The Pledge of Allegiance has been a ubiquitous entity in American culture since its creation in 1892 (formally adopted in 1942). It’s been a classroom staple for decades. But we shouldn’t force kids to recite the Pledge, or anyone for that matter. Because to do so is antithetical to the core values of this awesome nation (specifically the value of freedom). The Pledge’s current iteration goes as follows:
I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
While the words themselves are often a source of contention (especially the “under God” part), this post will simply focus on one simple fact that many people seem to overlook in their zeal to ostracize any who do not fall into line with the “norm.”
It concerns the part with liberty and justice for all. Liberty for all, you see, includes kids.
Many would argue that America was founded on an ideal of freedom. Evidence of this notion can be found not only in that line of the Pledge, but also in the final line of the Star-Spangled Banner:
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave
The Land of the Free. Many of the nation’s patriots can often be heard extolling the virtues of respecting our veterans (a demographic I proudly belong to, by the way), especially those who sacrificed their lives (do not misunderstand me; I hold veterans and those who died in high regard). A common thread is that our veterans fought and died for our freedom. Since these people seem to hold such acts in high esteem, it stands to reason that freedom is important. Indeed, at a glance it would seem that these people really value freedom. If you want to honor people who fought and died for freedom, why are we not placing a higher premium on the concept?
If you value people dying for freedom, why are you trying to withhold it from people? If they died to give people freedom, then give it to them.
Yet that very notion of freedom disappears as soon as someone doesn’t want to stand or recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Some people have a hard time recognizing that if something is mandatory, it is no longer a freedom or a right. It is a mandate. It is tyranny. Never mind that asking children to swear allegiance to anything is ridiculous, as they cannot in any way be expected to understand what they are pledging their allegiance to (many adults don’t even understand), which makes it not a gesture of personal allegiance, but one of indoctrination, and I believe indoctrination is psychological slavery. They are simply saying words they don’t fully comprehend. This is why I say we shouldn’t force kids to recite the Pledge. Our personal feelings on a subject don’t matter. We love to think we know what’s right and good, and we love to shove these ideas down the throats of others, especially children who have no defense against it.
In case that might not have gotten through, let me simplify.
If you must force something onto someone, you are doing the opposite of freedom.
Because of this, you cannot claim to value freedom and liberty anymore, as you would then be completely full of shit. Freedom is about having the option, the choice, the capability to decide for yourself whether or not you do something. I also spoke about this in regards to freedom of religion. It’s not freedom anymore if you no longer have a choice. So think about that. Do you really value freedom or do you really only give a damn about people’s choices as long as they’re in line with your own?
Either you give a shit about freedom or you’re just another idiot trying to pass yourself off as an actual patriot. I contend that real patriots espouse the belief that America was founded on a notion of freedom. If you don’t believe in “liberty and justice for all,” you are not an actual patriot, and you should stop calling yourself one. Claiming you love freedom while not extending it to people who think differently from you is simply virtue signaling. And we all know how much you hate virtue signaling, right? So no, we shouldn’t force kids to recite the Pledge. Does this mean we shouldn’t recite it? Not at all. Just give them the option. Give them the freedom to choose not to.
Image credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Brea Miller
I was asked on Facebook how come I sometimes use images taken by the military. The reason is because these are in the public domain. “In general, DoD VI that are works of authorship prepared by U.S. Government employees as part of their official duties are not eligible for copyright protection in the United States.”