Do You Believe in Nationalizing Patriotism?

Do You Believe in Nationalizing Patriotism?

Logan Kraft, Writer

The Utah House passed a resolution on Feb. 28 that will encourage all grade school students to recite the pledge of allegiance at the start of every school day. Utah also tried to pass these same regulations as a bill in 2012, but Congress shut it down saying that the pledge of allegiance is unconstitutional because it states “one nation under god,” which breaks the separation of church and state.

The Utah Code Section 53G-10-304 states that the Pledge of Allegiance is a requirement in all schools, but students can be exempted at will. Though, students have to get written approval from their parents to be excused from this activity.

“If they’re supposedly old enough to learn about being a patriot, aren’t they old enough to also exercise their patriotic right to free speech?” social studies teacher Jordan Boyd said.

Melissa G. Ballard is the Chief Sponsor for this bill and says that the purpose of this is to teach children the value and importance of being American.

“The repeated expression of the Pledge of Allegiance in a classroom instills in a child an appreciation for the inspired ideals, principles, and values that the United States of America represents and reminds all citizens that the nation is a nation under God, not without God,” Ballard said.

Understanding our nation, where we came from, and how we learn to improve as a society are all very important lessons, but why does it relate to God?

“If you are practicing a religion that doesn’t allow you to give allegiance to say, a country or a flag, which there are religions that say that, you can’t force students to do that,” social studies teacher Bryan Brogren said.

Of course, these regulations aren’t forcing students to say these things if they don’t want to, but what seems odd is the amount of student involvement the state is trying to provoke.

The resolution states that each morning, a student must lead the class in the pledge, and it will change on a rotating basis.

Some say it’s Christian nationalism, some say it’s patriotic.