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Published: Saturday, June 7 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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SEY
Sandy, UT

I've sworn off reciting the Pledge because I find it un-American, especially when social pressure "requires" it. Authoritarian regimes typically extract oaths of loyalty from their citizens with the intent of extinguishing feelings of individuality while emphasizing the greater good of the collective. People should be free to recite the Pledge in private, but public recitations are virtually coercive and run counter to the American ideal of individual liberty. Anyone who doesn't stand and recite is subject to ridicule and shame.

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

I'm sympathetic. I taught a couple of years in a central city high school. Once a week, like the writer describes, we were expected to recite the pledge of allegiance. It was always awkward and sloppily done. But one of my cherished memories of boyhood was as a cub scout reciting the pledge - it was good for us - and there was no awkwardness. Of course when we said "one nation indivisible with liberty and justice for all," we thought we were saying "INVISIBLE" and that didn't make much sense, but no matter it was good.

Those who may feel awkward with the pledge maybe should understand it was written by a Christian Socialist Francis Bellamy, cousin of the "Looking Backward" author Edward Bellamy. Both of the Bellamy's were concerned with the accelerating inequality of the late 19th century. Francis hoped the pledge would help people be more conscious of injustices in growing inequality. So the theme of the pledge is thoroughly contemporary.

Midvaliean
MIDVALE, UT

When I say the pledge of allegiance I only did it because I was forced to as a child. Perhaps voting and staying active in political issues that affect our country and community is more patriotic than letting empty words fall out of your mouth.

embarrassed Utahn!
Salt Lake City, UT

Religionists ruined the pledge for me.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Hate to break it to you, but the Utah legislature made it a law for you to do the pledge every single day.

If you think that kids aren't paying attention once a week, try doing it every single day!

SEY
Sandy, UT

marxist makes my point. The Pledge is entirely a socialist notion that denigrates the primary role of the individual in American society. It promotes the collective at the expense of individualism, which is the very essence of the American way.

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

Today, the pledge means for me: nationhood, social cohesion, equality, justice for all. It builds cohesion, which we are rapidly losing. If we continue our present divisiveness we are going to break apart.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Sadly, there are many who recite the pledge but their actions are traitorous.

Refusing to work with one side because you want to make the President a one term President? Traitorous.
Refusing to fund the government and shutting it down to lower it's credit rating? Traitorous.
Purposely running the government into the ground to promote your agenda in privatization of vital government services and programs? Traitorous.
Pledging to Grover Norquist is more important to the American flag? Traitorous.
Passing bills to finance jet airplanes that don't work, handouts to contractors, bailouts to bankers while refusing to fund embassy security, EPA, and VA? Traitorous.
Stuffing student vouchers, prison relocations, and iPad handouts against our wishes? Traitorous.
Treating certain classes of people as second rate citizens? Promoting discrimination against others? Traitorous.

I think if Eisenhower could see what happens today he would be appalled. We have many reciting the pledge but refusing to live by it.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

I pledge allegiance to the flag and to the nation that it represents. I believe in America. I believe in the principles of America. I believe in the Constitution. I believe that if we, the people, stop demanding that government "fix things" and if we demand that government strictly perform its duty, as enumerated, not as politically motivated, that the principles of America will prevail.

The Pledge reminds us of the possibilities.

SEY
Sandy, UT

National unity is a worthy goal, but not above all others. There is no point to having us all climbing the same ladder if it's leaning against the wrong wall. The nationalistic fervor explicit in The Pledge combined with its imbedded socialist foundation form a message of lock-step subordination of the individual to the state. That is not the ladder I choose to climb. I will pledge my allegiance to a flag or government when they have earned my respect. I don't see that happening any time soon.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Forced acts of patriotism probably does not increase a persons patriotism. For one thing, the words of the pledge are discarded from our minds as soon as the pledge is over.

When I see words on a sign, a box, a building my mind reads the word or words automatically. I'm not sure if it is a blessing or a curse. If I wanted to have people be aware to the Pledge, I would put that pledge in printed words in as many places as possible that didn't necessarily force the person to read it but it is there if he does.

I am reminded of the story of the father who taught his kids the Morse Code by strategically placed copies in the bathroom. Not that I recommend that for the pledge, but if the pledge we seen once or twice a day it might have a good effect without making it a pain.

Shaun
Sandy, UT

I haven't said the pledge of allegiance since I was in elementary school. Being patriotic means different things to different people. Some people recite pledges and wave flags at parades.

My version of being patriotic is buying American products when available versus foreign products.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Sometimes I read comments and wonder whether we're all citizens of the same country. We, the people, control the government. We do not have a king who imposes his will on us. We have set the limits of the authority of each branch of government, but many think that their "needs" should allow the government to ignore those limits. Some think that they can "request" that others pay for responsibilities that have been left to each of us.

When we pledge allegiance to the flag, we are telling everyone that we believe in the principles that made America great. We put aside the shortcomings of those who have been elected and focus on what we are capable of achieving.

Naysayers seem to look at what they want to "get" from the government, without pledging their willingness to do whatever is required to preserve this nation. That's a shame. We have so many possibilities, but it is left to us, the citizens, to act responsibly to achieve those goals. We need to fully shoulder our own responsibilities without asking government to "nanny" us.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Some of say some words to a flag to pledge our allegiance,
Some of us have pledged an oath of allegiance with right arm to the square and hand on holy scripture to give our own lives if necessary to defend and protect it.

=====

@Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Sometimes I read comments and wonder whether we're all citizens of the same country.

I'm a Mormon, from Utah,
but
I am Liberal,
not a Republican,
and work for the DoD --
and find some of your comments directed toward me and other "Americans" some of the most divisive words I have ever encountered.

Some of Say what we believe,
Others of us do what we believe.

wingnutty
Casa Grande, AZ

It's been quite a while since a soldier was used to actually ensure our basic freedoms. They have been used to ensure the capital freedoms of many a capitalist though. Smedly Butler told us all about it.

Now the police actually do keep us safe and give their lives to protect our basic freedoms.

SEY
Sandy, UT

Mike Richards: your comments tell me that you're not paying attention. While theory describes American government as subject to the will of the people, reality is just the opposite. Who controls whom? And what is your evidence? When push comes to shove, legislators and political appointees consistently side with their benefactors, not their constituents. Money talks. It is consistently the 1% (or the 0.1%) that gets what it wants from government. That's the America you're pledging allegiance to.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Many people have died so that some people can attack anyone who does not agree with their "one size fits all" political agenda. The MASTER warned us against judging others, but some citizens have made that their daily practice. The Constitution protects their right to tell the world how they detest the right of others to also speak freely.

Just as many patriotic Americans during WWII built the weapons and funded the war effort, today not every American has been allowed to serve. Some citizens "crow" about that difference, but I wonder how effective those "citizens" would have been if no one funded the military? Did those "citizens" furnish their own armaments, or did they rely on the rest of use to provide what they needed, when they needed it?

We are all Americans, no matter how some people want to segregate us into "us" vs "them". Pledging allegiance is one way to remind us that we are one nation, under God, and that God looks askance at those who continually find fault with their brothers and sisters.

Steve C. Warren
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

To me, the Pledge is a loyalty oath more befitting a totalitarian country than a great free country.

It also means that if a conflict arises between my religious beliefs and allegiance to my country, I am required (as a Pledger) to put country first. This might include a soldier following a lawful order of a commanding officer to "shoot anything that moves."

The Pledge would best be deep-sixed and replaced by something like the preamble to either the Constitution or to the Declaration of Independence.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

@Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Many people have died so that some people can attack anyone who does not agree with their "one size fits all" political agenda. The MASTER warned us against judging others, but some citizens have made that their daily practice. The Constitution protects their right to tell the world how they detest the right of others to also speak freely.

=====

Seriously,
Do you ever once read or follow what you preach?

Seriously.

wingnutty
Casa Grande, AZ

Until the money changers are swept out of Capital Hill I have no reason to pledge my allegiance since they just usurp it. It would be anti-freedom to do so.

I'll be glad to support an amendment to ban all this legal bribery but the conundrum is that public voting doesn't hold sway in a corrupt republic.

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