To Pledge Or Not To Pledge

I happily recite the Pledge of Allegiance, and do so after a fashion every day when I look at the flag flying from our upper balcony. However, I am actually against having school children recite it, and perhaps even against allowing them to recite it in a formal setting until the age of majority. Having a child take a pledge before the child is capable of understanding what a pledge is, and to what he or she is pledging allegiance, seems inappropriate to me.

Let’s have the adults who feel the urge get together and recite it, and have the children see them do so as they grow up, and perhaps decide that they might want to do the same eventually.

This country is a terrific idea, and worth protecting and defending, and pushing through bad times and bad events to recover and keep the idea alive and pass it on. I’m not sure that it’s a worthy idea, to think that children should recite a pledge to it, before knowing what it means to pledge something, and particularly before they can possibly understand what a revolutionary feat the establishment of this country was and how richly it deserves to be kept whole and safe.

The question we should be asking, particularly now but truly quite often in any event, is, “Shall we be a nation?” What we do depends on our answer to that, every day.

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