Friday, November 20, 2009

The Pledge of Allegiance controversy continues (*sigh*)

Scott Piepho, publisher of Pho's Akron Pages, cites a story from the Youngstown Vindicator about a high school student in Hubbard who conscientiously objects to reciting the Pledge of Allegiance:

Roxanne Westover, 17, of Elmwood Drive, had been reprimanded by the school for refusing to stand during the pledge, which is recited each morning. She said it contradicts her beliefs and she elected not to participate. “I’m an atheist, and I believe the pledge isn’t something toward our nation,” she said.

“It’s more like a religious oath, and I believe that if I stand I’m still participating in it.” Westover said she had been written up and sent to the principal’s office multiple times for her refusal over the course of the past few weeks. The ACLU sent a letter requesting the school to stop requiring students to say the pledge.

Ironically, following a complaint by the American Civil Liberties Union, a review of school policy showed that recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance was not required. Forced recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943).

I have not recited the Pledge of Allegiance in nearly 20 years, because I choke on the word "indivisible." The right of secession is essential as a final guarantee of liberty to the people of a state when the federal government has crossed the line into tyranny. The requirement to recite a loyalty oath is contrary to the spirit of a free people -- and the United States of America did just fine for 117 years without one (the Pledge was written in 1893).

One of my earliest posts offers some additional discussion on the subject.

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