Programming Our Kids
A week ago, my wife and I went to parents’ night at our kindergartener’s new
school. This was a night to get introduced to the PTA, meet the teacher, and get
oriented with the school policies and website.
All of us parents gathered in the gym and took our seats. A PTA mom did some
introductions, and then handed it over to the principal who asked us to stand
and recite the pledge of allegiance. This suddenly reminded me that this is what
the children are forced to do every morning, and the thought formed a cold knot
in my stomach.
- Why are we pledging allegiance to a flag? Okay, so I’ll relax and assume
it’s more allegiance to the country, not the flag. And yet, why the blind
allegiance? Would it not be better to be a critical thinker, and support our
country on its merits? Label me a traitor if you will, but I honestly think this
country would be in better shape if we had more critical thinking, more
questioning of authority, and less blind allegiance. Might keep us out of a few
wars, if nothing else.
- Under God? Are you kidding me? What? It was outright scary to stand among
hundreds of grown adults who were blindly mumbling “under God”. I felt like I
was standing in a field of zombies. “God”? Whose god? What god? Why am I being
asked to refer to your god? And what if I don’t? (And I didn’t.)
- How is this not an obvious and egregious violation of the separation of
church and state? How can we claim to be a secular society and yet force our
children every morning to say a pledge which refers to “god”? And with their
hand on their HEARTS, no less – I cannot help but wonder if this harkens back
to blood sacrifice? “Cross my heart and hope to die”? Repetition and peer
pressure are two good ways to grind a belief into a young child’s head. I find
Compared to other things, the pledge with “under god” is a rather small matter.
And yet, it’s brainwashing, and I’d like to find a way to stop it.