Here’s an interesting local development. Sue Dremann of the Palo Alto Weekly notes that several local civic groups no longer say the Pledge of Allegiance because they realize it’s historically anti-immigrant, exclusionary, and just a Christian prayer in disguise.
The Rotary [Club] is not alone. The Palo Alto University Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club of Palo Alto and Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce all forego the pledge, saying that the tradition excludes immigrant members and non-Americans who attend their events.
The Pledge isn’t banned. It’s recited at certain events even for some of those groups, just not all of them. Obviously anyone can say it on their own whenever they feel like it. But for some ignorant traditionalists, the Pledge, like prayer, only counts if everyone else is forced to do it.
Others in the area said they don’t recite the Pledge, either, but only because they never started. There was no deliberate attempt to stop. Either way, it’s the right move.
As I explained in depth in my recent podcast, there’s no good reason to recite the Pledge if it’s meant to be an act of patriotism. Its history violates our sense of decency. Its wording describes a country that doesn’t exist — and never did.
Most of the groups that have done away with the ritual are local civic groups or school boards. A more meaningful change would be eliminating the practice at public schools. We’re not quite there yet. But this is a good start.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)