Pledge (Not The Furniture Polish)
I grew up in Christian school. We said the pledge of allegiance to the American flag every morning before class, beginning with Kindergarten and carrying right on up to twelfth grade. I never really gave it much thought--it was just something you did.
I haven't actually said the pledge for years. Not (as you might think) out of truculence but out of a lack for pledge-saying opportunities. I have a great respect for the flag and the nation for which it stands. I have great respect for those who have died on behalf of the flag.
But I have two questions.
1. Why do only children say the pledge with any regularity? And does a five year old truly understand what their committing to? Do they have the power to make that commitment? It seems, forgive me, but a sort of nationalistic version of the Barney theme. Just another rote series of sing-song words that has no deeper significance.
2. Is it right to have children say the pledge in church? I've looked at VBS programs from several different publishers, and asked about VBS at several different churches. Mine is not the only one where the pledge is said. It seems odd to stand in a church and pledge your allegiance to something other than God.
Of course, I'm probably overthinking it.
But if I had my way, the pledge would only be said by people who are at least 13 years old and choose to say it on their own. Allegiance is an important concept, and I think the current use of the pledge as a nursery-school rhyme a la Mother Goose deprives it of any significance.