Screwtape The Third: Pledge of Allegiance


“Yes, Master Screwtape?”

“I just saw this report on investment trends in our war-related properties. It’s shocking! We can’t sustain this! If it continues, Grandfather’s response will make the fate of your uncle look like a vacation in Purgatory. What are you doing about this?”

“Temporary setback, sir. Conditions topside are similar to those of about a century ago, after what was then called The War To End All Wars. Warfare was suppressed for a significant period after that conflict, as the name implies. Top agents culled from all the sectors of H.E.L.L. LLLC are now working to replicate the conditions that ameliorated the unfavorable environment on that earlier occasion. The present focus of their attention is Greece, though they are, of course, active everywhere. We think that war will rebound, and with it our opportunities.”

“In the long term, maybe. What about the short? You will recall, Wormsap, that patience is a virtue, and consequently will not be tolerated!”

“You have perhaps overlooked, sir, the expansion plans for the Jefferson Wing of the Hall of Patriots.”

“We have an entire Hall for one puny mob of American pro gridiron players?”

“No, sir. Not that they wouldn’t merit a closet somewhere. This one’s for the political patriots.”

“Oh. Right. Isn’t that where we put the suicide bombers?”

“That’s the bin Laden Wing, sir. Bowls of grapes everywhere. They hate it. It’s perfect!

“I assume they’re sour?”

“The grapes? Of course.”

“So what’s the Jefferson Wing, then?”

“Jefferson was one of the Founders of the United States of America topside, you’ll recall, sir. We have agitators working in the USA now to reinstate something called the “Pledge of Allegiance” into the schools and other aspects of daily American life. The living Jefferson would have been horrified to find out that Americans had ever adopted such a pledge, because it’s so much like the oaths of allegiance to despots that the United States, mind you, sir, fought a war to escape from. It’s quite amusing to hear his shade lecture the newbies on how their pledge violates his precious principle of ‘free speech’.”

“Promising so far, Wormsap.”

“Perhaps you will also find it promising to learn just how the original author of the pledge intended for it to be performed. As I mentioned, sir, we are working to recreate the conditions that overcame the previous global outbreak of peace, and we thought that this operation fit the overall objective well. Especially as that photograph was taken in 1941.”

“Well, I’m glad that, for once, Wormsap, you seem to have targeted a cohort of investors that will not present discipline problems. Those predisposed to saluting flags should have no trouble conforming to our rules and regulations.”

“Um, sir … before you jump to that conclusion, you might consider the difficulties that the cohort is currently having, as they try to decide on a suitable candidate for the US Presidency.”

“You would have to say that, wouldn’t you?”

“Well, sir …”

“Yes, bless it, it is H.E.L.L. How did we wind up with this Jefferson, anyway? Topsiders seem to think that he’s in [ptui!] The Adversary’s domain. But considering what he bought with it, I’d say that his speech was anything but free.”

“Check the file, sir. You’ll discover that he was a slave-owner, and in the matter of the children of at least one of those slaves, he was, ah, ‘the onlie begetter’.”

“And the topsiders think that biology isn’t eternal. Hooooowwwwlllll!!

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2 Responses to Screwtape The Third: Pledge of Allegiance

  1. Amoeba says:

    Your Friendly Neighborhood Amoeba thinks that there are many ways to bond Americans to their country (the singing of “This Land Is Your Land”, for instance) that do not hearken to the techniques of despotic indoctrination. He also suggests, with diffidence, that We the People could stop shouting and squabbling long enough to create a nation that actually merited Our allegiance.

  2. Quilly says:

    Ten word summary: When pledging allegiance becomes mandatory, it is no longer allegiance.

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