Friday, January 4, 2013

Irksome Facebook Post of the Week

I was seeing this one almost daily.

Unfortunately, every posting I see of it has been taken down or just plain disappeared, which makes it so much harder to post about it her on S&C.  I swear sometimes people are psychic and therefore take their postings down before they can be reprinted as "Irsksome Facebook Post of the Week."

What is says:

Should Children say the Pledge of Allegiance in School

Like if Yes
Comment if No

Every time I see it, I do what it says and post my comment with my emphatic answer.

NO!

I can hear the outrage being directed at me. I’m a godless, America-hating, filthy liberal scum not worthy of residing in our great country. Republicans are demanding I pack my bags.

That is exactly the reason why I am against the Pledge. Why do we wrap so much of our patriotism up over whether or not we swear allegiance to a piece of cloth? Is that all there is to love of country – a rote piece of recitation? Do you seriously believe that I must hate the United States and everything it stands for because of that rote piece of recitation (one that was written by a Socialist who worded it a bit differently from what it is now)?

It’s funny how Republicans keep saying how much they hate government and government intrusion into our lives, but think it’s perfectly fine for a government institution (public school) to force children to swear an oath of allegiance to their country every day. What do they think will happen if children aren’t forced to recite these words? Will they come to hate their country? Are you afraid they will rise up in rebellion?

 Most kids hardly know what they’re saying when they say the Pledge. Once they know, they probably don’t care that much. I would wager most of the adults who are wringing their hands, clutching their pearls, and gnashing their teeth over the Pledge now, probably felt the same apathy about it as kids that today’s kids feel now.

I wish Republicans and the government in general would put as much energy into the rest of the school day as they put into the Pledge of Allegiance. We are raising a nation of kids incapable of critical thinking. Children can’t find their home state on a map. They have little knowledge of world events or civics. American children are way behind the rest of the world in math and science. We water down science out of fear of offending a handful of Americans. Science, a rational and dispassionate study, should not be altered to fit with the worldview of a small group.  We should be more outraged over this than we are about the Pledge of Allegiance.

I just don’t understand why we are prioritizing jingoism over education. Why are we wringing our hands over the Pledge of Allegiance (and whether or not it contains the words, “under God”) rather than wringing our hands over the fact that children are receiving mediocre educations? To me, to love our country is to do right by its citizens. That means giving all of them access to a high quality education. If we want to do right by America we need to equip our children with the tools needed to truly make a difference in this world.  Right now, all we're doing is making them capable of doing nothing more than waving a flag.  That's not patriotism to me. 

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