In an essay for TCS Daily last week, Arnold Kling wrote, “With or without the words ‘under God,’ the Pledge of Allegiance feels to me like a prayer. It’s a fairly nice prayer, and I have no problem with having it taught in private schools. I have no problem praying for my country — such a prayer is included in the standard weekly service at my synagogue. But government institutions ought not to be telling people how to pray.”
The essay is well-worth reading. I especially like Kling’s description of a “Civil Societarian.” But I have another anecdotal piece of evidence to contribute to Kling’s conclusion.
It comes from the back page feature “Baby Bloopers” in the current issue of Parents magazine. Here’s the story “Lady Liberty” as told by Tracie Cirillo of Rochester, NY:
One afternoon my 4-year-old daughter, Maya, came home excited to recite the Pledge of Allegiance to me, since it’s played every morning over the public-address system at her school. When she got to the end of the pledge, she said, ‘With liberty and justice for all. Today’s lunch is quesadillas and fruit cup.’
The cynic might say that’s what you get when government teaches you how to pray.