Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Where do your allegiances lie?

Saw this posted today.
However, I think we’re having the wrong discussion on this issue entirely. Instead of a constant cultural debate over the wording of the pledge, I think a better question is:

“Should a Christian recite the pledge of allegiance at all?“

Admittedly, I never once asked myself this question until the last year or two. Once I really started to consider the issue from all sides, I was actually really disappointed that it had taken me so long to actually see this issue for what it was. In the end, I have become convinced that reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is something that a Jesus follower probably shouldn’t do.

<idle musing>
Read the whole post to get context, but I believe he's correct. I haven't recited the Pledge since I became a Christian (back in 1972, for those of you wondering). I couldn't see pledging my allegiance to anyone or thing other than God.

At the time, I was a long-hair, so many assumed I was doing it as a sign of rebellion—which in a sense I was, just not the rebellion they thought. It led to many interesting conversations.

I also didn't stand for the national anthem for the same reasons...

This sometimes led to unfortunate confrontations. I remember one in particular, at the 1973 Boy Scout Jamboree in Idaho. I was on staff as a clerk at one of the Trading Posts, which left me plenty of free time for patch trading and other things. I was off-duty and sitting talking with other workers on the grass when the national anthem began. Everyone else stood up, turned around and saluted the flag as it was being raised. I remained seated. Remember, I'm a long-hair, in a Boy Scout uniform, with a staff neckerchief and an Eagle Scout badge sewn on my shirt. Sitting during the national anthem. Talk about a mess of contradictions in some people's minds...

Anyway, after the anthem, we all resumed our conversation—for about 15 seconds. Suddenly, a man in a Scoutmaster's uniform comes up to me, points his finger in my face and begins to berate me about disrespect and how it was shameful that I was allowed to wear a scout uniform. He threatened to report me to my boss and get me in some serious trouble. Without waiting to listen to any reply, he turned and stalked off.

I figured the best defense was a good offense, so I went to my boss, along with a couple of the people who had witnessed the whole thing, and told him the whole story–including why I chose not to stand. My boss promised to bear all that in mind if/when the Scoutmaster came and talked to him.

I never heard another thing about it, so I'm not sure if the Scoutmaster ever did go to my boss or if he just figured I'd be scared into submission...anyway, do read the post I've linked to and seriously consider where your allegiances lie.
</idle musing>

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