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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 12:12 pm 
<devils-advocate>
I'm not going to bring up the whole religious debate over 'under God' (see my posting in 'The Voice and the Snake' for that). I'm talking about the idea of the pledge itself.

Doesn't obligatory recital of a pledge like this go against the ideal of freedom of conscience? Even if everyone agrees to the nationalistic sentiments expressed in the pledge - and not everyone would - the fact that it is required in a public institution should be galling to anyone who understands the idea of free speech. While I agree that a school has the power to impose such indoctrination on the students as a matter of policy (social indoctrination, rather than 'education', being the nature of early schooling), the fact that it is universal means that those who disagree have no alternative where they can avoid such sentiments.

Also, does such a pledge of really encourage or even reflect real loyalty? Most students repeat it (often incorrectly) without ever considering what it means. Does repeating it daily, blindly, cynically, really change anything? If anything, it desensitizes the students to the real ideals on which such loyalty should be based.

In the end, the pledge itself is a Cold War relic, and a reminder of a time when the US forgot what 'freedom' actually meant. It is a tool of indoctrination which is more typical of totalitarian states than a supposed democracy.
</devils-advocate>

Do You Believe That? (TM)


Last edited by Schol-R-LEA on Mon Nov 05, 2007 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 1:43 pm 
I quit saying the Pledge in middle school as soon as I was old enough to understand what it meant. Got sent to the principal more than once for it.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 1:55 am 
They stopped requiring us to say it once we hit 6th grade anyway.

(The pledge of allegiance is brought up again as a hot button issue, and the entire country lets out a sigh of boredom.)


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 2:39 am 
Pi wrote:
I quit saying the Pledge in middle school as soon as I was old enough to understand what it meant. Got sent to the principal more than once for it.

Ditto, which is just about where my anti-patriotism developed as well (the ironies of forcing children to swear fealty to freedom are obvious).

This seems to be in line with the experience of most intelligent and/or free-thinking people, if I do say so myself. :P


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 11:13 am 
Not to mention the lazy, the passive-agressive, the attention whores, the rebellious... I'm starting to wonder who bothers with the pledge.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 12:32 pm 
The pledge is just the tip of the iceburg of things that wrong with public schools. If you want to attack it from that angle like Pi said I can agree.

If people are upset cause little Johnny has to hear two little words... am I allowed to get upset cause little Franky has to hear that trees are good and anything that would dare tear down a tree is evil?


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 3:37 pm 
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Gerald wrote:
If people are upset cause little Johnny has to hear two little words... am I allowed to get upset cause little Franky has to hear that trees are good and anything that would dare tear down a tree is evil?


Depends. Does government endorsement of ecological awareness violate the constitution?

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 4:55 pm 
Well, if it's federal government endorsement, then yes. Amendment 10 to the Constitution: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." Nowhere in the US Constitution does it mention anything about ecological awareness, or that we should even be endorsing anything in schools.

The US constitution doesn't apply to or attempt to limit state or local governments in this way, so please feel free to consult your local constitution for that.

Even if it doesn't violate any constitution, though, I suspect that, on some level, it's still violating little Franky.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 9:04 pm 
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Schol-R-LEA wrote:
Do You Believe That? (TM)

I sure do. In any sane country, requiring all your schoolchildren to swear an oath each day would be considered either totalitarian or plain insane. :)

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2005 11:28 pm 
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gnolam wrote:
Schol-R-LEA wrote:
Do You Believe That? (TM)

I sure do. In any sane country, requiring all your schoolchildren to swear an oath each day would be considered either totalitarian or plain insane. :)


Yes, you could even consider it an Un-American activity!

(get an old folk to read that if you didn't just shudder. If the old folk shudders, say, "Ishidan told me to ask you: who was Senator Joe McCarthy?")


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 4:23 pm 
I taught in Texas public schools for the past three years, where the pledge is technically required. We're supposed to enforce it, along with a moment of silence.

I rarely did; I'd give a dirty look to anyone being obnoxious during it, but it's not a big issue to me. I would say the Pledge, sans "under God", because I think it mostly espouses good ideas. However, a far better option, IMO, is the Americans Creed:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American%27s_creed


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 2:45 pm 
The rest of the creed notwithstanding, the part about "my duty to Love it" is pretty misguided. Once it becomes a duty, it's not love anymore. I'd associate that phrase more with resignation than anything. :P


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 9:49 pm 
Raif wrote:
The rest of the creed notwithstanding, the part about "my duty to Love it" is pretty misguided. Once it becomes a duty, it's not love anymore. I'd associate that phrase more with resignation than anything. :P

Interesting and telling comment on that issue in the current wave of slogans: in previous wars, you'd get sentiments like "I support our troops." The current popular version is "Support the troops." In other words, I'm telling you its your duty to love your flag and your country.

Feel the love, people? Has a hard edge to it.


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