So I got into an argument on Facebook with some kids in my class the other day, which essentially went like this;

Guy 1's status: I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND TO THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL! I GREW UP RECITING THIS EVERY MORNING IN SCHOOL WITH MY HAND ON MY HEART. WE NO LONGER DO THAT FOR FEAR OF OFFENDING SOMEONE!! LET'S SEE HOW MANY AMERICANS WILL RE-POST THIS & NOT CARE ABOUT OFFENDING SOMEONE.

Me: Huh. On the other hand, I'm not allowed to not recite it, in fear of offending someone.

Guy 1: I'm offended by people that don't do it and don't care that others are doing it. It annoys the hell out of me.

Me: I don't do it. I don't care that others are doing it. I'm not going to ally myself to a country that I am only half a citizen of, nor am I going to pledge allegiance to a deity I do not believe in, in a country that is supposedly secular.

Guy 1: Well, there's a place for people that think that, and it's called Sweden.

Me: Huh. My bad. Didn't realise that it was Sweden that advertised themselves as "the land of the free", and whose constitution's first amendment was related to the Establishment Clause and the freedom of speech.

Guy 2: So you're saying that you have no pride and respect for your country basically? By your argument of saying "..only half a citizen of" is probably truly invalid, considering whatever country you are from, or hold citizenship in, The United States out beats that. You really need pride in the damn country you are living in. And as for the comment about a "deity", i am most certain that there are many believed gods out there. The term "god" just doesn't go for Jesus. What about Aphrodite, Helios, Allah, Etc. God is a universal term. If an immigrant comes to our country, then obviously they like our country better than theirs, and should respect that choice by reciting the pledge. I do somewhat agree though, as an American Citizen and our great virtues, you have the right not to say the pledge. Is it really and truly ethical though? not so much. We all have to work together to accomplish things. and by doing so we have to support our country by unity, not by disobedience.

Me: "By your argument of saying "..only half a citizen of" is probably truly invalid, considering whatever country you are from, or hold citizenship in, The United States out beats that."

That sounds like "America is better, nyah nyah nyah" to me...

"And as for the comment about a "deity", i am most certain that there are many believed gods out there. The term "god" just doesn't go for Jesus. What about Aphrodite, Helios, Allah, Etc. God is a universal term. "

No. "Under *a* God" could be a universal term. "Under God" means the Christian god, as was intended by the Catholics that added it in the first place.

I could probably find more inherent flaws in your argument, but the fanatical nationalistic vibes I'm getting make me think it won't mean anything anyway.

Guy 2: And we are suppose to change 400 years of tradition?! I don't think so. We are One Nation Under God and that freedom flag has had blood all over it fighting for your freedom as you know it. That Preamble wasn't seen in every war, but that flag was and it is deserving of our alligence. It makes me sick to my stomach to see any American burning or dragging our flag on the ground.

If that school you went to would teach correct American History you would be a better patriot than what you are. You would cherish that flag and that pledge.

Overall: I believe the pledge as a pledge of patriotism and the flag is a symbol to it. Under God is the freedom it's writer was practicing when composing it. It is your choice to say or not. Just don't be one of the a**holes trying to stop others from saying it or trying to impose your beliefs on others.

Me: They added "under god" back in the 50's. 400 years of tradition? More like 50 years of people who can't understand the difference between secular and nonsecular.

Guy 3: If you dont like it, get the fuck out. People fight and die for America, for you, every day. I dont wanna see your pussy arguments on Facebook.

Guy 1: That comes from my Executive Officer at my last encampment, guys.

Me: ‎"If you dont like it, get the fuck out."

As we previously established, I am legally a minor, and as such, cannot leave. Trust me, given the opportunity, I would be packing my bags yesterday.

Regardless, what's with this "my way or the highway" attitude? I don't recall anyone passing any bill or suchlike that made any one person Supreme Overlord of the USA, and certainly not you. Your standards on how people should act in America are certainly not the rule.

Anyway, people fight for a whole bunch of reasons, and not all of them are the same as yours. Not everyone is fighting for America, or for its people. Some people are fighting because the hero worship of soldiers has lead young men to be literally pushed into serving. Some people are fighting because they have been raised to see everything opposed to American beliefs, or even specifically their beliefs, as inherently evil. Some people fight because, hell, it's easier to sign up for the military than get into college half the time.

Additionally, if you don't want to see my comments, don't look for them. This conversation was pretty out of the way, so I'm actually surprised you did see it.

Guy 3: ‎"meh meh meh im cool cuz im emo and i want to be different and not say the Pledge cuz im a little cool emo girl". Youre not, you think its cool to be a rebellious little fucker. This country gives the freedom to think whatever you want, but you should atleast be respectful of that. If you tried to speak out about the government in Saddams rule, youd be hanging by your toes getting the shit beat out of you in some grungy basement, and you'd never see the light of day again. You whiny bitches take everything for granted, and im sick and tired of it. You have no idea of half the shit that goes on out there, so try to be grateful that you have a nice house to live in and food on the table, and God forbid you forget about your parents who just want whats best for you.
I guess my real question is;

Why is America so incredibly patriotic, to the point where one could call it fanatical? Is it justifiable? Should people be required to pledge allegiance no matter what their religion and culture provided they live in America?