The Pledge of Allegiance is un-American, argues Michael Lind on Salon.
“We owe each other an obligation to obey the rules that we, directly or through elected representatives, have mutually agreed on,” Lind writes. Our “appropriate expression of patriotism” comes from the Declaration of Independence: “We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” Taking out references to Divine Providence, Lind suggests the Declaration be used for a Citizens’ Pledge.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundations on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. And for the support of these principles, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
It seems a bit wordy for something second graders are supposed to know by memory.
Update: A 10-year-old Arkansas boy, Will Phillips, refuses to say the pledge because he thinks “liberty and justice for all” should apply to gays who want to marry or adopt. Of course, he’s not obliged to do so, but he’s taking some heat from school bullies, who think he’s a “gaywad.” Jon Stewart has enlisted professional wrestler Mick Foley, who vows to bring a “world of pain” to anyone who calls Phillips a “wad of any sort.”