Friday, July 4, 2008

And justice for all

In kindergarten Son learned to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Sometime in that first month of school he came to me and asked me what 'one nation under God' meant. We talked about it. We don't believe in God. (Yea - we're atheists.) He asked what he was supposed to do - if he didn't believe in God, and it's a free country, why was this in the pledge and did he have to say it. After explaining to him that most people do he thought some more. He then asked if it was OK that he didn't say that line. It was never a problem. It took months before his teacher and some of other kids noticed enough to comment on it. And he was never told he had to say the entire pledge.

Then in 1st grade he came to me to talk about the Pledge again. Seemed he had another phrase to question - 'with liberty and justice for all'. He asked me why I feed some of his classmates cereal bars in the morning. Said it wasn't fair that for whatever reason their parents and the government couldn't provide a decent breakfast for them. Said it seemed like there were a lot of things that just didn't seem fair. And just. And he decided that until our country was truly a place of 'liberty and justice for all' he wasn't going to say that phrase either. And once again, his teacher and some classmates noticed there was another new phrase he stopped reciting. He explained his opinion on the matter. And he was never told he had to say that phrase also.

And he can do this, and continues to do this because, although our country is not perfect, it is the land of the free. And he has the freedom to say whatever parts of the Pledge he wants to.

Happy 4th of July everyone.

1 comment:

Stimey said...

This is wonderful. Both for your sentiment and for what it says about your thoughtful and courageous son.