Letter: Mandatory pledge is empty recital

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Regarding Kristi Ellinger's Dec. 7 letter, "Stand up for your freedoms," at my daughter's school. she does not have to do the daily flag salute, nor does her school do the somehow obligatory oath of solidarity, aka The Pledge of Allegiance. Thank goodness! A young child is typically not going to understand the full concept of taking an oath or pledge for any reason. Is a kid of 6 or 14 truly cognizant of what he or she is orally contracting to do? I doubt it. But we force-feed blind faith in religion and nationalism to them daily.

If a school is not reciting that customary oath daily, is it somehow a disrespectful school? No. I am a Gulf War veteran. I love America and I do not want to see a daily regurgitation where there is no true understanding of the words.

Why an oath to be a good American? Are humans so fickle, we have to be brainwashed daily, to stay in line and devoted? Why place any god in the oath to further make it exclusive toward those who do not share a blind faith?

This frothy-mouthed, flag-waving, feel-good nationalism is half-hearted patriotism and serves no real purpose unless the kids actually understand what it is they are robotically droning on about.

Allen Russell

Vancouver