Scott Hardie | July 1, 2002
Everybody else is weighing in on the Pledge of Allegiance flap, so I thought I'd put in my two cents. I've noticed that virtually all politicians are endorsing "under God" as though their political life depended on it (and it's a shame that it pretty much does, thanks to opportunistic assholes like George Bush Sr.), but every op-ed column I've read about it has defended Alfred Goodwin's decision. I really want to read an op-ed column that endorses "under God" and argues for it logically, because I myself can't think of a logical argument as to why it should be in the Pledge, and why the Pledge should be mandatory.

You know, honestly, I don't mind it. The Pledge is only one sentence, and those are only two words in it, and it's just about the only civics that kids get until late in high school. I only have a problem with it being mandatory. You cannot force a child, let alone any person, to swear their allegiance to the country. Do we live under democracy or fascism? Making them acknowledge the existence and dominance of God is just adding insult to injury.

Personally, I stopped saying it after a while. Inspired by Rebekah Dassion (see old entries), who did not say the Pledge at all, I decided to omit the words "under God" whenever I said it. Our junior high had a PA system and one child was chosen at random every morning to say the Pledge before the whole school. When my turn came up, I said the whole thing, but paused while the school said "under God." They didn't invite me back. I didn't mind then because it was harmless, and I never felt compelled to say it; no one even knew I was omitting God until that one morning. I never saw the teachers force Rebekah to say it, and best of all, I never saw other students give her any flak for it. That's the way it should be. Live and let live.

Does anyone disagree with me about this? Four-fifths of the country supports "under God" in a mandatory Pledge, and some of them have to read this weblog. I want to read a sound argument as to why that should stay in the Pledge and why the Pledge should stay mandatory.

Lori Lancaster | July 1, 2002
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Jackie Mason | July 1, 2002
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Jackie Mason | July 1, 2002
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Scott Hardie | July 1, 2002
The Pledge is currently mandatory under the law, but most schools let it slide if certain students don't want to say it. If the new ruling stands (it won't), it would still be legal for any child in school to say "under God" - the ruling seeks to prevent the saying of the Pledge as a mandatory, school-sponsored activity. And, as with prayer in school, the ones who want to do it can still do it in their homes or churches.

Check back to that "2001 Year-in-Review" entry (the comments section).

Scott Hardie | July 1, 2002
True, Jackie, people are making too big a deal out of it. When the economy and terrorism get us down, let's all debate something symbolic instead. :-)

I like the last sentence of your first comment, Jackie. That's where I'd like to see the Pledge be: The school still says it, but kids can opt out.

And we didn't say it in high school either, just grade school and middle school. I think they did make us say it at HS assemblies, though.

Lori Lancaster | July 1, 2002
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