Counterpoint: Should students say the Pledge of Allegiance in school?

Aaron Bialer, Staff Assistant

“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.”

We recite these words every single day, yet few think about what it is that we are saying.

Every single day, we are supposed to offer our loyalty to not only our country, but also to its flag.

“We have to pledge to a flag that we are allowed to burn without punishment, so why should anyone care?” said junior Kahaf Bhuiyan.

Does it not seem paranoid on the part of our leaders to impose such a measure on us?

It seems a contradiction to call our country a Republic in reciting what appears to be a totalitarian citizen control method.

It seems a contradiction to call our country a Republic in reciting what appears to be a totalitarian citizen control method.

Additionally, if the Pledge of Allegiance is intended to keep citizens loyal, it fails to do so.

When something becomes part of a daily routine in the way that the Pledge has, it loses all meaning.  The words are spurted out mechanically, barely affecting anyone.  So why should we bother to say them if they essentially represent nothing to us?

“A pledge is a pledge,” said junior Lauren Livingston.  “You’re only supposed to have to say it once for it to take effect.  Once we’ve said it at an age that we comprehend what we’re saying, we should never have to say it again.  In repeating it every day, we make it lose meaning until it just becomes monotonous.”

This brings up the additional point that we are supposed to say the pledge in elementary school before we are able to fully understand what it is that we are saying.

If anything the Pledge has more of a negative effect on students than a positive one.

Atheists, agnostics, and others with similar views obviously feel that we are pledging our loyalty to an imaginary being in the line “under God.”  Thus, they find the pledge a waste of time.

“I understand, during the Cold War, America needed to add that line to show the Soviet Union that God was on its side, but it is no longer relevant,” said junior Eric Rosenblatt.  “We should change it to ‘under science.’”

Very religious people also find the pledge oppressive.  Many feel that pledging allegiance to a flag is idolatry.

We may not be directly worshipping the flag, but we are, in fact, offering our loyalty to an inanimate object.

“The Pledge of Allegiance is just a way for one to express enthusiasm for America,” said junior Ben Pan.  “The issue with the Pledge is that its wording is misleading causing many to interpret it incorrectly.”

If the Pledge is intended to promote nationalism, then perhaps the pledge should be reworded.

The original intention of the Pledge of Allegiance is fairly difficult to discern.

However, based on the fact that Francis Bellamy, the Pledge’s original writer, was a socialist, it would seem that the pledge is intended to solidify loyalty to American beliefs of liberty, not to promote nationalism.

The United States of America, and thus, our school, should not require its young citizens to go through such a pointless act on a daily basis.