I received an email from an “atheist in a foxhole” recently. He’s a teacher in a very religious, conservative part of Texas. (Yes, I know. Who knew there were any other parts of Texas?)
He has a dilemma, though, and he’d like some input:
Our school, as part of a Veteran’s Day celebration, has asked its veterans to lead a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. While I have no problem saying the pledge in general, I do have a problem with one particular phrase. You know the one.
On normal days I simply omit the offending duo of words. This day however will not be normal and my dilemma is this: Do I simply say the Pledge and not rock the boat? Do I say the Pledge and omit “under god” and announce to the community my scorn for their superstition? Do I simply refuse to participate altogether?
One piece of information that may change your answer is that the writer will be reciting the pledge (or not) with seven other veterans. So it’s possible that if he simply omitted “Under God,” he would go unnoticed.
But it’s still an interesting question and I wonder what people would say if he were the only veteran in the school.