Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Pledge of Allegiance Again

Here's my issue with the Pledge of Allegiance... and I know that I've posted on it before but I won't run on about it.
The Baptist minister who wrote the Pledge in 1892 did not include the words "under God." "Under God" wasn't added until 1954 to set us apart from the godless communists of the time.
I learned the Pledge first without "under God" and then again with it. At the point when I felt uncomfortable avowing a belief I did not share, I simply stopped saying those two words. There was a year when I took a turn as Chairperson of a group that recited the Pledge at the beginning of each meeting, and the group got along quite nicely despite my pause while they said "under God."
My issue is that as a teacher, particularly of elementary school children, I would have to teach them to recite those words. I would have to lie to them.
People can argue that the current Pledge of Allegiance is not a state-sponsored (mandated?) expression of belief in the supremacy of the God of Abraham, but I ain't buying it. A person shouldn't have to affirm a belief in god in order to pledge their allegiance to the United States of America.


Blogger MARYBETH said...

I have never heard of this evolution of the pledge. Perhaps it would serve as a possible concession in negotiations to those who feel the plege is so dam critical to the start of school day activities. Teaching in both elementary and secondary levels I found that the sincerety or presence of mind inthe children, just wasnt there for 99.9% of the students.
Singing a song or a few moments of silent meditation, prayer, or better yet a good 20 minutes of yoga stretches might serve the students and humanity as w hole, much more effectively.
Just some thoughts..

N a m a s t e ,

10:56 PM  
Anonymous Winston said...

I fully agree with your position and reasoning on this issue, but I depart a bit on how to deal with it. There are so many things that are so very wrong with the way our America has been corrupted over the last few years. I place higher priority on most of those than on the pledge. So I just ignore it and expend my energy and effort on higher priorities.

If we get worked up over 2 words in the pledge, we should also not carry or use US currency which advertises "In God We Trust".

As an educator you have a different perspective I had not thought about. That IS a dilemma.

7:26 AM  
Anonymous Ronni Bennett said...

I too learned the pledge in school without "under God," and when they changed it on me in midstream - when I was about 12 or 13 - it never felt right again - neither its cadence nor the association of God with country.

I remember being further confused because the year it changed was also the year in American history class when we studied the separation of church and state in some detail.

Inconsistency made my nuts even in my youth.

9:05 AM  
Blogger Jack Davis said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:46 AM  
Blogger Jack Davis said...

I have a different take on the Pledge entirely.I would not require any student to say the Pledge, whether "under God" is there or not. This country is supposed to be found on the freedom of speech and dissent. The state should not have the right to force a child to pledge allegiance to a country that he may despise. (I should point out I do not despise America, but I would protect the First Amendment rights even of people who hold deplorable views).

12:52 AM  
Anonymous Amy said...

Thank you for being one of the few people who actually knows the history!

1:10 PM  

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