On The Pledge Of Allegiance
On this day that we celebrate our national independence, I would like to reflect on The Pledge of Allegiance. I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, but these are my words.
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—the individual person, unlike the Christian creeds where the ‘I’ stands for the body of believers in this pledge the ‘I’ remains an individual in spite that it is usually said in a group setting. The United States is made of individuals who in the best times comes together to serve the common good of all. Our nation is built on the backs and hearts of good men and women who fought for the freedom of all.
Pledge—a solemn promise, in saying The Pledge of Allegiance we promise to uphold the American ideal. We commit to the American way. As Thomas Jefferson said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Equality, life, liberty, and happiness are things we all want and commit to uphold, protect, and promote by saying this pledge.
Allegiance—through saying this pledge and thus making it our word to the public and nation we offer our loyalty, adherence, and devotion to our country.
The flag—the symbol of freedom that signifies all the work that goes into building a free nation and all the fighting for that same freedom wherever tyrants shall rise. The flag flies high above saying that all are free to pursue the kind of life they want as long as that life does not harm or impinge on the life of another.
United—we have come together for the common good of all.
States—we are made up from 50 different communities who have rights and responsibilities of our own, yet we join together because we are much stronger when we join together for the common good of all.
And to the Republic—a sovereign state in which supreme power is held by the people and elect representatives. Our government is for the people by the people. Our representatives are meant to work for us and not against us. Congress in the last few years seems to have forgotten this, I hope somewhere they will remember this fact about our government.
For which it stands, one Nation—we are one nation gathered together, for better or worse.
Under God—I will not argue as some might that America is a Christian country, but since June 14, 1954, these two words have been part of our nation’s pledge. President Eisenhower stated, “In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America’s heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country’s most powerful resource, in peace or in war.” Our country should live up to its spiritual heritage by providing all men and women the certain unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Indivisible—the hope of this pledge is that we are inseparable, that we will always be together, a union that seeks and works for the common good.
Liberty—freedom, we are free to live our lives our way to seek and work for the very things we want without worry of threat or fear.
Justice—the principle, hope, theory, and application of dealing with others fairly and facing the consequences of one’s own actions.
For all—this means everyone, no matter who they are, everyone benefits from the qualities that we affirm in saying this pledge. The good thing is that in a free nation everyone in that nation is free.
Our country is far from perfect. We are not the great we once were and could be again. We are facing big problems right now and need to come together despite the many things we disagree on and face those problems head on seeking and working for the common good. If any of us, hopes for the ruin of any other person or group in our nation than we all will lose and our nation will not prosper and live long.
You can say and affirm this national pledge and still be a Christian. Many of the lines and aspects of the pledge are some of the very things that our Christian faith teaches us. Yet, you do not need to be a Christian or even religious to say, affirm, and work towards the things in the pledge. You don’t even need to be American to seek and work for the things the pledge speaks about.
My hope is that next you say or hear The Pledge of Allegiance that you will think about it and commit to seek and work towards a nation, a world will this pledge will be a reality lived.
Have a Happy 4th!