Our Allegiance

I am patriotic as anyone. I still cry when they play, “God Bless the USA” at a ballgame.

The question of allegiance is interesting, though. This post by Michael Gorman again raises the issue of our Christianity and our allegiances.

Just a question: Do you pledge allegiance to the flag? Is it a civil religion that clashes with our allegiance to the Kingdom of God?

8 thoughts on “Our Allegiance

  1. I’ve been at the computer working too long! I reread that silly posts and it’s full of mistakes. I’ll fix them here (I hope), and Daniel, if you would just delete the other one. *batting eyes* Please!

    Take 2: 😉

    I do say the pledge. Ron is a Marine (I would say was, but I’ve been told that Marines are always Marines) and when someone asks Marines specifically (or armed forces generally) to stand, I choke up. I can’t seem to help myself.

    Isn’t the allegiance we are pledging to flag and country a little different than what we pledge to God? Certainly God is first and country is somewhere down a list behind even more things – like family.

    What I’ve been giving a lot of thought about lately is the God and Country stuff which seems to have overtaken the Gospel these days. Interesting observation by Michael about the Civil season – I’d not thought of it that way before, but it’s true.

  2. I feel like I should say I greatly appreciate the military and I don’t mean I “support” them and disagree with what they’re doing, I really do agree with having a large military and fully support what they do. If a flag is used to symbolize what people in armed forces have done for us on certain days then I’m all for honoring them. But just from a childlike view of pledging allegiance to a country and a flag (which to me was a piece of cloth with all my least favorite colors) is rather strange. Pledging allegiance to God makes all the sense in the world.

    I believe they are different as Bitsy says. But if they are, I’d want to pledge allegiance to God so much more. And how many people out there are really patriotic? Pretty soon, just like prayer, the people from other countries will “supposedly” be offended by pledging allegiance to our flag and they’ll try to abolish it. But since it doesn’t have to do with God it probably won’t go over well.


  3. I realized that throwing in stuff in about the armed forces may have been a little random when talking about the pledge. A large local church always has a patriotic musical service around the 4th – flags, country, color guard. Kate Smith, God bless America and apple pie. That’s part of what I’ve been mulling around – right now, it’s all closely related in my head.

  4. It is interesting that Gorman points out we have a “liturgical year” and a “civil season.” The latter running from Memorial Day to Advent. As evangelicals, we really do focus on observing Memorial Day and the Fourth far more than Advent and Lent.

    While I still say the pledge, I am listening more to people who are saying what pledging allegiance really means. And as I have been writing about here for a long time, our calling as Christians needs to have a HIGHER allegiance. Yet, in that is our cultural reality and the desire to have a strong nation. I am not fully a pacifist. I have a deep admiration for our military.

    Yet, when push comes to shove, my allegiance to Christ must be stronger.

    As a pastor (and by the way Bitsy, I AM in it for the money 🙂 ), my challenge is to work harder to focus on what the CHURCH celebrates and not what our country celebrates. I honestly do feel THAT is far more important in the context of a worship service.


    1. Actually, I teach for the money too. I just know I’ll never get rich at it.

      I went to bed last night thinking about the liturgical year and the civil season. I think it’s true, but I’m not really comfortable with it’s reality.

      1. Thinking of Mark’s whole tirade about Hillsongs, I have long settled the issue in my own life. It’s what they choose to do with their wealth that is important. Some can handle it extremely well and it’s useful for the Kingdom. Others abuse it. They’ll answer for it.

  5. Originally the pledge of allegiance did not have the words ‘under God” added until June 14, 1954 by then Pres. Eisenhower. The idea of having the words under God was supposedly taken from the Gettysburg Address speech. but the words were ‘God willing” which is quite a different meaning.

    The pledge 1st written in 1892 in celebrating 400th year of Christopher’s Columbus discovery of America, and was marketed in a children’s magazine, concieved and promoted for patriotism for the youth and national solidarity.

    I recited it in schools, and if given a chance again, (like with the national anthem or God Bless America or God Bless the USA ballgame songs) I would again. I don’t think of it as idolatry, that my allegiance to God is 2nd to this. No.
    I am an American, I want to support my nation, and be proud of it. The flag to me represents my country , what it stands for, I don’t want to be a traitor to that. I might not agree with things our nation does, but I am still living here, and with that reality I think its my obligation, and the thought ot National Solidarity is a good thing.

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