Written by: Elyse Sinsay
“I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America, and to the republic, for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” This is the pledge of allegiance that I grew up with. I’m sure everyone grew up with this version of the pledge. It’s a simple statement that we have been taught. It teaches us from a young age, the freedoms we are blessed with as a part of living in this nation.
A few months ago my daughter was playing around the house, singing songs she had learned from school and she started singing the pledge of allegiance. Also, the day before we had just put a flag outside the house, so she had stopped to pay her respects, but this is what I heard. “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic, for which it stands, one nation, under guard, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
My first reaction was, wait, what did you just say? So, I made her repeat it to me. UNDERGUARD. Not under God. Wow, really? When did that happen?! Now, I am not one for commenting on politics OR religion. Those are my two NO-NO subjects and to each their own, but I feel like I can make an exception for this one. America was founded on many things. One of those things was freedom of religion. Our founding fathers believed in that so strongly that our legal documents have “God” in them. So, from the birth of this nation till now we cared about that belief, and now not so much?? So I looked into it…and you know what I found? The reason why they changed the pledge in schools was because it was offensive to other religious practices. Really? We have been saying this for, well, ever and all of a sudden it is offensive? If it were in fact offensive then why not allow the offended parties say the updated version and not impose everyone to say the updated version, because really the number of religious groups/ children are not as great as those who DO believe and are offended by the removal and not the updated version. How about inform the parents that a change is happening? Why do our kids, who are not offended, and are being taught what we were taught not being provided the same values as we were? God is a part of our lives as it has been since the birth of this nation. Why are we not being provided 1) the option to say the old version; 2) the information that a change was made; 3) being forced to change our values for people who came to this country for the same reason we founded it, freedom. If you want to be, believe, work, wear or do something, this nation take pride in being the place to do it, but do not demand that our founding documents and pledges be changed because it doesn’t align with your beliefs. It’s not right to force your beliefs on someone. Everyone came here at some point with a dream for a better life for their family. Here you have to make that work. You have to adjust, make some sacrifices. You work hard, love your family, and teach them your beliefs. At the end of the day though, they too have the right to choose if they want to continue those beliefs.
I’m just asking for a choice. A choice for people who want to say something different and those who don’t. If the parents are really offended then let their kids say something else. Easy. For the rest of us, however, lets keep with tradition. We value it. We work hard for it. We take pride in it. As I said before, this change was only brought to my attention because I LISTENED when my daughter was singing the pledge. So my husband and I, sat her down and told her she should say the pledge the old way. The way she learned it the first time. That the old way was the right way to say it because it showed respect for what we believed in and for what our family in the military fights for every day. Freedom. We told her she wouldn’t get into trouble and if her teachers tell her to say it the new way that she was to tell them that they need to talk to us. We told her to say it that way. It’s our right as parents. The school system may have been sneaky and taken away our choice to say the new way or the old way but they do not have the right to take away our freedom of right to teach our children what we wish. We must stand up for our beliefs and not allow them to just quietly remove it from our lives via our children. That is unacceptable. We are one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.
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