As a child, every morning in school, I stood up with all my classmates and we put our hands over our hearts and in unison recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Only the hippy outcast types refused to say the pledge. I remember seeing one teacher’s blood boil every time time this one girl refused to say the pledge. So, what does it mean to say the United States’ Pledge of Allegiance?
This is the the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance: I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
In the Pledge you are pledge your allegiance to two things, the Flag (of the United States of America) and to the republic (of the United States of America).
But what does it mean to pledge your allegiance? According to the dictionary Allegiance is “the loyalty of a citizen to his or her government or of a subject to his or her sovereign.” This seems like a very awkward thing to do. There are several reasons why I believe one, especially a Christian, should not say the Pledge of Allegiance, or pledge their allegiance to a nation/group/people.
1. If you pledge your allegiance to the U.S. and the U.S. decides to kill all the Irish (just a random example). What position does that put you in? If you go against their wishes, are you going against your pledge?
Some may say that the pledge is to maintain a certain mindset and that if the U.S. goes against that mindset then you are free to take the necessary actions to correct the coarse. But isn’t that really in the eye of the beholder? Doesn’t that really make the pledge of allegiance useless? If anyone can define for themselves the circumstance to which they are pledging, then the pledge becomes meaningless.
2. As Christians we need to remember that we are not really members of this nation, we are part of the kingdom of Heaven. In fact, I have no problem with saying a pledge of allegiance, if it is pledging your allegiance to God and to His kingdom. Being a member of the Kingdom of Heaven means that we are only delegates of the nations we currently reside in.
3. What about other nations? If you pledge your allegiance to the U.S. only, than what does that say about your involvement and consideration for other nations and their people? If you pledge your allegiance to all nations, then what happens if one attacks your nation of residence?
Ultimately I think it is a bad idea to say the Pledge of Allegiance. At the very least because of its potential to put you in murky waters… and at the very most because I believe we should only pledge our allegiance to God.