The Pledge of Allegiance: Should It Be Taken From Our Schools?


The Pledge of Allegiance: Should it Be Dropped from Schools?

I pledge allegiance

To the flag

Of the United States of America

And to the republic

For which it stands

One nation,

Under God,

Indivisible,

With liberty and justice for all.

There has been some rumble about Barack Obama signing a bill that would take the Pledge of Allegiance out of our schools. The reasons were that the Pledge is not comfortable verse for atheists and agnostics, that some people do not worship our God and others (i.e. minorities) do not feel they have experienced liberty and justice.

I believe that we should keep the Pledge of Allegiance alive in our schools. The Pledge, the Star Spangled Banner, etc. are all means of identifying who we are as a country. Patriotism was an objective of our social studies curriculum in my day. Social studies, in general, are put on the back burner today. I often wonder what would have happened on 9/11 if it occurred a generation or two later. It was our patriotism that drove victims and rescue workers to help one another with every ounce of their effort during the crisis. It was our patriotism that drove small businesses in Manhattan to want to rebuild in spite of the terror. It was patriotism that brought me to wear our country’s colors to work the next day. It was patriotism that made drivers honk their horns and yell out in support of my audacity. I wonder, with every attempt to be politically correct, if we are washing away the fiber of our being as citizens of the United States. If we keep eroding this fiber, there will be no strings of attachment or loyalty.

I think the atheists and agnostics can be tolerant of others with religion and those with religion can respect those without. After all, our country professes to respect diversities, doesn’t it?

“God” is the Judeo-Christian name of our supreme being. My ex-father-in-law, an Ismaili Muslim, told me that Allah was just the Arabic name for God and that “God is God.” Other mono- and multi-theistic religions recognize the supreme being in their languages. It is still God. So, the words, “under God” are still valid for everyone who lives in this country.

Some do not feel they have experienced liberty or justice. I’m not excusing those policemen and women who practice with strong biases. But I wonder if individuals did not taunt their liberty in the first place (i.e. stayed far away from trouble), would they feel justice?

There is nothing politically incorrect with the Pledge of Allegiance. It covers everyone inclusively. Allowing the Pledge to disappear from our school routines is just one more element contributing the division of the United States of America. In this case, if we concentrate on the doubts of a few, we erode the central core of what it means to be American. We are concentrating on the few to the detriment of the many. What happened to the United States being strong and inclusive (indivisible)?

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