Or vice versa.
As a secular person who was a Christian minister and chaplain for years, I’ve been writing a short commentary on the so-called “Sermon on the Mount.” The core of Jesus’ teaching has always intrigued me and, in some ways, continues to inspire through ethical instruction.
As I re-read the “Message on the Mountain” I’m finding some troubling (but not surprising) discrepancies between Christianity as we see it and the teachings of Jesus. I’m not at all shocked.
Which brings me to consider The Pledge … the one that has to do with proving our patriotism (?) by repeating things no Christian has any business saying. Again:
No Christian should ever be repeating the words of The Pledge of Allegiance.
Now, that may be shocking. But consider this national pledge in the spotlight of Jesus’ own teachings AND what American Christianity espouses.
The Pledge of Allegiance vs. Christianity (and vs. Jesus)
“I pledge” (make no oaths … let your Yes be Yes and your No be No)
“Allegiance” (be loyal and subordinate to God alone)
“To the Flag” (be loyal to God alone; the cross is superior to any national flag)
“Of the USA” (all governments are under the authority of God; to be a light on a hill, a nation must be centered on God’s kingdom)
“To the Republic” (only a republic guided by biblical laws and Christian leaders)
“One nation under God” (Jesus is King and Lord of ALL the world)
“With liberty” (freedom as defined by the Bible; religious liberty is primarily for Christians)
“And justice” (determined by divine law as we interpret biblical commands)
“For all” (exceptions include anyone who offends the Christian faith)
Can a true Christian “follower of Jesus” say this pledge in good conscience and “good faith”?
Note: I have not said The Pledge for many years, not because I’m not glad to live in America or because I think it’s un-Christian. I don’t say it in part for the same reason I stopped saying The Lord’s Prayer and any “officially mandated” rote words. I also think it’s nonsense to use pledges, mottos, anthems or flags to prove how patriotic you are. Btw, I say I’m glad to live in the USA, but that doesn’t at all mean I support what our “leaders” say or do. Dissent, criticism and protest show patriotism much more than flag-waving, pledging or singing “God bless America.”
In fact, as I see it, being an American has much more to do with respecting and learning from the rest of the world, all nations, than shallow and ignorant “we’re number one” kind of thinking. That goes for “our God is number one” as well.