To the editor:
The changing values of the American citizenry are interesting to behold, and sad. We read recently of the 13-year-old who doesn't say the Pledge of Allegiance because he doesn't like it and it wastes his time, and the freelancer who doesn't think that it should be said at all because it is too fanatical.
We read of the newly rich basketball player who wants a new $115,000 automobile to go along with his new Cadillac, and enough TV screen area to compete with a modern movie multiplex. We read of the fleecing of America by corporate crooks who drive their companies to bankruptcy and their employees and shareholders to financial ruin, all in their quest for wealth beyond that which would be possible for them to ever spend. The word "ostentation" has gained new favor.
If one wants to see fanaticism, turn on your TV any day and watch the hordes burning the American flag in their hate for America and listen to their vows to kill Americans. That is fanaticism. The Pledge of Allegiance is neither a waste of time nor a fanatical exercise, it is a simple personal declaration that we are loyal to our nation and its flag.
As for the increasing need to acquire huge wealth and to use it in ways to show the world that one is richer than Ben Gump, that is a matter of personal choice and is a result of our "show-me-the-money" society. If one earns it through one's own abilities and achievements, how it is used is one's own business. On the other hand, if it is, in effect, stolen from others, the thieves should be stripped of their gains and jailed.
Robert R. Evans,