Yesterday, nearly 100 students from Boulder High School walked out of class in protest to a school wide broadcast of the Pledge of Allegiance. This is the pledge they recited in place of the old one:
"I pledge allegiance to the flag and my constitutional rights with which it comes. And to the diversity in which our nation stands. One nation, part of one planet, with liberty, freedom, choice and justice for all."
Good for them. Although I tend to shy away from things that smell anything too close to what I consider to be an over-sensitivity to political correctness, in this case, I can’t help but hope that more schools follow suit. Although I can completely understand and appreciate the reasons for this group’s refusing to say the phrase "under God," (and in my personal opinion, is reason enough to do away with the reciting of the pledge altogether), my issue is really with a different part of the phrase.
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands…"
As a follower of Jesus, I find few things more ridiculously skewed than Christians pledging allegiance to flag or country. Every time I hear a right wing radio personality using the "Christian" airwaves to manipulate the masses with nationalistic jargon it makes me want to throw up. (And every time I hear a friend or foe regurgitate those words as gospel it makes me want to cry…and then throw up.) It seems every time I stumble onto "Christian" talk radio they’ are talking politics. And they’re not just talking, they’re preaching, and it’s usually one of two messages: #1, God prefers America and so should you. Or #2, We Christians (aka Conservative Right-Wing Republicans) need to retake Washington before the God-hating liberals take over the country and brainwash our children. It is pretty ridiculous and I am pretty fed up with it. It is completely contradictory to the message of the scriptures and is effectively driving people further and further away from Jesus. And continuing to force students to state a pledge that they don’t really mean or believe in is only adding to the problem. If you ask me, the pledge needs to go. (And by the way, so does Christian radio, not because it’s unconstitutional but because it just plain sucks.)
For the sake of brevity, I’ll stop my rant for now, but if you want an excellent read on this subject, I highly recommend checking out Boyd’s, Myth of a Christian Nation. It is excellent.