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.
If you attended public schools, or have children that attend public schools, I’m sure you’re very familiar with saying the Pledge of Allegiance. As a child, I would stand a face the flag every morning before classes started and say the pledge. I didn’t think much about it then and haven’t for a long time, but recently, my wife and I have been talking about how Christians are so politically and nationally involved with our country and the topic of the Pledge of Allegiance came up. As we discussed it, I began to see just how idolatrous this pledge actually is.
Originally written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, the Pledge of Allegiance was actually quite different from what we have today: “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Notice there was no “of the United States of America” and no “under God.”
To many of you, I’m sure you believe I’m crazy for thinking this way, but think about it. You are pledging allegiance to a flag, the national symbol of our country. Doesn’t our allegiance lie with God? How can we pledge allegiance to God, through Jesus Christ, whose “kingdom is not of this world,” yet, at the same time, pledge our allegiance to a kingdom of this world? Our allegiance has been divided.
In Matthew, Jesus tells us that “no one can serve two masters” because “he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. ” Now when Jesus spoke these words, He was talking about God and riches, but it’s the same concept. When you pledge your allegiance to a national country, you are pledging to serve that country, regardless. Eventually, if you believe the words of Christ, your loyalty is going to fall with one. And sadly, as politically and nationalistically zealous as I’ve see Christians become, I see where their loyalties lie.
Not to mention the fact that Jesus tells us “not [to] swear an oath at all” because anything beyond a simple yes or no “comes from the evil one.” A “pledge” and an “oath” are the exact same thing. If you’re pledging your allegiance to a country, then you are breaking the command of Jesus to not do so. Besides, everything in the heavens and on the earth belong to God. He is in control. How can we pledge allegiance to something that isn’t even ours to begin with?
If you think the pledge is an important symbol for our country and you stand by what it says, that we are “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all” then you are sadly mistaken. Think about all the controversy that has stemmed from this simple pledge. There have been court hearings after court hearings where people want to remove “under God” from the pledge. If you think this country is indivisible just take a look around. It is highly divided. The religious groups are splintered, most of which hate and despise one another. The political groups are split, most of which hate and despise one another. I can’t even begin to tell you how many people in the South swear it will “rise again.” That is unity right there!
Now I’m not saying go out and be a traitor, or commit treason. Jesus does say to “render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” As good citizens we are to pay our taxes and follow the laws, but we render our allegiance to God and God alone. When we become Christians, our loyalty is to God and our kingdom is not of this world. Under the eyes of God, we are all equal. No one country is better than another. God has created each and every one of us. To think you are superior to others simply because you live in America, you are wrong!