Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Pledge of Allegiance

I read a news article this week that I found really shocking. Right now the city of Eugene, OR is divided over our national Pledge of Allegiance. Now, there has been no shortage of controversy surrounding the Pledge in recent years, and most of it has stemmed from the fact that the words one nation under God are included. However, that is not the source of the controversy right now in Eugene. Residents and city council members there are currently divided over whether or not to even recite the Pledge and how often.

The city council recently voted down a proposal to recite the Pledge before every council meeting, and now they cannot agree on how often it should be recited period. They did approve a measure that would allow the pledge to be recited four times a year - that's right - only four times a year! I was surprised to read that, but my surprises didn't stop there. The article went on to quote some of the local citizens and city council members. Councilman George Brown, in particular, had some very surprising comments to make: "People can say it in their front yard or back yard. It really doesn't help move the city business forward. It doesn't unite us." Reading his comments made me wonder why anyone would desire a position in our government when they do not want to recite our national Pledge of Allegiance. His indifference, which seems to be bordering on disdain, makes me wonder what his true motives are.

Another surprising comment came from a private citizen. Anita Sullivan said "So you say 'I pledge allegiance' and right there I don't care for that language. It sort of means loyalty to your country; well, I feel loyalty to the entire world." Let me be clear, I also view myself as a citizen of the world, and and I have close friends in many other countries. As I write this I have friends in South Africa, Switzerland, Canada, Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Poland, Germany, Russia, England, New Zealand, the Czech Republic and other places. However, I am an American, and I am loyal to America and the law abiding citizens of America. I am loyal first and foremost to Jesus, but he chose for me to be born in America. I don't see why being loyal to America means you have to be disloyal to the other parts of the world.

Furthermore, I'd like to pose a question to Ms. Sullivan. Have you considered what it would be like to live in some other parts of the world? Being born in America is a tremendous blessing, and there are many leading nations that would not even allow Ms. Sullivan to speak publicly, let alone make a comment like the one she made. Perhaps she'd rather be loyal to Afghanistan where she could be killed for showing her hair. Maybe she'd rather be loyal to China where she might have been killed before birth because she wasn't a boy. Maybe she would feel more loyal to India where she could have been married off at five years old in exchange for the forgiveness of a family debt. I love these nations and the citizens of these nations, but we need to keep things in perspective.

I don't mean to be critical of anyone I have mentioned, but if you don't feel loyal to America, at least to the degree that you will recite our national pledge of allegiance, then feel free to resign from your post, Mr. Brown. Take a tour of developing nations and see how much you have as as American, Ms. Sullivan. America is far from perfect, but there is no place I'd rather live. Inasmuch as America is not violating the laws of God, I am loyal and am proud to live in this one nation under God!

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