On pledging my allegiance
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and Yours Truly just finished supper and we were resting in the living room watching the TV news. Actually, my wife was watching the news while I was perusing a book. As far as I am concerned, nothing equals the relaxation of a good book after a good supper. My definition of a good book is the one I am reading at the time.
I had just settled into my book when I heard a groan coming from the other side of the room where my wife was setting. Thinking it was her just winding down after a busy day, I paid no attention to it.
Then I heard it again followed by, “I just cannot believe that!” Assuming she was talking to herself and not addressing me in particular, I ignored her and continued in my book.
Then she said, “Do you believe what they did?” When I looked at her, I discovered she was looking at me. The question was addressed to me. Not knowing what she was talking about I responded with my typical, “Huh?” Huh, as most people know, is short for “I have no idea what in the world you’re talking about.” This seems to be where I am most of the time.
Then my wife explained to me the story on the news. It seems, in some school somewhere, someone was objecting to standing and pledging allegiance to the American flag. My wife, and right she should be, was irritated at these people refusing to pledge their allegiance to the American flag.
“What in the world is wrong with these people?” she queried me. Then she went into her typical diatribe about how important it is to be a good citizen. “How can you call yourself an American,” she continued, “and not want to salute the American flag?”
Well, I think she has a good point. I tried to go back to my book and she went back to watching the news but I could not get back into my book. I thought about all of these people objecting to pledging their allegiance to the American flag.
What is the big deal? What is their objection? Why are some people offended by the American flag? I think the biggest question I might ask, why do they want to live in America?
I am a firm believer in the First Amendment and the right of everybody to express his or her opinion. If people do not want to pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, that is their right. I just do not get it.
I would be the first to admit our country is not perfect. After all, we have politicians running this country. Even though there are things about this country that are not right and that I do not agree with all the time, I still pledge allegiance to the American flag, I still pray for our country and I pray for the president of the United States and all those in leadership positions.
I have thought further about these people refusing to pledge allegiance to the American flag and how inconsistent they are in their whole life.
For example, most of these people refusing to pledge allegiance to the flag will pledge allegiance to some credit card. They will sign up, gladly paid the fee, willingly accepts a high interest rate and then go on a spending spree. Every month they will salute and pledge allegiance to that credit card by sending in a check.
Others will pledge their allegiance to some mortgage company for their house. Month after month, these people pledge their allegiance to the mortgage company or the bank by writing out a hefty check, including interest and fees.
The same people will pledge allegiance to some car loan company in order to buy a new car. Month after month as regular as the sun rising in the morning, these people will pledge their allegiance to the car loan institution by sending them a check. By the time they have paid for a $20,000 automobile they will have given to the car loan institution $60,000. Of course, I could be a little wrong on my math, but not by much.
It seems a little amusing to me that the same people who object to pledging their allegiance to the American flag and who object to prayer in any public setting will pay their allegiance to the credit card company, the mortgage and loan company, and the auto loan institution with money that has printed on it in bold type, “In God we trust.”
Let those who object to these things object to them but not in such a way as to hinder me from pledging my allegiance to the American flag. If you do not believe in prayer, fine, but do not force your unbelief on me. If there is no such thing as God, why are some people so upset when someone like me prays to God?
I go by the scriptural admonition, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Timothy 2:1-2 KJV).
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America…
(Rev. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship in Ocala, Fla. He may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.)