diet coke for breakfast

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Posted by Tanstaafl
Pledge vs. Oath:

If we were to switch from the Pledge to a one-time citizenship oath sworn at age 18, I think-- I hope-- that the words wouldn't look much like the Pledge's words, and would look more like the extant citizenship oath, minus the passages about foreign princes and potentates.

I like this idea. I'm generally not worked-up either way about stripping "Under God" from the pledge. I think the guy bringing the suit is a bit of a jerk. He's exploiting his daughter, who according to her mother, has no problem saying the pledge. I also don't think it's explicitly unconstitutional or frankly subject to judicial oversight because it's optional (but hey, I'm no legal scholar).

However, thinking back to my own elementary school experience, I really had no idea what I was saying every morning. I was just making sure I got the words right, and enjoyed singing the catchy patriotic songs that we did after the pledge (eg. America the Beautiful). Feeling as I do about the US now, I think it would be much more symbolically significant to take some sort of oath at a more mature age.

However, it should still be optional. We don't require our citizens to love this country, or even support it. All we require is that you not commit treason. That's part of what makes this country great. I know plenty of people from college who would balk at being even asked to take such an oath, let alone required to take one. These of course are the same people that hold "emergency rallies" in San Francisco and elsewhere. And they're entitled to their emotions (I wouldn't call them intelligently formed opinions), just as I'm entitled to my opinions.


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