MercyTheKitty Rants











{Tue, Oct 521, '10}   I Don’t Pledge Allegiance

Where I live, our public schools recite the Pledge of Allegiance daily. The principal or some other authority says “Please stand” over the intercom, and students in classrooms are expected to stand and recite the Pledge to the nearest flag.

Today in math class, I did neither said a word nor stood. My teacher noticed midway through, and made a waving hand gesture as if to say, “Stand.” I shot her a look that said, “no.” She whispered to me (for I am in the front row, yay), “You don’t have a choice.” Sulking, I stood for the remainder of the recitation.

On the first day of school, this same teacher said she had respect for students who recited the Pledge, since by now, most kids think it’s a boring waste of time.

I have my rights. I shouldn’t be forced to support something I do not want to, and that includes standing and speaking. Why do I even have to stand? Have authority really become so scared of nonconformity and insubordination that they have to force me to at least LOOK like I care?

Here’s the thing: I’m not a terrorist or anything. I’m not out to kill Americans, and yes, I’m a legal citizen. It’s just that when I think of America, I think of corruption. This once-great country has strayed from what it used to be, and what it no longer has the potential to be.

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t look down on soldiers or patriots. I have a lot of respect for them, actually, for standing for what they believe in. I just feel that I should have my own say, as well, and I should be allowed to fight for it.

I know I’m not alone in my cause. Over the years, the phrase “Under God” has caused a lot of debate. The only difference is that I have a number of reasons why I refuse to say it besides the obvious religion aspect:

  • Religion: Yes, I am not affiliated with any religion at this time, especially not one with an omnipresent, all-powerful being. For people like me, there is no “God” for “one nation” to be “under.” Whatever happened to “separation from church and state?” I remember in elementary school, when we learned about many religions. Whenever winter rolled around, we discussed not only Christmas, but also Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Ramadan. Once, I was told schoolteachers either had to teach everything or nothing. They were not allowed to be bias. Well, isn’t this the same scenario? As a diverse country, we should be embracing the cultures of everyone, and not just the people who changed the words of the Pledge. That’s right, the original Pledge of Allegiance didn’t even have the words “Under God!”
  • Homosexuality: I know this can apply to more than just the homosexual part of America, but it’s the most obvious example. So the line “with liberty and justice for all” really gets to me. It’s a downright lie. Americans are not equal, and the government knows it. Why can’t homosexual couples marry in most states? Why can’t they adopt children? Why can’t they join the army? NORMAL people can, so why can’t they? Homosexual individuals are living and breathing, too. Why should they not be treated with liberty and justice?
  • Global: There are hundreds of countries of the world, each unique and busting with culture. Is it right just to pledge myself to America? Should I even be allowed to visit a foreign country, in that case? I’ve pledged my allegiance to this one country, so there’s no point in fraternizing with the enemy, right?
  • Legal: There is neither a rule in my school nor a law in the country stating the resuscitation of the Pledge is mandatory. It’s as simple as that.
  • Flag: Even if I wanted to be solely loyal to America, I don’t want to pledge my allegiance to the FLAG of it. Have you realized that? The words are “I pledge allegiance to the flag,” not “I pledge allegiance to America.” I really don’t believe I should be forced to tie myself down to an inanimate object symbolizing an idea. If someone were to point a gun to a flag, should I jump in front of it and save it?
  • Memorization: Even now, as I sit here and tear apart the pledge I have recited every day since kindergarten, I feel no emotional significance to it. Children memorize these words the same way they might memorize lyrics to a song or a jingle. There’s no meaning to what they are saying, it’s simply something to occupy their mouth with. I have had to repeat these phrases for so many years. I’m just sick of it! The sounds coming from the mouths of my peers are barely legible as words– they are simply mouth movements and pauses they have grown accustomed to. These words mean nothing to us. Face it, you can’t force someone to be patriotic.

It feels good to vent onto a blog. These are my ideas, and my ideas solely. What is written on this in no way represents anyone else but me, Mercy. It doesn’t matter if you want to argue with me about it, because, like I said, these are my ideas. If you want to spread your counter-opinions, feel free to create your own blog and ramble about it. Me, well, I prefer to rant to the diverse people out there who can see where I am coming from, and who embrace my being anyways.

Edit: I just realized something else after posting this. I’m in the Diversity Club. Right now, we are working on a project to spread diversity throughout the school. One of the ideas was to get every student to trace their hand and one it, write their name and ethnic background. The only problem was what to do with the hands. I suggested using red, white, and blue paper and making an American flag, but apparently, we’re not allowed to, since some people may not be American. Well, why should non-Americans have to Pledge? According to every authority I’ve talked to on the subject, everyone is “required” to honor the flag and the Pledge. So it’s wrong to use America as a symbol for diversity, but it’s fine to force people to recite it, even if it does not match with their beliefs?

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Ari Vener says:

I see that you made some excellent points. I don’t believe in a god i don’t believe that anyone should be forced to do anything they don’t want to or be punished for not doing it. I have come to hate american school systems and i am fucking glad to be out of the hellhole of NH. I almost never recited the pledge once i realized i didn’t believe in any American ways. There all bullshit to me. If it were up to me i’d burn the American flag but unfortunately its illegal. If i had some authority in anything i would give all the reasons why America is the worst country in the world. I don’t understand why the teacher ordered you to stand. The fact is they can’t do that, hell you could sue for that reason. I wish i had sued the school but i lost my chance. Anyway i agree with what you’re saying and i think you make a valid point. If i were you i’d write a persuasive essay and give it to your principal. Who knows it could make a difference.



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