Supreme Court - Phil's Rambling Rants
It's not actually all that clear that the Pledge violates the First Amendment in the same way that "In God We Trust" on money does. While you HAVE to use money, the Pledge is decidedly not required (as decided by the Supreme Court a decade before "under God" was inserted) on religious grounds; Pledging allegiance to a flag (any flag) violates the Biblical injunction against idolatry. This was clear to me from the time I actually started paying any sort of attention to what I was saying, rather than just standing and repeating things because that's what we did in class each day.
It's also not clear to me that all the intolerance is from the "followers of a guy who told us to be nice to each other" -- I see just as much blind intolerance from the atheists as from the believers and for much the same reason: they're offended by someone with strong beliefs stating them.
For what it's worth, when I'm at an event where I feel it appropriate to say the Pledge, I simply leave out those two words.
Just my $0.02.
If I were in a situation where reciting the Pledge was appropriate, and I actually was thinking about what I was doing at the time, I would leave those words out. But I would have to be thinking about it, or the program that was imprinted in my impressionable young brain would take over.
As for the pledge not being required -- not participating when the class says the pledge would make a child stand out. That's a very hard thing for a child, or even an adult, to do. This is why the Court has squashed, and rightly so, "voluntary" prayers in the classroom.