being an admirer of the late and unlamented Francisco Franco, is really a Phalangist.

  • Nick Gotts

    Kennedy was the establishment figure par excellence. – jonathangray

    Rather oddly given the source, this misses the fact that Kennedy was a Catholic; then, and still, the only Catholic President of the USA – and this was something of an issue at the time. Of course now, 6 out of 9 Supreme Court Justices are Catholics (the other 3 being Jews) – a startling change from the situation through most of the 20th century, when there was usually one Catholic and one Jew in an otherwise heavily WASPish court. The Protestant right having found new scapegoats to replace Jews and Catholics, a President from either of these minorities would be no surprise if Republican – although the old prejudices would probably be reactivated if such a one ran as a Democrat.

  • jonathangray

    Nick Gotts:

    Problems do not divide neatly into “scientific” (“technical” would actually be a better term here) and “moral”. In order to (intentionally) reduce disease, or famine, or war, we have to both take a decision that this is a worthwhile and possibly achieveable aim; and to study the most effective means of achieving it.

    I don’t see how that invalidates the distinction. It remains the case that a vaccine, say, works on the just and unjust alike once the decision is made to use it; food feeds them alike once the decision is made to provide it. I’m not sure what similarly ex opere operato means would induce people to refrain from going to war.

    To be sure, it requires a moral act of will to pursue and implement any scientific/technical solution to a given problem, as you point out. But if anything that only underscores the difference — because no scientific/technical method or means can make one wish to solve that problem.

  • jonathangray

    colnago80:

    Ole Jonathan, being an admirer of the late and unlamented Francisco Franco, is really a Phalangist.

    Falangists are basically Spanish Fascists. Since I’m neither a Spaniard nor a Fascist, I don’t see how I qualify. In any case, as I’m sure you’re aware, the Falange was not the only element in Franco’s Nationalist coalition. (If you wan’t to call me a Carlist, I won’t complain.)

    (BTW, the Spanish group is spelled with an ‘F’. The ‘Ph–‘ variant refers to the Lebanese Kataeb.)

  • jonathangray

    Nick Gotts:

    Rather oddly given the source, this misses the fact that Kennedy was a Catholic; then, and still, the only Catholic President of the USA – and this was something of an issue at the time.

    A good little house Catholic.

    … whatever bigotry is in evidence in the United States is exhibited solely by the Roman Catholic hierarchy; … the Canon Law of the Roman Church and the directives of the Pope validate the fears of the people that the dual allegiance of American Catholics is a present danger to our free institutions, and … that the people in passing upon the qualifications of a Catholic candidate for the Presidency will be guided by their knowledge of history and their great store of plain old-fashioned common horse sense, and their innate caution not to gamble when their liberties and the national security are at stake.

    Among American citizens there should be no question or suspicion of allegiance to any foreign power, but in the case of the Roman Catholic citizen, his church is the guardian of his conscience and asserts that he must obey its laws and decrees even if they are in conflict with the Constitution and laws of the United States.” — Luther A Smith, Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction, 1960.

    “If my church attempted to influence me in a way which was improper or which affected adversely my responsibilities as a public servant, sworn to uphold the Constitution, then I would reply to them that this was an improper action on their part, that it was one to which I could not subscribe, that I was opposed to it, and that it would be an unfortunate breach of — an interference, with the American political system. I’m confident that there would be no such interference.” — John F Kennedy, 1960.

    At least he got to be king for a day.

  • jonathangray

    Interesting Neil deGrasse Tyson quote that I suspect resonates with quite a lot of FTBers:

    “And so when somebody says we don’t have enough money for the space program, I’m asking, ‘It’s not that you don’t have enough money, it’s that the distribution of money, your spending, is warped in some way, that you’re removing the only thing that gives people something to dream about tomorrow.’ You remember the ’60s and ’70s, you didn’t have to go more than a week before there’s an article in LIFE magazine, ‘The Home of Tomorrow’, ‘The City of Tomorrow’, ‘The Transportation of Tomorrow. All that ended in the 1970s. After we stopped going to the moon, it all ended, we stopped dreaming.”

    The future isn’t what it used to be.

  • dingojack

    Lil’ Jon-Jon (#40) – Citation required.

    Dingo

  • jonathangray
  • jonathangray

    Bugger, wrong one.

    This is where he laments the Death of Tomorrow:

    https://youtu.be/3_F3pw5F_Pc