I love my country. Let me make that clear. If you know me in the least you are more than aware I am not part of the hate America or blame America wing of the political spectrum. On the contrary, I am a patriot. I love my country.
I love its flag. Our flag. I love how it represents men who fought that I might be free. I love how it represents men who died to set other people free. And if you want to get silly, attach the flag to any sporting event and the chances of me getting interested increase exponentially. I love that Superman’s outfit deliberately includes American colors. Captain America is even my favorite Avenger.
I love my country. I love the flag.
I just can’t pledge allegiance to it any longer.
Some Christians do not say the Pledge because, as Paul writes in Philippians 3:20, our citizenship is in heaven. I understand that point of view and, to a degree, sympathize with it. However, I also understand that as Christians, while we are on this earth, we have a dual-citizenship. We are not to have friendship with the world, for that is enmity with God (Jas 4:4). We are not of the world, but we are in it (at least for now). My home is with Christ and that is much to be desired, but for now I am also an American. So that’s not why I can no longer say the pledge.
This is the pledge:
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
I said this a lot growing up. I’ve said it a lot grown up. My children have learned it. But I just can’t do it anymore. I cannot lie. I cannot pledge my allegiance to the republic — the government — for which the American flag stands.
And why would I pledge that allegiance, when under the auspices of the freedom our flag symbolizes a million children are murdered each year before they ever have the chance to breathe air… all in the name of women’s rights or health care?
Why wouldn’t I, when the Constitution of the nation and the constitutions of the states which make it up are trampled on week in and week out by judges forwarding a political ideology instead of making decisions based upon the rule of law?
Why wouldn’t I struggle taking the pledge, when today the Supreme Court of our nation ruled that states no longer have the right to prohibit so-called “same-sex marriage,” effectively redefining that which God created and set specific boundaries on? Why shouldn’t I struggle with pledging my allegiance to the government when Christians when sitting under that flag are being fined and having their businesses shut down, all for conducting business according to their convictions?
And why wouldn’t I, when no less than the Solicitor General of the United States, an agent of the executive branch, admits the status of religious schools will be in question in the future because of this issue? And why wouldn’t I struggle pledging allegiance to this government when the party in opposition to the current administration has as is most likely presidential candidates men and women who are already saying they do not oppose today’s ruling by the Supreme Court (and in fact they said this beforehand)?
To me, the question is no longer “Why won’t I say the pledge of allegiance?” but “Why would I?” After all, can anyone really argue this nation is under God anymore?
This is not a rash decision. This is something which has been on my mind for quite some time. This very post sat as an unfinished draft for weeks. Today’s events simply prompted me to finish what I’ve started. Some might call it silly, an empty gesture. Some in the circles I’m in might say this isn’t a gospel-centered response to what’s going on. I disagree completely. I know that the gospel is the only thing that can fix what is wrong is each and every man, including myself. Some may even angered by my decision.
Forgive me, I must pass on the pledge. Forgive me if I pass on singing “God Bless America” but instead preach “God bless America with repentance!” Do not take my lack of enthusiasm for patriotic things for a lack of patriotism. I know our government and our Constitution have never been perfect, and have often been flawed, and run by flawed men… sinners. But I simply have a hard time feigning allegiance to a government that is not merely imperfect, but has become an active agent of unrighteousness.
I will not pledge allegiance to a government I see coming after me, and people like me — Christians who don’t merely profess Jesus, but hear His word and seek to do it. My allegiance is to Christ. And though I may still be a dual-citizen, my place in His kingdom is much more important than my place in this democratic republic (as long as it stands).
I certainly mean no disrespect to my fellow Americans, and certainly not to the brave men and women who have and still do serve in our armed forces. I honor their bravery and sacrifice and will continue to. However, Martin Luther once said that “to go against conscience is neither right nor safe.” As a Christian, like him, my conscience is bound to the word of God. Therefore, I reserve my constitutional right as an American citizen to protest. I cannot and will no longer pledge allegiance to a flag when the government repeatedly spits in the face of my God.
Not without national repentance. God help the United States of America!