"New Pledge Options"

This is going the rounds at the Graduate Theological
Union in Berkeley.

I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF THE
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AND TO THE
REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS, ONE NATION,
(SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE),
INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.

San Francisco (SatireWire.com) - A U.S. federal appeals
court ruled recently that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance
in public school is unconstitutional because it contains
the phrase 'under G~d', a decision that has infuriated
politicians from both parties, and sent the United States
on a desperate search for a new sponsor.

While the U.S. Justice Department said it plans to appeal
the ruling, officials are quietly speaking with several
potential sponsors interested in having their brands
associated with America, and are already test- marketing
the phrases One nation, under Wal-Mart, One nation,
under Windows XP, and One nation, but 24,000 Starbucks.

Until an agreement is reached, however, the U.S. will
advertise by replacing the phrase One nation, under G~d,
with One nation (sponsorship opportunities available).

While the words 'under G~d' were only added to the
Pledge by Congress in 1954, God has been the title
patron of the United States since its founding in 1776,
and the G~d name adorns everything from U.S. currency
to the phrase So help me G~d used to swear in judges
and politicians. According to analysts, severing that 226-
year relationship without an alternative is a mistake.

Over the years, the U.S. under G~d has been a great
draw for the major players - Einstein, Solzhenitsyn,
John Lennon, said government marketing analyst Gil
Treacle. Without G~d s brand recognition and infinite
marketing powers, you risk losing the marquis names
to competitors. Then the networks don't renew, the
money dries up, the fans revolt, and the next thing you
know, you're Argentina.

But others defended the decision, saying it was wrong
to force religion on anyone. The phrase under G~d
clearly violates the separation of church and state,
said McDonald's CEO Jack Greenberg.

However, there is nothing in the Constitution that
separates chicken and state, which is why we're
proposing, One nation, six chicken McNuggets and
a medium Coke, all for $1.99. Europeans, meanwhile,
seemed to be confused by the uproar. I don't understand.
I always thought it was One nation, we are G~d, said
British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Oh my, I ve been
worshipping them for nothing.

Back in America, many questioned whether the
United States really needs a patron, and instead
suggested the Pledge should include verbiage that
simply reflects America. So far, the leading contenders:

One nation, under indictment,
One nation, road under repair,
One nation, sure, but with cheerleaders!
One nation, under yellow alert, please report any
suspicious activity,
One nation, but kinda two if you count Canada.

G~d, in various forms, currently sponsors most nations,
with the exception of officially atheist China and Vietnam,
and the Netherlands, which hasn't been told yet but is in
for a nasty shock tomorrow.

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