Should children be forced to say the pledge in school?
Debate Rounds (3)
If students simply don't want to say the pledge they they shouldn't have to. You can't forbid teachers and students to not talk about religion, and then make them stand for the pledge. Both are under religious beliefs, like pointed out children should not be made to stand for the pledge.
The reason why children can't vote or have sex is solely due to the notion that a child cannot give consent. Thus, if children cannot give consent in the first place their consent cannot be truly taking into account if we are going to say that schools should legally be permitted to force children to do this.
If this is a purely moral debate then we must purely analyze which situation is more morally justifiable (the one where children are allowed to not make any pledge to their country whatsoever or one where they're forced to do this and grow up to be good citizens as they have been raised and molded into loyal patriots).
Let's focus specifically on the religious aspect of the pledge. If children believe in another religion where perhaps their god is Allah, Krishna or an intangible god of no true embodiment (Buddhism and Taoism) then perhaps my opponent would argue that they should be entitled to refrain from saying the pledge and rewording it to their own religious views. However, in Saudi Arabia, you are forced to embrace Islam, in certain parts of South Africa, children are forced into Christianity and there doesn't seem to be any problem when they do it. This is sort of like when France was demonized for forcing Muslim women to show their face while certain Arab countries ban non-Muslim women from showing hair and Saudi Arabia bans them from even showing their face or driving. So let me get this straight, they need to be respected in other countries but don't need to respect other religions in their own?
Aside from the angle of tit-for-tat, is the more pressing issue that if a school wishes to be labeled as a Christian school then its students have no right to attend it and not embrace its faith. If they have an issue, they should realize that not all schools make children say the pledge and their parents are the ones choosing to send them of a school of these values. As we established earlier, children's consent is non-existent in law.
Thus, if they want the privilege of the Christian education system and to enjoy all the facilities of a Christian school, there is no reason why they should be made to state such a pledge.
On a final note, almost all religions have a god and 'under God' doesn't have to be strictly interpreted as the Christian god alone but can be considered simply a translation of the name of 'God' being the Christian name for an entity that most other religions worship anyway. As for Buddhists, Taoists, agnostics and atheists there is no tenet of Buddhism, Taoism, agnosticism nor atheism that states that you will be eternally punished if you say there is a god this is only in the reverse. Thus, no one is actually losing out or being mentally tortured here.
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