Should reciting the pledge be mandatory?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by Jailminister, Sep 30, 2003.

  1. Jailminister

    Jailminister
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    Read the following news story and give me your opinion, please.
    State Rep. Wants Texans to Make the Most of New Pledge Law

    By Jim Brown
    September 29, 2003

    (AgapePress) - A Texas lawmaker is encouraging students to take advantage of the daily minute of silence being observed in the state's public schools.

    A new two-part law requires Texas students to recite the national and state pledges of allegiance and take part in a minute of silence. But the bill's sponsor, Republican Representative Dan Branch, says the legislation has caught many believers by surprise.

    "It seems to me [that for] churches and synagogues and other houses of worship, this is an opportunity for them to encourage their members to look for resources -- there's a group that has put out some cards of daily meditations, daily prayers, or daily scripture readings you can put in kids' lunch bags," he says.

    The legislator says many teachers, but few students, have been using the allotted time to pray. That is why he is stressing to parents and guardians the importance of encouraging their children to use the minute wisely.

    Branch says many families have been hesitant to take advantage of the new law. He believes many parents are reluctant after taking "25 years of pounding on separation of church and state" and hearing various groups pushing for so long the idea that religious expression in public schools is verboten -- which, the lawmaker emphasizes, is patently false.

    "One can under current constitutional law say a spontaneous prayer, even a verbal prayer, in schools today," Branch points out. "And groups can get together -- we read about the various places where they have the 'gather around the pole meetings,'" he says.

    The Texas representative feels the legislated minute of silence is the ultimate example of local control, because parents can influence how their children spend 60 seconds each day in the classroom. He says the new law requiring the pledges and observance of silence is a perfect opportunity for the state's four million schoolchildren to focus on something other than self.

    © 2003 AgapePress all rights reserved
     
  2. Gina B

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    No way should it be mandatory. Forced pledges of allegiance to ANYTHING is meaningless. Memorization of the pledge is fine, forced recitation of it daily is NOT.
    Most kids stand up and say it willingly anyhow. If they don't that's their deal. (although the one who didn't in my school was harassed something awful by the other kids)
    Gina
     
  3. ScottEmerson

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    Absolutely not. There are various people who don't believe in pledging allegiance to a flag. Give them the option - great. Make it mandatory, and we're no better than the Germany of 1939 who made it compulsary to "Sieg Heil" and salute.
     
  4. Joseph_Botwinick

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    It may never happen again, but I agree with Scott. No it shouldn't be mandatory. We don't live in some Muslim country. We have freedom here.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  5. mark

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    In my high school classroom, we begin the day with the pledge, but it is not required and about every other semester I'll have one student who declines. No big deal. The pledge is an opportunity to show your respect, FORCED respect is no respect at all. I am not sure if this is true or an urban myth, but I have heard the origin of the pledge was a marketing tool by a flag company to sell enough flags to be put in every classroom.
     
  6. Brett

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    I just can't really see what value there is in forcing children to recite the pledge. If they have patriotism already, then they'll willingly cite the pledge; if they do not, then forcing them to do it will only make them love their country less.
     
  7. Don

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    The original pledge had us with our hands outstretched towards the flag; this was later changed to placing our hands over our hearts, because the original salute was very similar to the Nazi salute.

    Mandatory? One of the things that I, as a member of the United States military, fight for on a daily business is freedom of speech. If you want to exercise your freedom of speech to slander and degrade the very country that gives you that freedom, more power to you--but I'd prefer you find another country that you like better and go live there. [​IMG]
     
  8. Jailminister

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    I live here in Texas and I understand the purpose behind this law, but I to believe it is wrong to require it. We had the pledge every morning in the schools I went to many years ago and it may have been required then, but i never knew it if it was. We just did it out of respect for our country.
    Suggest yes require no.
     
  9. russell55

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    When my oldest kids were in 7th and 9th grade we lived in the US for my husband's schooling for a year. They weren't American citizens, and it would have been inappropriate for them to say the pledge, so they just stood when the pledge was said, but didn't say it along with the others or place their hands on their hearts. They each received a bit of flack from teachers for not doing it, though. I never understood what the particular problem was with those teachers. Why would you want a citizen of another country to say the pledge?
     
  10. rsr

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    Gina said:

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Taufgesinnter

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    That was a confusing response. It seems contradictory, but I may be reading things into the last part to make it appear that way.

    Fortunately, mandatory pledges are unconstitutional under Barnette (1943).
     
  12. RaptureReady

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    Mandatory? Maybe not. But, if given the opportunity to say it and you don't, something wrong with you bud. Maybe you need a Delta ticket.
     
  13. Taufgesinnter

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    Or you recognize that your supreme allegiance is to God alone, and honor the biblical absolute separation of church and state. Or note the hypocrisy of pledging allegiance to a nation having liberty and justice for all when it really doesn't (indeed couldn't). Or perhaps you consider the pledge of allegiance a loyalty oath, and remember that Christ forbade all oaths. Or possibly you would have other reasons for not participating. There are probably a great many, and certainly a number of them honorable, even righteous.
     
  14. fromtheright

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    I'm not sure one way or the other about making it mandatory. What I do find absolutely reprehensible is to say that we are then "no better than" a bunch of Nazis to require it. Having schoolchildren proclaim their allegiance to the greatest and most generous country on earth that helped liberate the victims of fascism, paid to reconstruct their country and participated in bringing its monsters to justice, and then comparing the liberating country to the tyranny is nothing short of sickening. By the way, it was mandatory for probably most children during the time of World War II--which makes your comparison one between our troops and the Wehrmacht, or, even worse, the SS.
     
  15. ScottEmerson

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    At the same time, you have to realize that not everyone holds your views about the greatness of our country. They have a right to dislike it, and can show their dislike for it by protesting, by burning a flar, or by not standing up and saying the pledge of allegiance. I, personally, am glad that we have military people who have risked their lives and died for these freedoms. However, I stick by my original statement. Compulory allegiance to a rectangular piece of coloured fabric that represents, well, anything, really, is wrong, no matter what country it happens in.
     
  16. fromtheright

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    Scott Emerson

    However, I stick by my original statement. Compulory allegiance to a rectangular piece of coloured fabric that represents, well, anything, really, is wrong, no matter what country it happens in.

    That's all well and good. What I take issue with is your statement that such a law makes us "no better than" Nazi Germany; not that such a policy is bad wherever it is found, but that, again, our country is no better than the absolutely evil tyranny of Nazi Germany.
     

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