Last month my son started Kindergarten. As an atheist parent, I anticipated that the Pledge of Allegiance issue would come up. This was confirmed the second week of class, when the parents were invited to the Kindergarten Center to meet the principal and the teachers. In my son's class, the teacher explained to us the daily routine that was followed in the classroom, and that each morning the class would recite the Pledge, with a different student leading the Pledge each day. I knew this meant that my son would end up leading the recital of the Pledge at least once a month.
I had given some thought as to how I would handle this matter and decided that the best way was to simply have my son skip the "under God" portion when reciting the Pledge. Not wishing to bring attention to myself in front of the other parents, I waited until after the meeting was over and asked the teacher to speak to me in private. I explained the situation to her and told her that if my son skipped "under God" when reciting the Pledge, that it was deliberate. She thanked me for letting her know and did not seem phased by it.
Those of us who are atheists, agnostics, or even members of religious minorities, inevitably find ourselves in situations where we are confronted with the reality of living in a nation where the overwhelming majority of the population profess to being God believing Christians. In each situation, we have to decide based on our own principles and beliefs whether or not to be confrontational or accommodating. With respect to the Pledge of Allegiance, we all know that a parent named Michael Newdow filed a lawsuit to have "under God" removed from the Pledge and that he lost. While I agree with Newdow that "under God" should be removed, having only been added in the mid-1950's during a time of Cold War hysteria, I also personally believe that at least at this time it is not a battle worth fighting. I believe that there are far more important battles for atheists and agnostics to fight, such as the attempts to replace or complement the teaching of evolution with intelligent design, placing restrictions on birth control and reproductive freedom, and discrimination against gays because "the Babble" says that God doesn't like such things. Substance is more important to me than symbols.