Meanderings of a Minister


I Pledge Allegiance

American flag flying in the wind

I have been writing this article for years.  I have written hundreds of articles for many different publications, blogs, newsletters, and web sites.  I don’t say that to boast, but to say that I do not think I have ever written an article like this one.  I should have written about this before, but have not.  I am not sure why when it seems so needed.  I have written on much more important issues than this one.  I have written on topics much less important than this.  I just have never written on this topic before.  What is that topic?

Not that long ago in our nation’s history, children all over our nation used to say these words at the beginning of each day of school.  Meetings were begun with these words.  Congress was started with these 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.

You may know these words as the Pledge of Allegiance.  Do you know why we say these words?  Red Skelton did an amazing skit on his radio program explaining each word many years ago, so I won’t do that here.  But do you know why we say these words?

In 1892, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus making it to our side of the world, these words were used throughout public schools.  Since then, the words have been modified one time, instructions for its recitation have been added to the United States Flag Code (Title 36), and schools have been instructed to recite it, but given permission not to, if they do not desire to do so.

On June 22, 1942, the pledge was officially added to Title 36 of the U.S. Code.  This was the official recognition of the words school children had been reciting for 50 years.  In 1943, the Supreme Court ruled that school children could not be forced or coerced into saying the pledge in school.  In 1945, the title was officially changed to the Pledge of Allegiance.  In 1954, Dwight D. Eisenhower, as President, authorized the addition of the words “under God” to the pledge.  Other than that, the pledge has remained, and hopefully will remain, a unifying statement shared by all citizens of this nation.

With that being said, it is interesting to note how attitudes have changed over the years.  President Eisenhower authorized the adding of the words, “Under God”, for the purpose of distinguishing us from the officially atheist and communist Soviet Union.  In his official statement on that day, 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 and war.”

Did you notice that our President humbly admitted that he desired for our nation to be different than those around us?  This is the definition of holy.  He desired for our nation to be holy.  He further stated that our greatest asset in maintaining our freedom and prosperity would be to acknowledge God daily in our recitation of our Pledge of Allegiance.  To pledge our allegiance to America was to acknowledge the role of God in our history and our future.  How far we have fallen!

It seems that we are now trying to become like everyone else, which is unholy.  If President Eisenhower was right, and I believe he was, then to attempt to remove God from our nation is akin to sabotage.  To want the United States to become like every other nation is to cut our collective knees out from under us.  Perhaps it is time that we got back to living holy as individuals, and realize that we are only indivisible as a one nation when we realize we are under God and not take His place.

I told you it was going to be different.

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