I have a 1 year old so this is not something I feel I need to worry about for awhile, but I'm just curious how those with older children have dealt with their child saying the Pledge.  Do you find that it sparks a question about God?  Do you find that they end up saying the pledge in full just to fit in?  How do teachers/parents react if the child refuses to say the Pledge or omits the "God" section?

Tags: Allegiance, Pledge, of

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Yes, that is very clever! I like it.
My daughter starts kindergarten this week. Her school does the pledge over the loudspeaker. I hate this. Unfortunately saying the pledge is the law in NC. The kids, however, can opt out. But at 5 they can't really understand it well enough to make a rational decision. I complained and was shot down. I was told that the classroom teacher would explain it. Not helpful. Even if she explained it in a way I agreed with (which I doubt) a 5 yr old can't grasp it.

I don't just hate the "under god" part. I don't like indoctrinating a 5 yr old with a pledge to anything. They can't understand the concept yet.

I tried to talk to my daughter about it. She didn't get it. She is excited about it. I told her too that she had the option of saying the whole thing, skipping the god part (like Mommy), or skipping the whole pledge (like Daddy). She said she chose option one.

She believes in god and reminded me of that. Of course, she also believes in fairies and vampires. I think at 5 belief in the supernatural is probably age appropriate. I just wish others would grow out of it. :)

I know of people who have pulled their kids from public school in part because of the pledge. I am not going to do that. However, I hate that they do the pledge in Kindergarten. I wouldn't mind older kids. I'm not sure what age it should start (if it must) but I think under 8 is definitely out.

Skepticmom,

 

Your post brings up a really good point.  For all of our concern about protecting our children from religion, they may very well believe in a god, in the end.  As a pretty open-minded freethinker, I have no problem with my son believing in a god.  As long as he's well-informed of his choices and has come to those conclusions with some sense of reason and rationale, I'll except his opinions.

Right. I agree that children should not have to pledge their duty and loyalty until they are old enough to understand the concept. 
I my self have written notes to teachers telling them that my daughter will only say up to the god part, skip the god part and say the rest, the pledge was written by a preist, so it should be taken out of public schools

I was listening to NPR this evening, and there was a story about the pledge.  They were talking about a school district where they were trying to get the pledge removed.  I was on my walk, so I couldn't take notes, but it was in California.  Their objection to the pledge was more about not making children vow their allegiance to this nation.  The didn't even mention the "under god" part, but I agreed with them.  Apparently, in the school district they were dealing with, most of the children don't say the pledge anyway. The children are "invited" to say the pledge, and the report said that only about three or four students usually stand to say it.  Where I live, students aren't "invited" to say it, but expected to.  My daughter says it, but remains silent during the "under god" portion.  I wonder what would happen if she didn't even stand?

 

How fitting that I stumbled on this thread tonight, it has been a 'hot topic' all week in our home!  We have 4 daughters (16, 13, 13 & 3) and the older ones were telling us about their schools policy on the Pledge.  One of them says it just to keep from getting in trouble and one doesn't say it.  They both came to the conclusion that this cannot possibly be "....One nation under god...", and that the rest of it is a government sanctioned lie used as a false pep-rally type cry.  We teach our kids that if you don't understand the breakdown of what it means, you are being taken advantage of by being forced to repeat it daily (brainwashing).  Is it bad to believe in and aspire to have have liberty and justice for all? Of course not, and when we have it, I'll be happy to recite/advertise it.  I was in the military for 7 years and still do not say the Pledge.  I do not think that indoctrinating our children, either with religious superstition or blind patriotism is what being a patriotic American is about.  We prefer to have break down discussions covering the Pledge, motto, etc along with learning about the Constitution, Bill of Rights and and landmark cases that paved the way for us to enjoy the freedoms we do today.

I talked to my girl about it before she went to school, and gave the same 3 options as were mentioned - saying it as the principal does, leaving out the god part, or not saying it at all. We also have heathen friends who say "under gods" and she mentioned that might be an option for her, a mild dissent.

 

When it actually came up though, she was very upset and angry, she said "It's like they are saying atheists aren't patriotic, aren't real Americans!" she was very angry and wanted me to go down there and put a stop to it. I explained that I probably couldn't do it, that many people have tried to have that part removed, that it wasn't an original part of the pledge, etc, and she just got madder and madder & even cried. She pointed out that the speaker system belongs to the government, (and the electricity it takes, and the floor she stands on while she reads it, she went on and on...) and that they are using our tax dollars to pay the person who is reading this pledge, and that this was un-American and rude and unfair. She insisted I should try to get the police to go down to the school right that minute and rectify things. It was really sad and frustrating, she really thought the police would immediately fix it. 

 

Later she came up with the idea of saying "One nation, under Godzilla" because we are huge fans of Godzilla, as she said "He's just as make-believe and way cooler than god!" but then when the time came she just whispered it because she doesn't want to actually mock the flag or the pledge, she's just super pissed that the school is doing this pledge reading which she feels is deliberately disrespectful to a huge number of people, which I have to agree it is, and she hates that people are doing that with tax dollars and getting away with that. So now she sits quietly, and no one gives her any grief about it, but it is still pretty sad & obnoxious. 

As a Brit ex pat in Canada I find the Pledge to be a bizarre and uniquely American quirk anyway.  I imagine that they would simply say the Pledge as is, in order to fit in, especially at a younger age.  My three year old came back from daycare with a "prayer" to say before meals.  

 

There was no mention of gods or anything, and it consisted of saying thankyou for the food.  She finished the "prayer" with a triumphant "All Men!" which was fun.  I then asked her who she was thanking.  She said "Monica.  She does the cooking."

 

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