Saturday, June 30, 2012

Why I Don't Say the Pledge of Allegiance - And Other Things You Wouldn't Expect from a Historian

This is maybe not a popular topic. I'll probably be crucified for this. But I've recently had several people ask me why I don't say the Pledge of Allegiance. Simply put, my conscience will not allow me to. 

The conflict in my mind began a few years ago. I read a lot of books, and my sister actually asked me if I got this idea from Shane Claiborne's book, An Irresistible Revolution. I did not. I have read his book, but I read it after I came to this conclusion. Just a preface so you all can't accuse me of being a liberal. :)

I'm a patriotic girl at heart. I LOVE The Star Spangled Banner (all of the verses.) I love history trivia. I love the Constitution. I love the Declaration of Independence. I actually majored in History because I love American History. Seriously, it's ridiculous. I get teary-eyed talking about Republican motherhood. (It's ridiculous, I know.) I actually loved the Pledge of Allegiance until a few years ago. 

The struggle for me came when I actually paid attention to the words of the pledge. 

I pledge allegiance to the flag
Of the United States of America
And to the republic for which it stands
One nation, under God
With liberty and justice for all.

Maybe if the word "allegiance" wasn't in the pledge I could say it. Maybe if I didn't have to pledge allegiance to something other than Christ, I could say it. 

I take words seriously. When the Lord says, "No one can serve two masters," I take Him seriously. I won't preach. Zephaniah 1:5 sort of says it all - I'll let you look it up. Don't look it up unless you want to be offended. Jeremiah is littered with references for Israel to "not pay allegiance to" anyone but the Lord. 

This is hard for me. I don't judge people who say the Pledge of Allegiance. I actually really want to say the Pledge of Allegiance. It's awkward not to in the social circles I run in. The Holy Spirit hasn't given me the freedom to do so, though. I want to. My patriotic hearts desperately wants to. 

I am grateful for the men and women who serve in our military and I mean no disrespect to them by saying this. I appreciate from the bottom of my heart the sacrifices that they and their families have made. It does bother me when people get hostile towards me and say that I'm disrespecting the men and women who serve in our military. I'm actually not disrespecting them at all - they have fought, in part, for me to have the religious freedom to NOT say the pledge. I'm just exercising that freedom. 

Again, the only reason I'm posting this is because I've had several people ask me lately why I don't say it. I don't judge anyone who does. I just don't have the freedom to do so. So please, folks, play nice and go easy on me :)

1 comment:

  1. Hillary PrachniakJune 30, 2012 at 9:00 PM

    i love this. You are so right in my humble opinion. I think it's such spiritual wisdom for you to take a stand for what God has called all of us to do! Good for you! I am patriotic as well but i too have had issues truly pledging my "allegiance" to the flag when i've already committed my allegiance to God