An age old marketing goal is to make your product a necessity, and one way to achieve that is to glom on to a pre-existing product in some way. I’m not talking about making plugins for a major software application, creating apps and accessories for iPhones, or even making bed liners and other items for trucks since those things are wholly dependent upon those hosts. No, I’m thinking more of say Nike who makes athletic gear and certainly benefits from people being enthusiastic about athletics and exercise, but they’re not dependent on that. Still, they do benefit from such enthusiasm, and have worked to encourage that enthusiasm (ie – “Just do it”) while cleverly tying themselves to athletics and exercise. For some, they’re inseparable to the point that should you not use Nike when you exercise, you’re not properly exercising. Reading this story out of Tampa, I’m reminded again of this marketing ideal.
I’ll assume most of you are familiar with this campaign, “Why do atheists hate America?” Christianity successfully glommed on to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954 by getting “under god” awkwardly jammed into it. Being something that’s not just a necessity but a daily requirement for every public school student to recite as well as for adults at various times, this was a highly successful marketing move. Also like Nike, Christianity has encouraged enthusiasm in its host while cleverly tying itself to it, making the two inseparable. This is how you get people believing atheists, objecting to this religious imposition on the Pledge of Allegiance, are somehow unAmerican or anti-America. Years ago the Jehovah Witnesses suffered such charges as they fought for the right to not have to stand and recite the Pledge due to its new religiously infused state. It’s quite possible that this Muslim student who refused to stand for or recite the Pledge of Allegiance had similar objections, but another student, understandably unable to separate religion from American patriotism, saw this refusal as an affront to her nation.
This is one of many reasons why there’s supposed to be a separation of church and state. The objections to religious intrusions into government, be they secular or religiously based, are objections that should never have reason to exist, and wouldn’t if the separation of church and state was respected and safeguarded. The intrusions themselves are an affront to us all, but success of deceiving people into believing that objections to such affronts is unAmerican, hatefully attacking America, is repugnant.