Sorry Friday wasn’t posted until Saturday. Next you know, they’ll be starting autumn a day or two late as well. (How did that happen? Wasn’t it supposed to start September 21? Has the Earth wobbled? Will Halloween be November 1 this year?)

Anyway . . .

Edward: ‘Pepsi has a new patriotic can coming out with pictures of the Empire State Building and the Pledge of Allegiance on them. But Pepsi forgot two little words on the pledge, ‘Under God.’ Pepsi said they did not want to offend anyone. If this is true then we do not want to offend anyone at the Pepsi corporate office. If we do not buy any Pepsi product then they will not receive any of our monies. Our money after all does have the words ‘Under God’ on it. Please pass this word to everyone you know.’

☞ In the first place, Pepsi is not doing this – it’s apparently one of those urban legends that just cycles round and round the Internet. Click here.

But the message obviously touches a nerve.

I totally respect Edward’s right to feel as he does and boycott Pepsi; but I see it differently.

The Pledge of Allegiance worked just fine from 1892 to 1954. That’s when, during the McCarthy era, “under God” was added.

Now that an appellate court has ruled this addition unconstitutional – which the Supreme Court may or may not overturn – attention has been focused on the issue of whether, to affirm one’s patriotism, one should be required to affirm one’s belief in God.

I think the great thing about this country is that faith is voluntary. That makes faith all the more meaningful, because it is chosen, not imposed.

To take a less highly charged example . . . I would never burn the flag or show it any other disrespect. But I profoundly oppose the flag-burning amendment that, thankfully, seems to have stalled.

Why? Because the whole POINT of this wonderful, wonderful country is that you CAN peacefully dissent without fear the government will come and take you away, as it would have in, say, the Soviet Union.

The reason not to burn the flag should be that we cherish what it stands for – not that we fear a $500 fine or a month in jail, or that the government compels us to respect it.

What if the official pledge were: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic, for which it stands – one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all who believe in God or are at least willing to pledge that they do.”

I think it works better as it was from 1892-1954: “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic, for which it stands – one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.’

Not bad.

Tomorrow (which may fall on Wednesday this week): The Difference Between Airline Stocks and Drug Stocks

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