School authorities in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, decided not to require students of all ages to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. They said they couldn’t find time to put it in the schedule, etc., thereby both disappointing and puzzling local veterans, who were the ones who brought the issue up.
The “time” excuse was just that, of course. What the real reasons for the decision are, I don’t know, and will let others guess.
On the bright side, there are reasons not to require recitation of the Pledge. My qualms center on how un-American it seems. Veterans today often talk up the Flag, and the Pledge, etc., but the Founding Fathers took allegiance seriously, and they didn’t secede from Great Britain to pledge their sacred honors to a symbol — a fighting banner too easily unanchored from the best part of the short declaration, “with liberty and justice for all.”
Besides, the Pledge was written in the late 19th century by Francis Bellamy, a Christian socialist who targeted the Pledge at those sectors of society that he most feared: immigrants, anyone prone to “radicalism.” And yet when I read his political agenda, I see the very radical ideas that corrupted American politics away from limited government.
Worse yet, Bellamy devised an ominous salute to go with his recitation. (Thankfully, that was modified to the hand-on-heart gesture in 1942, when Congress officially adopted the Pledge.)
I’d rather students learn about the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Substance, not symbol; law, not fiction.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.