“I pledge of allegiance to my flag and the Republic for which it stands – One nation indivisible – with liberty and justice for all.” (Original text as penned by Francis Bellamy)
The pledge of allegiance is a tradition that we here in America seldom ever question because it is such an integral part of what many of us have been taught since before, well since before most of us could even form a coherent logical thought. America is great, and not just great it is the greatest of all nations and we owe our love, adoration and allegiance to it unconditionally.
To this my friends I must ask the question. Is this so? If so, why?
I’ll start with the fact that the pledge of allegiance was pushed Largely By a self proclaimed socialist and nationalist who felt the lack of nationalism in the USA post civil war era was a detriment to society as a whole and apparently saw drilling blind obedience and love of one’s country from the earliest possible age as a possible remedy. Complete with what later would be known as the Fascist salute used by the followers of Hitler and Mussolini.
Which of course was later changed to the hand on the heart because we can’t have little Johnny looking too much like little Hanz now can we? While we’re at it let’s insert “under God” to appeal to the largely Christian population of the US as we teach their kids to deify a piece of fabric which stands for a republic that has been at odds with much of what Christ taught (as I will illustrate a little further down the page.)
Bellamy petitioned for a flag in every class room and penned the familiar although mildly different pledge we were all indoctrinated to recite from our earliest years during our public schooling far before we even knew the meaning of most of those words.
You’ll have to excuse my problem with me or my children being compelled to pledge my allegiance to anything. Especially an impotent piece of fabric that is most likely made in China by some 12 year old working 100 hours a week in some hell hole factory. Or even the “Republic for which it stands.” The Republic that stands for what exactly?
The genocide of the Native population of North America and the hundreds if not thousands of broken treaties? The Republic that ruled in the Dred Scott case that an African Slave was merely property and therefore could not petition for his freedom? The Republic that stood for drafting young men to be sent off to die in some pointless war? The Republic that up held Jim Crow laws, and denied women voting rights? The Republic that interned 100,000 Japanese Americans (and about 10, 000 Italians and Germans) during WW2 simply for the geography on which thier parents were born? The Republic that bombed civilians with conventional and nuclear weapons during that same war? The Republic which now currently says it is allowed to indefinitely detain anyone at any time without pressing formal charges, may confiscate all means of food production, energy production, minerals and transportation per the Patriot act in the state of emergency? The Republic that currently houses more inmates than any other country in the world including communist China?
Please, oh please answer me why in God’s name would anyone want to pledge allegiance to any such thing?
I’ll tell you why, because you were taught from the tender age of 5 or 6 that this was a good and virtuos thing to do. If you stood and recited it like a good subservient little drone you were praised if you did not, I’m sure somebody let you know what a “bad person” you were. I know I was personally removed from the class more than once for refusing to stand and pray to our national deity “excuse me, flag” and lectured about how thankful I should be for all the things my country has done for me etc. and on and on. “BAD dog, BAD BAD , DOG!
I can see no good reason for a sentient and moral human being to stand and recite any such thing. As a follower of Jesus I don’t believe in taking oaths of any sort. For those of you who value scripture here’s your citation
James 5: 12 ESV But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.
I simply ask you to ask yourself.
What are my kids being taught, what are it’s origins, why should they do this, do these things really reflect the the sorts of values that I wish them to have? Then follow Goodness, righteousness, and virtue and see if it would allow you to live up to such a pledge.