Pledging Allegiance to the Planet

School children in this Chicago suburb not only pledge allegiance to the flag which, in the words of one teacher, "we do because it’s required," but they pledge allegiance to the planet as well. The pledge goes like this: "I pledge allegiance to the Earth, this unique blue-water planet, graced by life, our only home, I promise to respect all living things, and to protect to the best of my abilities all parts of our planet’s environment, and to promote peace among the human family, with liberty and justice for all." In a tongue-in-cheek commentary that appeared in the Sept. 16 Chicago Tribune, columnist John Kass took the city of Oak Park to task for its political correctness, including the use of the pledge. He wrote: "It’s possible that kids will confuse the two pledges, but isn’t that the idea? Besides, we won’t need sovereign nations in the new global village. We’ll all ride bikes. Except for the Chinese. They’ll drive tanks."