I have a friend, an immigrant from Israel, who recently moved to a new state, and put his kids in a new school, where they are being required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every day.
And this makes him uncomfortable because it strikes him as the kind of brainwashing that you would find in a totalitarian state, and therefore seems unworthy of his adopted and much-beloved country.
Now I know that a lot of Grok readers are thinking, what the hell is wrong with having kids recite the Pledge of Allegiance? I’ve addressed that elsewhere. But as we stumble inexorably towards an election that’s going to leave a lot of people saying things like ‘_______ isn’t my president’, it’s worth revisiting the difference between pledging allegiance to a set of principles, as opposed to a government, let alone a piece of cloth.
With that in mind, I suggested that he teach his kids to say the following while everyone else is saying the Pledge:
I pledge allegiance
to the ideals
of the United States of America,
that men form governments to protect their rights,
with their consent,
without which there cannot be
liberty and justice for all.
It takes about the same amount of time to say, and you look the same saying it, in case anyone is watching. And it gets straight at what makes America, as opposed to the American government or the American people, deserving of allegiance.