Monday, November 16, 2009

On Not Saying the Pledge of Allegiance

When I was in elementary school, I decided to stop saying the Pledge of Allegiance in school because my family was atheist and I thought it absurd that a pledge to a supposedly secular nation included the phrase "one nation, under God" (that said, I should've stopped using American money, too, but that seemed a bit complicated). This was not my parents' choice, but my own, and I went many years during pledge time either just standing up and not saying anything or remaining seated at my desk. After a brief explanation, teachers were very accommodating and no one ever tried to force me to say the pledge--and I wasn't alone, as a friend of mine (whose family was Dutch and also atheist) and a good acquaintance (who was a Jehovah's Witness) also didn't say the pledge. The (non-)response of my teachers and classmates is just a testament to how liberal my primary schools and teachers were (and, for the record, I went to public school). I felt I was taking a stand and, as an 8 or 9-year-old, that was very important to me. But, considering my environment, I wasn't taking a huge risk.

But this kid, who refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance in spite of his (then substitute) teacher's protests and classmates' teasing and in support of same-sex marriage rights, is my hero:



Also, check out this great rebuttal to the boy's detractors from a reporter at the Arkansas News.

With all the other crap going down right now vis-a-vis same-sex marriage and health care and the war(s) in the Middle East, at least there are a few good things left. Maybe the younger generation really will be different?

(Via Huff Po.)

1 comment:

ben said...

MediaCurves.com conducted a study among 328 viewers of a new clip discussing a student who refuses to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance in support of gay marriage. The majority of viewers (66%) reported that the student should not be forced to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. While the majority of respondents supported the student after watching the video, prior to viewing the video, the majority of viewers (65%) indicated that students “should be” forced to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance. More in depth results can be seen at:
http://www.mediacurves.com/Politics/J7639-PledgeofAllegiance/Index.cfm
Thanks,
Ben