Several years ago, when I served on the governing council for a public school my kids attended, our hamlet suddenly had to deal with THE PLEDGE. Chapel Hill is blissfully liberal and the majority of our elementary and middle schools weren't having kids recite the pledge daily, weekly or monthly. Most parents had not realized that and most, when they found out, were discomfitted. The School Board decided to defer to site-based management and said each school should chart its own way. At my school, we polled our public. We had our teachers send in anonomous ballots and asked our parents to come and speak to our board. Ultimately, 92% of the teachers who responded said they would like to regularly say the pledge and, of the parents that came to plead their case, all but one said 'Say the pledge."
Now this put me in an awkward place. I am profoundly against the "under God" addition to the pledge. It was added for racist reasons and it disrupts the flow of words. But, I was an elected representative, chosen to represent the views of the parents. The parents who had spoken on this issue were clear. They wanted their kids to say the pledge. So, when our board voted, I ended up being the only person who voted to have our kids regularly say the pledge. I decided that my role as a representative was to represent the will of my constituency.
My children have never learned the pledge of allegiance in the schools and we don't say it at home. However, it's not clear to me that it is educationally viable to take all references to God and Christianity out of the schools. As this article from the NYT makes clear, God was a big part of the founding of America and it's hard to envision Washington or his peers without their profound belief in an all powerful God.
Lately I have been thinking about the idea that it's the winners who write history. I think that notion has been turned on its head in modern times and now, it is those who were downtrodden whose stories have more academic weight. I don't have a problem with that per se. However, if it is the "loser's" version that we want to make our children aware of, let's make sure we analyze their versions for bias as well. No one is perfect. Power corrupts. History's tale will always be based in bias--let's not forget that while we learn the stories of its victems.