To Pledge or Not to Pledge
Friends in my circles have long has the debate about saying the Pledge of Allegiance. Of course, most of my friends are against it.
These friends do not consist of solely young college-age liberals. This is a pretty broad range of people from retired Navy sailors, high school teachers, doctors, lawyers, truck drivers for Coca-Cola, ministers, and the occasional Christian college teacher. Many of them oppose it for different reasons. Some feel that the repetitious saying over and over again by elementary school kids can create a brain-washing effect much like what we criticized the Hitler-youth of doing. Others side with Jesus and say they aren’t pledging or taking oaths, rather they are letting their “yes be yes and no be no.”
This story from my part of the state has re-ignited the conversation to a certain extent.
I have not said the pledge for a long time. Some of it may have to do with reasons listed above, but my stand is mostly a religious one. I do not believe in hurting others to defend your nation. I believe that like a suffering savior we are called to die to ourselves and our desires. This would include the want for a nation of our own.
Some people seem to worship different saviors, all named Jesus. I will tell you what my savior Jesus told me:
“Those who live by the sword will die by the sword.”
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
“Love your brother as you love yourself.”
“Take up your cross and follow me.”
“Turn the other cheek.”
This man, this lover of peace, this Prince of Peace that I follow taught many men the innermost desires of his heart. These men would go on to teach others, and those men others. And it was through submission and persecution that the church grew. It was as martyrs that we remember the early church, not as soldiers. The early observation we have is from Tertullian who said, “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.”
It wasn’t until 250 years later that the desire to be martyrs for Christ would lose out to the temptation of Empire for Christ, which we see ends up being for a different Christ than I serve. This is also the way of our modern Empire and the Christ we see in it. The America-Christ of today, is not my Prince of Peace Christ of 30 AD.
A quote to leave you with as we end this post. Have a great day. Go pledge your allegiance to something greater than fabric to a spirituality deeper than patriotism.
Christians should be committed to the kingdom of God, not the kingdom of America, and the church is to live an alternative existence of love and justice, offering a prophetic witness to politics. – Jim Wallace