Twenty of us have voted on the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance poll. The question is, “Did you grow up saying the Pledge of Allegiance in school?” So far, the top response is “Yes, but I didn’t know better then.” That’s gathered seven votes.
With five votes each are “No, I didn’t go to public school” and “No, but everyone else did.” Then, “No, I’m not an American” got two votes, and “Yes, and I’m glad I did,” got one. It seems no one doesn’t know what we’re talking about, no one said it reluctantly, no one said it despite not being an American, and no one didn’t but wishes they had.
No poll can completely reflect the myriad of possibilities, of course. I remember saying the Pledge sometimes as a homeschooled student, but most days we got right into whatever we were working on with just a prayer. It wasn’t an issue anyone made a big deal over. But then, my family didn’t start going to a Mennonite church until I was 13. Someone in our homeschool co-op wanted the kids to pledge allegiance to the Christian flag, but that didn’t go over real big. The story I heard was the Christian flag is really more of a Baptist flag, and we’re supposed to be pledging allegiance to God, not to a flag someone made and decided to call the Christian flag.
I tend to say the Pledge of Allegiance once or twice a week now since it’s the way most of my school boards, villages and cities begin their meetings. One village doesn’t, but they don’t even do a roll call of council members, and I’m pretty sure they don’t care about following Roger’s Rules of Order. I say the Pledge when everyone else does because I don’t feel like explaining to anyone why I’d rather not. I don’t want to have the focus on me and what I think, anyway.
But, I know Mennonites to whom this is a serious matter. A local Mennonite school experienced public scrutiny a few years ago when someone decided to publicize that the school’s sports teams stand respectfully before games while the other teams say the Pledge. I’m sure some people would lambast me as a bad Mennonite for having said the Pledge. Oh well, I’m not in this to impress anyone.
Is the Pledge a big deal to you? If it is, do you also oppose taking oaths?