Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tuesday Heresy Quartet 1 of 4: Validating American values by scrapping the Pledge of Allegiance.

At meetings, I'll stand for the pledge for only one reason: My father's military service, and by extension, the service of all others.

That's a matter of individual conscience, not mandated public compliance, and one's individual conscience extends to the wording of the pledge, which I don't repeat aloud.

That's because the addition of "Under God" is my personal deal-breaker; however, you're free to comply or dissent as you please. Just know that coercion as it pertains to the exercise of conscience has a tendency to negate the values purportedly being espoused.

The pledge of allegiance must go: A daily loyalty oath has become a toxic, nationalistic ritual, by David Niose (Salon)

We make students salute national greatness for 13 years. No wonder Trumpian anti-intellectuallism is on the march

The final straw came when a teacher accused Alicia, a high school sophomore, of treason.

Alicia (not her real name) hardly comes across as subversive. She’s not one of those kids who is intrigued by anti-American propaganda from ISIS, for example, nor is she one who has been duped by homegrown anti-government groups calling for a citizens’ rebellion. She’s pretty much an ordinary, intelligent teenager—interested in politics, current events and government, but hardly a fringe radical.

Her offense in the eyes of her homeroom teacher, however, was that she chose to sit out the Pledge of Allegiance. This act, for Alicia and countless other young Americans, has brought on the wrath of authority, with teachers and school administrators unleashing mean-spirited accusations and hostility toward students who dare to question the wisdom of a daily loyalty oath. We may be a free country, but any kid who chooses to sit out the collective exercise of exalting America runs a risk of official ostracization.

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