Dear young and impressionable daughter,
Two days ago I learned that you start every day at daycare with the Pledge of Allegiance.
What? Kids still say the Pledge of Allegiance?
It was at your preschool graduation. I watched you all recite it and my stomach dropped to the floor. (Or maybe that was my jaw.)
I am against you saying the Pledge for a few different reasons.
First, and probably the most obvious reason, is for the phrase “under god”. We are raising you in a secular home and hearing you say “under god” goes against every fiber in my being. One day soon I will tell you why the separation of church and state is so incredibly important and why this phrase completely undermines it.
Second, hearing your preschool class — made up of kids that are only three, four, and five years old — mindlessly recite words they can’t even begin to understand makes me cringe. Little ones are taught the Pledge completely unaware of its meaning and motive. They’re too young to question it.
And finally, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Just because someone is in charge doesn’t mean they’re right. It is totally fine to question authority — I even encourage it. I don’t know how strong they are encouraging you to recite the Pledge, but you have every right to say no — to sit down and not say it.
I had no idea you were saying the Pledge at daycare and I’m afraid I have addressed the issue too late. This is already part of a routine for you and your classmates. I’m scared of you feeling ostracized from the rest of your class if I call your teacher now and tell her you can’t say it.
However, we will revisit this discussion when you’re a little older and can understand the words you are reciting. At that time, it will be up to you whether you say it or not.
Question everything, daughter.