And here is where we split. I don't see it as pledging fealty to the state, but to the COUNTRY. To me these are two different things, connected but not the same. The State is the government, the beuracracy. The State is the specific President, Congress, Judges. The State is the actual laws made by those bodies. To me the State is the tangiable.It is brainwashing at it's finest. It places the state at a level that should only be occupied by family and God. The state works for it's people, not the other way around.
To me the Country is more philisophical. The country is the intangable. The country is the principles that we uphold, such as freedom, liberty, justice, etc. To me the Country is its culture, its history, its traditions.
While not exactly parrallel, the office of the President to me would be akin to the country, an individual president being the state. One could have the utmost respect for the office of the President, while finding the person occupying said office to be a scumbag. Likewise I believe one can find the state to be completely distasteful, while truly loving the country and what it stands for.
I think this is where we split. I think this is where I have no issue with them pushing this, but instead if it was focused instead on the specific president, or on the government, rather than the country, that I'd begin to have an issue with it.
I understand where you're coming from. But I simply feel there is a difference between devotion to ones country and devotion to the "state" as you use it.
Personally, I think man do view it in just that way you describe as well, only with the country not the "state".
is the order of things I know many, many people believe. I just don't necessarily think those people equat Country to "Government" exactly.