at my school,
we are "encouraged" to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every day while a selected student leads us over the intercom.
(I'd like to say something about the difference between a Patriot and a Chauvinist. A Chauvinist works towards his nation gaining power and wealth and territory and status (it's true; the word has no default connection to sexism). A Patriot works towards the wellbeing of his nation, and cares about his nation's honour. An American Patriot sees the flag as a symbol of men who have given their time, careers, and lives to create and maintain the USA. An American Chauvinist sees the flag and hears "In this sign shall you conquer." An American Patriot does not want to go to war unprovoked against Iraq to get oil; this would be dishonourable. An American Chauvinist says "Whoopie, we've justified taking Saddam's oil with this whole 'War on Terrorism' bit! Go Bush and the Big Penis Army!")
I am a Patriot. I know that America is not made of Hollywood pseudo-culture, corrupt politicians, or over-consumerism, no matter how much it might seem that way. I have been to the Arlington National Cemetery. Those rows upon rows of regulation white stones, those are what America is made of.
So, back to the Pledge. It worries me that the Pledge is said every single day at the same time. It is becoming routine. It is losing meaning. Mechanically reciting those words day after day is becoming a dishonour and possibly even an insult to those white stones in Arlington. Because of this, whenever I am asked to lead the school in the pledge, I decline. But I think I may have thought of a better way to protest it. One of these days I'm going to accept the invitation to lead the school in the Pledge and I will replace the line "one nation under God" with "one nation under Allah."
I can see where that wouldn't shake things up too much in many schools, but I live in a small town in Oklahoma where most people are "devout" Baptists (who adamantly believe that every word in the Bible is true, even though 90% of them have never read it). Around here, some people might start gettin' out their squirrel rifles and martyr me.