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This blog is all about all the things that make me up. I am a Mother, I am a Pagan Witch, I am a Wife, I am a homemaker, I am a student, I am Spiritual, I am a Teacher, I am Liberal Hippie, I am a Voter, and I am extremely opinionated! Plan to see it all! If you don't like what you see, feel free to leave! However, chances are, if you stick around, you'll find more to love than hate!

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Reasons why children should NOT be saying the Pledge of Allegiance!

Recently there has been a "Statement" going around on Facebook. It's rather unoriginal and people are simply copy/pasting it over and over... I think I've seen it at least a dozen times! But apparently, as is usually the case, no one thinks before they post... And people prefer to choose emotion over common sense. So, it's become an issue that was simply never meant to be one...
Anyways, the post is as follows:
PERSONALLY I DON'T CARE IF I DO OFFEND ANYONE BY THIS!!!

I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND TO THE REPUBLIC AND FOR WHICH IT STANDS, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL!

MY GENERATION GREW UP RECITING THIS EVERY MORNING IN SCHOOL WITH MY HAND ON MY HEART. THEY NO LONGER DO THAT FOR FEAR OF OFFENDING SOMEONE!

LET'S SEE HOW MANY AMERICANS WILL RE-POST THIS AND NOT CARE ABOUT OFFENDING SOMEONE

As usual I'm the only one who doesn't blindly click "like" and re-post. Instead choosing to use my own brain! But unlike so many parents out there, I don't want my children to live exactly as I did because I admit that there were flaws with the way things were 20 years ago and change is needed! This is one
of those places!

So lets explore why children shouldn't be saying the Pledge of every morning...

1. Children Can't Pledge To Anything!
First it's important to understand fully what a Pledge is. According to Dictionary.com the actual definition of the word is "A solemn binding promise to do, give, or refrain from doing something." Essentially it's a contract of some kind.

Now I would think that most people would agree that children should not be making "solemn binding promises" or entering in to any form of contract. Children simply don't have the understanding or mental capability to take such action. It's this same reason most people use to argue against teen weddings or children making medical choices for themselves. Children simply don't have the ability to make a promise to or for anything on a life long basis, hell, my kids promise me every day they aren't going to argue, they'll keep their room clean and they'll let their sister sleep... And they can't remember those promises 3 hours later, so how can we expect them to take a life long Pledge of Allegiance to a country?

We don't allow children to enter in to ANY form of contract in any other context. And the reason simply is because they do not have the maturity to make those choices for themselves. Who in their right mind would think a child has the ability to do such a thing? Yet, we expect them to Pledge their Allegiance to our country every day they go to school?

2. Devaluation of the Pledge & What it Stands For.
A pledge is only as valuable as the sincerity and ability of those who take it. Children tend to be very sincere, but only because they have no grasp of forever. Every day when my children promise not to fight, they are very sincere about it, they truly mean it. But hours later, it goes right out the window when someone sits on the other's bed or plays with the other's toys... Which takes me to the "ability" aspect. It's not that children don't want to do what they say, they simply don't have the ability to follow through with long term promises.

You wouldn't put much value in a blind man's pledge to watch your child. Why? Because no matter how much he promised to do his best, he can't see them. So how can we place value in a life long Pledge taken by children who can't grasp the reality of what life long means?

I am the type of person who feels it's important to place value on promises and pledges! I teach my children never to promise something they don't plan to keep or that they aren't 200% sure of. At one point in history breaking an oath or pledge was punishable by death. Thankfully we aren't killing people for breaking promises today. But we are setting our children up to fail. I mean any child who decides to move to another country, travel the world, or take up a political opinion or belief which counters those currently held would in fact be breaking this pledge which they took as a child.

Complete devaluation!

3. It's Unconstitutional
Each of us has a constitutional right to a freedom of religion. That freedom means we are guaranteed the freedom of our own religious beliefs and that our government has no ability to dictate or control our beliefs, practice or worship in either public or private. This means by having children Pledge their Allegiance to anything but themselves or their God limits their freedom to have their own beliefs... 

It's also worth noting that the original Pledge of Allegiance had no mention of God. This wasn't in fact added until 1954, prior to that there was no direct religious connection. But it did still limit one's ability to properly follow their own convictions.

For those who do not believe in God, saying this Pledge violates their freedom by mixing religion with politics. For those who do believe in God this violates their freedom by aligning their beliefs with a God whom may or may not be the one they believe in. In addition it also supposes that this God would approve of the government as it stands today - which there is no way to prove.


Now, don't get me wrong, I believe that the Pledge of Allegiance should be taught. However I don't believe children should be expected to say it. Those who take this oath to serve and honor our country should be of sound, stable and mature mind, they should have the ability to understand the seriousness of their oath and know that it doesn't counter personal or religious beliefs to do so. Children simply can't do that.

I love this country. I hope my children will as well. And I believe that if someone is to promise their allegiance to it they should be expected and obligated to do so. Anything less is traitorous, and should not be tolerate! Again, children have no ability to take such and oath or to understand the breath of what they do when they repeat those words.

Now, I've been told that this is a subject I take to seriously. But I say if you aren't taking it seriously there is something greatly wrong. The Pledge of Allegiance is in fact an oath of loyalty to our flag and to our country, it is a serious thing - It should be taken seriously! And it shouldn't be taken less seriously by children, instead it's seriousness is something we need to impress upon them so they understand the weight of those words! It something which they need to understand can not be taken back, can not be broken and can not be taken lightly...  An oath of loyalty to ANY government, group, person, faith or belief is something which a child should never be expected to enter in to. They are adult matters and should only be entered in to by adults who both understand the weight and length of what their words mean!

Pride in this country can only be taught and expressed by showing a child how great this country truly is! Our political system, our legal system, and our history are awesome and worthy of honor, love and pride. As far as I am concerned they are more than enough reason to pledge your loyalty to this country, but only by those who have the ability to properly make that oath. So teach your children the history of this great land! Teach them the good and the bad! And allow them to see the greatness which their generation is about to inherit. Don't teach them to take blind oaths and easily breakable promises. The ability to repeat a 120 year old poem does not qualify someone as a patriot - Knowing that this country is the greatest on Earth and being willing to make a life long oath of loyalty and love knowing full well they may have to back that up with their lives does! There's a HUGE difference!

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