Terry Firma (which I assume must be a nom de blog), writes over at Hemant’s blog about a letter he wrote to the school his daughter attends concerning the recitation of the pledge of allegiance by all the students. I agree with pretty much everything he says. He wrote, in part:
The Pledge of Allegiance has, unfortunately, morphed into a political and social hornet’s nest. I believe that our school would do well to shy away from it altogether.
First, as an American by choice (I’m an immigrant and became a naturalized citizen as an adult), my own allegiance to the United States is deep and sincere; I don’t love my country merely by accident of birth.
But it makes me uncomfortable when kids as young as 6 or 7 or 8 are asked to say the Pledge — any pledge, I suppose, that goes beyond the simple “I’ll be kind to others.” They’re not old enough to realize what’s being drilled into their skulls. I’d like my brood to learn they are first and foremost citizens of the world, rather than of one particular country. To the extent that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance over and over contributes to the notion of U.S. exceptionalism, “manifest destiny,” and other “We’re Number 1″ jingoistic rot … well, let’s just say I’d like the children of our community to steer clear of all that potential ugliness.
Quite right. The entire idea of a pledge of allegiance has a whiff of fascism to it, especially when it involves rote recitation by children who couldn’t possibly grasp its meaning. He goes on to address the “under God” part, but I’ll leave you to read the rest at Hemant’s place.