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Oathkeeping Absurdity

We've made a habit of looking at a few of the bills proposed by the state legislature this session on The Range, Tucson Weekly's roughly-hourly update, but one keeps sticking with me: HB 2467.

H.B. 2467, for the uninitiated (slash, those who don't read The Range for whatever reason), is aimed at reintroducing the idea of patriotism to our apparently God-and-Country-less schools, by requiring students to recite an oath to the head teacher or principal of their school before they can take their high school diploma.

The oath, which is straight-up ripped from the oath of office recited by members of Congress (minus phrasing about entering an office), reads as follows:

I, _________, DO SOLEMNLY SWEAR THAT I WILL SUPPORT AND DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES AGAINST ALL ENEMIES, FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC, THAT I WILL BEAR TRUE FAITH AND ALLEGIANCE TO THE SAME; THAT I TAKE THIS OBLIGATION FREELY, WITHOUT ANY MENTAL RESERVATION OR PURPOSE OF EVASION; AND THAT I WILL WELL AND FAITHFULLY DISCHARGE THESE DUTIES; SO HELP ME GOD.

If you're paying attention, you might notice a few conflicts here.

For one, this oath completely disenfranchises atheists, which isn't exactly new, but which is something that folks should likely be paying more attention to these days as the community of those who do not ascribe to religion is fast growing in this country.

For another, there's the little matter of requiring people to take an oath that literally says that the oath-taker has not been coerced into the oath.

Seriously, this is the kind of nationalistic, jingoistic, ridiculous legislation that we haven't seen since Cold War times, when the words "under God" were dropped into the Pledge of Allegiance to differentiate our freely religious nation from the godless heathens that the Soviet nations were composed of.

The terrible part is that, not only did these legislators find this bill necessary, but they're getting paid to put these things together.

But hey, maybe these legislators are right: the way to improve an educational system that's been ranked among the worst in the country could be a law that contradicts the language of the oath it requires.


This Week On Our Blogs

On The Range, we mocked the poetic stylings of James Franco; "congratulated" Tucson Electric Power on a less-than-inspired logo design; watched an unbanned '90s cartoon; got pretty damn excited about the re-opening of Borderlands Brewing; considered the future job prospects of an overly amorous teacher's aide; got lunch with Seis Curbside Kitchen and Catering; gave out a collection of books; admired an illustration of a battle between Prince and Michael Jackson; talked about a few bills that have recently caught our attention; talked a fair amount about soccer in Tucson; and more!

On We Got Cactus, we checked out a music video from the rising stars and male-genital-autographers in Blessthefall; looked at the Coachella '13 lineup; previewed Phoenix's McDowell Mountain Music Festival; entertained the (now-confirmed) rumors about the Postal Service reuniting; and got excited about the upcoming visit of the Black Angels!


Comment of the Week

"If the county and city government stays out of the sports, Tucson will do well. It is the county and city leaders that killed spring training in Tucson. I think some of guys even went to Japan a few times and those trips failed."

-TucsonWeekly.com commenter Sam Smith on what he thinks will keep the success of professional soccer alive and well in Tucson ("Kicking Success Around," Cover Story, Jan. 24).


Best of WWW

In case you haven't noticed, We Got Cactus, our music blog, has been housing some incredibly strong content over the past few weeks. From previews of upcoming festivals, to concert reviews, to interviews with bands, to great on-going features, we've got posts coming in on a regular basis. Make sure to check out Michael Petitti's "Attractive Nuisance" from the past two weeks, and if you've got tips or ideas for things we could better cover, feel free to let us know.

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