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 this sickening.

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.

September 22, 2011
367 words


atheism kids



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