Saturday, September 17, 2005

Dump The Pledge

I was glad to see that judge rule the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional, abeit for the wrong reason. I'm not at all religious but don't think the writers of the Constitution had this sort of thing in mind when they referenced "separation of Church and State...". They were more concerned about the creation of a state sponsored religion, such as the Church of England. I suppose the mention of the word "God" in some government related document might lead us down the slippery slope towards government mixed with religion but most of the cases we've seen the anti religious folks bring up over this are a bit of a stretch.

I find the Pledge of Allegiance offensive, but for different reasons and, while it's to be expected conservatives would decry this decision based on religious reference, I can't understand why they're so supportive of the Pledge to begin with. As Anthony Gregory and Alan Bock note in their commentaries on, the Pledge was the brainchild of an authoritarian/ socialist priest who wanted everyone molded to the purposes of the State. Why would a consevative, at least one who claims to want minimal government, support that? I heard at least a couple stories, shortly after 9/11 of politicians suggesting the Pledge be made mandatory as they felt there was a lack of patriotism in the country. Oh, I get it: Force the kids to say the pledge each morning so they'll appreciate the freedoms they have?

Nope. I find the idea of young people pledging themselves to the service of the State quite repugnant but, according to this Times- Standard article, the Pledge is voluntary, at least in our local schools. I'm sure there's enough peer pressure present to force most kids to participate whether they want to or not, though. Maybe it should be left at that but I'd rather see it eliminated entirely as a school sponsored activity. Make it a voluntary activity that anyone can choose to participate in whenever they want to. If a kid wants to stop and say the Pledge each morning as he/ she passes by the flagpole at school, so be it, and they can insert the G word if they want to. If not, oh well.


At 4:51 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

I'm with you on this one. A pledge should come from the heart, not imposed from the outside. Repeating something over and over doesn't make it true


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