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There's nothing 'patriotic' about forced patriotism

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The government is trying to mandate patriotism -- in Texas, of all places:

State Rep. Marsha Farney, R-Georgetown, wants to make all students in Texas pledge allegiance to the American flag and the state flag.

If Farney’s House Bill 773 becomes law, students in charter schools would be required to recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. flag and the Texas flag and observe a minute of silence — just like their peers in public schools.

“This truly is a patriotic bill,” state Rep. Dan Huberty, R-Houston, told Farney during debate.

What exactly is "patriotic" about forcing students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance?  Patriotism is an emotion that comes from within, not something that can be levied by government.  Without that personal sense of patriotism, the Pledge of Allegiance is just a poem that doesn't even rhyme.

It's not a government mandate that gives you goosebumps in reciting how our republic is forged in freedom or brings tears to your eyes as you gaze at the stars & strips during the National Anthem.  In fact, using government authority to try and force such a thing seems downright antithetical to the American experience.

Tea Party Republican Rep. David Simpson agrees:

Simpson said it’s important to be patriotic, but he wanted to tweak the language to allow charter schools to strongly encourage reciting the pledge — not compel it. He also said his amendment could shield charter schools from possible litigation.

In the end, however, Simpson's proposal was not adopted, and Farney's passed with an overwhelming majority.

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