Two things: The pledge of allegiance to the U. S. flag and the republic is a blood oath – meaning you are willing to die to defend it. Having little children recite the pledge is rote indoctrination at best. It would be far better to explain these things to them in detail so they know what it is that they are doing. It’s more for grown-ups, actually. Perhaps it would be best to wait until they’re 18 before they’re asked to make such a pledge.
“The Lord’s Prayer” on the other hand, is the pledge of allegiance to Christ and The Kingdom of Heaven. Allegiance, and keeping faithfully obedient to your president, overlord or king (think knighthood) was always a vital issue throughout history.
Jesus, Prince of Peace, King of kings, Lord of lords. Most people don’t think of Christ as a warlord but he is. His strategy and tactics are very different however. And note the conflict between the two and the resistance to allowing either in Public Schools.
These things are adult material but both are spoon-fed to young children and when they grow up they understand them as a child would.
Take, for instance the Bible: The Bible is adult material and yet children are told a few simplified biblical stories and grow up thinking they understand it when clearly they do not. That’s why you have seemingly adult individuals who blindly accept as truth Adam and Eve – and the talking serpent. The Bible was compiled for adults and should be read as an adult. Pity the children made to pore over the scriptures hour after hour – not really knowing the meaning of the words or all their implications. The Bible is indeed a hefty tome; and most adults have never actually read it, but rely on others to interpret it for them. For children it is too soon and for adults it is often too late.
The Old Testament might well be called “The Rise and Fall of the Israelites” – a cautionary tale rather than a road map or life guide.
On some levels patriotism is religion and religion is patriotism; and neither is good if it is blind.