If there’s one aspect of American society that seems very culturally pervasive is The Pledge of Allegiance. On the one hand it provides a sense of taking an oath, which is rather powerful and usually meaningful. On the other hand, the Pledge has proven to be a rather authoritarian feature. Why would a free country have children in schools recite the Pledge all in unison and conformity? Unless it’s a matter of private schools having children do this as part of their own rules.
Nonetheless, I think children should not be made to recite the Pledge in schools like they’re living in North Korea. If a Pledge we must have, then I think it should be treated the way a sacred oath should be, and reserved as a rite of passage into adulthood or citizenhood, or just citizenship at the least. Or, you could have it as an oath to be taken by congressmen/women or politicians as part of their entry into public service in the government, and also to be recited by newly inaugurated presidents (even if it’s their second term). Obviously, however, private clubs would still be free to mandate it for their members in any way they choose.
While we’re there, let’s take “Under God” out of the Pledge. It’s a direct contradiction of the separation of church and state America was founded on, and only serves to enforce childhood religious indoctrination. Shown below is the pledge as it was before the 1950’s, when “Under God” was first added to the pledge as part of the whole Red Scare.
If we’re going to have a common Pledge, we should at least restore the secular Pledge so as to reinforce the separation of church and state and save future generations of children from being forced to take a Christian oath.