Yesterday, I had a very brief exchange about the Pledge of Allegiance in the schools. The person with whom I was speaking still doesn't understand what the fuss is about, and still thinks its just the awful secularists trying to take God out of American life. And it got me thinking again about the pledge--how come so many people can't see how divisive it is to have the school systems not only endorse their particular form of monotheism but also equate it with patriotism? As if us non-theists or polytheists cannot be equally patriotic?
Anyway, I found this site (Patriotism For All - Home) and was actually pretty impressed by it. It lays out just what the issue are with the pledge. It also suggests what I think are some plausible ways of dealing with these issue while at the same time giving kids an outlet to express their patriotism at schools if they so desire.
My favorite solution is just to change the pledge to non-sectarian and non-divisive pre-1954 form:
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which is stands,
One Nation Indivisible,
Liberty and Justice for All.
Also besides the religious aspect of the new pledge, I find that "One Nation Indivisible" constitutes a complete thought on its own. And a particularly poignant thought given that the pledge was written not long after the Civil War. Breaking that up by inserting anything is a disservice to the pledge.
Source: See http://history.vineyard.net/pledge.htm for a brief history of the Pledge.
Thanks to Emmett Fields at the Bank of Wisdom for the 'Pledge of Allegiance' image above. You can get that design on a poster at http://www.bank-of-wisdom.com/.