Students are headed back to the classrooms throughout Northern
California this month and they likely will start each day with the Pledge of
Allegiance or some other “appropriate patriotic exercises” — a tradition that
goes back generations.
In California, as is the case with many states, classrooms in public schools are required to offer the pledge or a patriotic exercise like singing the National Anthem daily, but students are not required to actually stand up and recite it. Most do, of course, but some students object to the phrase "Under God" and refuse to take part in the daily routine.
The issue has surfaced nationally. Earlier this year, a state lawmaker in Arizona introduced a bill to require students to recite the pledge. Other states, including Oregon and Nebraska, have had discussions on whether to require the pledge to be recited in schools.
For three decades, the pledge didn’t have the phrase “Under God.” But in 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower pushed for Congress to add the phrase to combat communist threats, leaving Americans with the 31-words we have today:
"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 asked the question on Facebook and got some interesting answers.
Some of those who answered on Facebook felt the same as Reta Wasspn Munselle who wrote, “Yes, it helps us to have pride in our country!”
Others however had a more nuanced opinion like this one from Leisa Demostene who wrote, “ We should say the pledge- the original version (sans the ‘under god’ part). The pledge should unite us, not divide us.”
And then there was Gary L. Goss who wrote, “Reciting the Pledge is inadequate, which is why I have proposed the Church of the Flag, in which we can actually get down on our knees and pray to the Flag for guidance and thank the Flag for the abundance of life.”
You can see all the responses on the Healdsburg Facebook page.
What do you think? Should the Pledge be required? Should we drop “under God”? Tell us in comments.