Each morning at our school hundreds of kids pledge their allegiance to a scrap of cloth hanging off the wall. I don't join them.

I wouldn't recite the pledge just because of the "under God" thrown in there. This isn't just because I don't believe in any gods; it's because this so clearly violates the Establishment clause of the constitution. Even if I were Christian, I could imagine the government forcing us to say "one nation, under Buddha" every day. I wouldn't want my religion forced on others any more than I would want others forcing their religion on me.

But the religion reason is insignificant. I wouldn't say the pledge even if that part were taken out. The pledge is nothing more than an attempt at brainwashing. It's peer pressured recitation completely lacking in comprehension. Kids are pledging allegiance before they even know the meaning of the words "pledge" or "allegience". Until at least fourth grade I was saying "invisible" rather than "indivisible". Even when I corrected myself, I still hadn't the slightest clue what "indivisible" meant.

Real allegience would never come in or from this mindless ritualistic incantation. We should want, as a nation, our people to pledge allegiance of their own free will. We want people choosing to pledge allegiance because they agree with what the nation is doing, because they have pride in the nation's causes. The oral recitation of the pledge is insincere, and holds no purpose nor importance.

Take the flag burning amendment for example. It comes closer every year to be passed into law that burning a piece of cloth is illegal, if it's an American flag. This is one of our first steps towards prosecution of Orwellian "thoughtcrimes". Banning flag burning won't stop people from being disgusted with our nation, it will only repress their freedom to express it. Stifling opposition to the nation is blatantly fascist. Patriotism can't be forced, only the appearance of patriotism can.

The more mindless nationalism shoved down my throat, the more ashamed I am to live in these United States.


The idea that the pledge of allegiance is "optional" is a pure sham. In high school I had teachers yell at me and try to physically force me to stand up during the pledge.

Also, having the pledge in public school singles out anyone not participating for persecution. A girl at my high school was literally spit on by a classmate, in addition to the insults and name-calling, for not reciting the pledge of allegiance.