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I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of October...

We are a very political family. Mr. Martini and I both studied it through grad school, and would consider ourselves astute both in terms of policy and in the workings of the government. However, we are also, shall we say, vehement.  During the '08 Vice-Presidential debate, I sent poor Mr. Martini to the hospital.  Well, I say he sent himself but I was the mechanism that made it happen, and you would have relished the opportunity at the time too, I assure you.

But knowing how heated we can get, we try to keep a lid on our political fanaticism around our kids.  They are obviously too young to understand the complex concepts involved.  BUT... being patriotic is something we do encourage.  Last night, as usual, Mr. Martini and I were were discussing the political events of the day and of course, Barack Obama came up.  I was excited when Silly Monkey interrupted, "I know who Barack Obama is."  We were thrilled, "oh yeah, who is he?" we questioned. "He's the President of the country", he responded excitedly.  "You're right!  Do you know what country we live in?" we asked, trying to get a measure of his social studies knowledge.  "Bloomington", he said.  No...  "October", his second guess.  Ummm, yeah... we've got some work to do here.

I wasn't really concerned that he doesn't have much of a clue when it comes to social studies... it wasn't too long ago that he was making poo in his pants with a fury, so I cut the kid some slack.  But when Mr. Martini asked if he knew The Pledge of Allegiance, he began reciting proudly.  When asked if he knew what The Pledge meant, he couldn't have given us a better "huh?" face.  I began to wonder, "why do you know the words if you don't know what it means?" Which quickly became, "why are you required to say that, if you don't know what it means?"  Then, "Why the hell don't you know what it means?"!!!  What?  It is not patriotism if there is no understanding, rather, it's closer to indoctrination.  And that shiznit is dangerous. 

Now, I don't have a problem with kids saying The Pledge of Allegiance in school... the whole 'Under God' thing, I know, big panty-bundler for some.  Not me, really.  But I would appreciate it if my child was taught the significance of it's recitation, at least on a really basic level.  Like, "hey, this is a saying that means you support your country".  You know, the Republic of October.

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