Proposed Learners' Pledge of Allegiance Should Be Scrapped (15 February 2008)

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Dear Editor

It appears that the ANC are planning to replace prayer and Bible reading in schools with a new religious rite - a cult of the state - complete with an oath of allegiance to the secular constitution.

There is nothing in the pledge about honouring God, honouring parents and elders, working hard, or committing not to steal, murder, rape or covet. How can children pledge allegiance to a constitution which denies other children - the most helpless and innocent of all citizens  - pre-born babies - their most basic right - the Right to Life?  It is ironic that they expect children to uphold values such as ‘dignity’ and ‘justice’ whilst they have removed the foundation and source of those values - the Bible - from schools.In a media briefing Pandor was asked if she envisaged objections by parents, and said she hadn't heard of a single South African who had wanted to "opt out" of the Constitution. Is Pandor not aware of the 20 000 people who marched to Parliament in Cape Town on the 30 May 1995 to object to the secular constitution? Thousands of others voiced their objections in letters to members of parliament. And what about the fact that the ACDP voted against the constitution precisely because certain clauses diametrically oppose these values [mentioned in the pledge]. For example, it is recognised as a higher authority than the Almighty God, protects the right to life of murderers and rapists but denies the right to life of innocent unborn children, and it opened the door to pornography and same sex marriage.

Education Minister Naledi Pandor's proposed pledge of allegiance should be scrapped. The Christian Action Network has proposed a different pledge to the Education Portfolio Committee, based on the Ten Commandments.

Taryn Hodgson

Africa Christian Action

Christian Action P.O.Box 23632 Claremont 7735 Cape Town South Africa [email protected] - 021-689-4481 - www.christianaction.org.za
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