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Pledge of Allegiance


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#1 Algernon

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 09:25 AM

Should Christians pledge allegiance to our nation's flag? Or to our nation at all?

Is it a sin for a Christian to pledge allegiance to anything other than Christ and His Church?

 

Thanks,

A



#2 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 11:01 AM

This is a question specific to the USA, I think.  At any rate, no one born in the UK ever has to pledge allegiance to any flag or the monarch.  The ROC has published the following concerning an Orthodox Christian's relationship with the state: http://orthodoxeurop.../page/3/14.aspx

 

In any case, do not Americans pray for their president in the Divine Liturgy, and Britons, Canadians and Australians for Her Majesty the Queen?



#3 Owen Jones

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 12:17 PM

whoah!  you would hope they could have been a bit more concise!  it reads a bit like the American State of the Union address -- compiled by a committee in which every interest gets to contribute. 

 

The Pledge of Allegiance has a specific history.  It was designed and promoted by secular socialists.  The words "under God" were included by Congress as a precondition of them supporting it.  Technically speaking, Christians are not to swear an oath.  Ironically, it is Christian patriots and political conservatives who observe it the most. 



#4 Lakis Papas

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 12:35 PM

Ephesians 2:13-22

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
 
For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.
 
Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

 

I think, this statement goes beyond national identities.



#5 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 01:28 PM

The Holy Apostle Paul did not hesitate to claim and use to his advantage his Roman citizenship. Our Lord told us to render unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar. Pledging allegiance to a monarch or government or even a "flag" is not in conflict with being a Christian, as along as that allegiance does not cause conflict with our commitment to Christ.

 

As an American I proudly pledge allegiance to the symbol of the United States of America. And I have sworn to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. I see no conflict with this and my Orthodox Christianity.

 

Herman



#6 Algernon

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 02:01 PM

 In any case, do not Americans pray for their president in the Divine Liturgy, and Britons, Canadians and Australians for Her Majesty the Queen?

 

Yes, but that is not the same as pledging allegiance to the flag.


Edited by Algernon, 25 April 2013 - 02:03 PM.


#7 Algernon

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 02:08 PM

As an American I proudly pledge allegiance to the symbol of the United States of America. And I have sworn to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. I see no conflict with this and my Orthodox Christianity.

 

Herman

 

I am a member of the US armed forces who has proudly marched off to war four times in support of my country and its interests. Since becoming Christian, I have begun to wonder whether raising my right hand and swearing to defend anything other than the Gospel is the right thing to do. At the school where I teach, we have a weekly all-school assembly which we open with the Pledge (including "under God"), and I'm uncomfortable with it. 



#8 Owen Jones

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 01:53 PM

As should all Christians, Algernon.  In the early Church, Christians were prohibited from serving in the military and as school teachers, because it required the swearing of an oath to the Roman gods.  Today there are no gods per se, but there are subtle effects from swearing an oath to support a state that is in violation of the 1st Commandment.  Some tough choices ahead. 



#9 Kosta

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 04:54 AM

Atleast the phrase "one nation under God" implies a monotheistic belief. I would assume Hindus and Buddhists would have more of a problem with this. Secondly the pledge has no significance, whether it be political, religious or moral. You can simply change your mind after pledging to the flag for years without ramifications. Not only is this allowed under the constitution freedom of expression, you are not sinning, neither when you reject the tenets of the pledge or uphold them.

For an Orthodox Christian the only conflict is in the part of the constitution which says our Creator has given us inalienable rights, one of which is the ' pursuit of happiness'. An obvious theological statement which is heretical.

#10 Max Percy

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Posted 28 April 2013 - 07:32 PM

I am also uncomfortable with the Pledge, I don't say it, I have discussed with my school aged children when they ask about it, that their creed is Nicene and they need not say it either.

I also don't sing the US National Anthem which strikes me as a kind of a war hymn and I am uncomfortable with the primacy of the Nation state in the US, where one IS American, but can "choose" to be Christian. It has always been my perception that the reverse is true. Once one is baptized, one IS Christian, and cna choose to be American or other nationality.

I always rise when it is played because I don't wish to dishonor those to whom it is important.



#11 Paul Cowan

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 05:41 AM

I want to respond so bad to this but it is very late/early and I have to be up in a couple of hours.

 

Love it or LEAVE it, but don't sit on the sidelines or it WILL be taken from you! And I thought only JW's didn't say the pledge. To hear Christians not doing so, is alarming.

 

Just look at how many mosques have been built in your neighborhood over the past 10 years. I count 4 in a 2 mile radius from my home. And they are NOT small.



#12 Kosta

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 07:32 AM

Well Paul, thats due to a disfunctional immigration system. Obviously it would have been impossible to build a mosque in America before 1850, all that fell apart when restrictions on immigration quotas were lifted in the 1960's. 

 

The second problem is that the supposed christians of the west hold to a distorted view of the gospel,  which has allowed Christianity to become an endangered species and to hold to a self-suicide mindset. This past week we seen this clearly as the chechen boston Islamist had not one but  two upper class christian girls fighting for his affection. Each wore Islamic clothing to please him, one converted and the other was on the verge of converting at the age of 17. Meanwhile these young girls who still lived at home were applauded by their christian parents for having an open mind and willing to become apostates! The one he got pregnant and married resides at her christian parents home where she wears islamic garb. Can yo imagine such a thing occuring 100 years ago? My cousin in Greece married an Albanian girl where my uncle didnt allow her in his house until she committed to conversion and accepted an icon to display in her home. 

 

 

 As long as Christianity promotes the distorted gospel of  "liberal love" and rejects with great hatred the authentic gospel of personal holiness this will continue. 


Edited by Kosta, 03 May 2013 - 07:35 AM.


#13 Max Percy

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Posted 03 May 2013 - 11:13 PM

Clearly reasonable people can disagree about this or that aspect of immigration policy.

I am a bit unclear what the pledge has to do with Islam.

I am anxious to see Paul's response when he is better rested.

However, and perhaps unfairly, the "Love it or leave it response" seems to demonstrate the priority of being American over Christian that the Nation state seeks to inculcate and the pledge is part of that.

As an alternative to "Love it or leave it" , imagine, as a beginning, if every Christian refused to fight against another Christian, no matter what state they lived in.

This little exercise reveals the "priority" of the contemporary nation state in our presumptions and is exactly what the pledge is part of developing and seeks to displace Christ.



#14 Kosta

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 06:03 AM

The thing is every nation state requires allegiance to them rather than to the individuals religion. There is absolutey no nation on earth which claims otherwise.  Usually each nation tends to be composed of one nationality, perhaps it is more pluralistic, divided into a small number of distinct tribes. These nations were built upon the common culture, language, religion and customs of its inhabitants. But thanks to democracy and its influences such as secularism, diversity and promotion of decadence over the people, everything has been turned on its head. 

 

Democracy is secularism which leads to anarchism, its the enemy of tradition. Thus while the pledge may have been honorable in the past when the people shared a common identity, and a common idea of what it meant. Today the christian people have staled on it, but the pledge is just the effect.  The cause is the disenchantment with democracy and its evil twin multiculturalism.  Western values have changed and real christians no longer associate with them. 



#15 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 03:22 PM

I'm not sure that "every nation state requires allegiance to them" - I have never pledged allegiance to my country or its monarch in any form.



#16 Olga

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 02:10 AM

I'm not sure that "every nation state requires allegiance to them" - I have never pledged allegiance to my country or its monarch in any form.

 

Australia has a simple pledge which is made by those taking on citizenship of that country through the process of naturalisation:

 

From this time forward, under God,
I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people,
whose democratic beliefs I share,
whose rights and liberties I respect, and
whose laws I will uphold and obey.

 

Those of us who are old enough might remember this, recited at primary school assemblies, and accompanied by appropriate actions such as hand-over-heart, and salute (for the boys - the girls curtsied):

 

I am an Australian.

I love my country.

I salute her flag.

I honour the Queen.

I promise to obey her laws.

 

This pledge, dating from the late 1960s, grew out of an earlier one, which expressed the notion of Australia not as a nation in its own right (the various colonies became a federation of states in 1901), but as an imperial dominion:

 

I am an Australian.

I love my country, the British Empire.

I salute her flag, the Union Jack.

I honour the King.

I promise to obey her laws.

 

The vestiges of Empire were still evident in my childhood, as two flags were raised during the reciting of the pledge at school: the Australian flag (used since Federation, and enshrined in law by 1953), and the British Union Jack. The Australian national anthem was God Save the Queen until 1977, when, following a national referendum, Advance Australia Fair was officially adopted. I can even remember older teachers referring to England as "the mother country", an idea that, though I was a small child, I understood why it was so for them, but as a child of European emigrants, I knew this wasn't quite right for me.

 

By the mid-1970s, the pledge, and the hoisting of flags, had been dropped as a feature of school assemblies. I am not aware if schoolchildren nowadays recite any pledge.

 

I might add that strident patriotism is not a feature of Australian culture, other than, perhaps, in sporting arenas. If anything, Australian patriotism has a distinct self-deprecating character, and it's a running joke that almost nobody in the country knows the words of the national anthem much past the first few lines. :lol:



#17 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 02:15 AM

I suppose you have never sung "God save the Queen" either? Actually in a monarchy, allegiance is assumed rather than pledged, why else would they be called "loyal subjects"?



#18 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 02:24 AM

Christ is Risen!

 

'God save the Queen' is not like a pledge, I think, but merely honouring the sovereign as scripture tells us to do (cf 1 Peter 2: 17).

 

As in Australia, immigrants to the UK, such as my wife, take an oath of loyalty to Her Majesty the Queen when having UK citizenship conferred on them.  Ironic in a way that my wife has done this whereas I have not.


Edited by Andreas Moran, 05 May 2013 - 02:27 AM.


#19 Phoebe K.

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 04:23 PM

Those of us who were born citizens only make a pledge of alegence to the soverin if entering certain forms of public service (such as the military and elected politions, along with some senior civil servants) , otherwise it is amused. Although along with this in some volentery organistins which have royal charters a pledge of alegence to the monarch is part of becoming a member.  Otherwise it is not required, it is asumed that the common person will be loyal, or at least not be actively disloyal to the monarch and her government.

 

Alegence tends to be shown through singing the national anthem or at least standing when it is being sung or played (physical inpermets being allowed for), it is not tacken well if you do not at least stand while the national anthem is being sung, even if you cannot join in because of nit knowing the words (especially when it goes on to the less uses verses for particular events (jubelys, coronations, the monarchs birthday and such like).



#20 Max Percy

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 05:23 PM

I suppose you have never sung "God save the Queen" either? Actually in a monarchy, allegiance is assumed rather than pledged, why else would they be called "loyal subjects"?

Herman makes a good point. However, what if our assumption was that our communion with one another took priority over the assumptions of monarchs or contemporary nation states?






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