I remember first learning The Pledge in the front yard of my elementary school in Seville, Ohio circa. 1981. I was just starting kindergarten. We were lined up rank and file, pointed to the flag and right hands placed over our chest. I remember that a teacher came by and switched my hands. Right and left weren’t so clear to me just yet. The words I recited were even less familiar.
All those little voices repeated the words, mispronouncing most of them.
I pledge allegiance to the and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
I continued to pledge my allegiance well into my twenties.
In my 30’s I started to think about the words I was really saying.
In my 40’s I decided to refrain from continuing to make this pledge.
My allegiance is reserved for One.
Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. Heb. 13:15
My allegiance became divided.
When I came to realize my country was standing in direct opposition to my King, I could not declare my allegiance to it any longer.
My King protects the rights of the weak, values all life no matter its size or location and my King established a monogamous family structure built on lifetime union of a man and woman. My country does not abide by these most fundamental decrees of heaven.
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.. Mt. 6:24
My allegiance is a promise I may not be able to keep.
Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one. Mt. 5:33-37
Jesus said don’t do it. Don’t make such promises. Promising allegiance to anything is really big deal.
If my country demands that the church of my Lord must comply with transgender bathroom laws against its wishes or perform homosexual marriages, I will be forced to pick a side.
The early church Fathers were forced, by governing authorities, to pick a side too. And this what they said:
But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than any human authority.” Acts 5:29