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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

I Pledge Allegiance

I know you know the words by heart:

"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."

I've been thinking a lot about America lately and what it means to me. I've said the Pledge of Allegiance truly countless times over my life. I've proudly displayed the flag that stands for one indivisible nation under God. I've taken my responsibility very seriously to teach school children and scouts the great heritage of this country and the meaning of and history behind the flag, national anthem, and Pledge.

I've considered myself a patriot, grateful for the freedoms we enjoy, honored by the sacrifices of the many who have served our country and even died for it. I have done my best to teach the next generation to love their country.

But the times, they are a-changing. There's a tumult in America that can't be ignored. This doesn't feel like the "land that I love" anymore. If I pledge my heart and my loyalty to someone or something, I need to mean it, or I shouldn't say it.

So I am asking myself the hard question: When I say the Pledge of Allegiance, what exactly am I swearing my loyalty to?

So if that's what I don't believe in, where is the America that I have loved? Does it even exist anymore?

I'll be honest. It causes me great turmoil to say I don't know if I can pledge allegiance to what America stands for now. So, here's my "title of liberty"--similar to what an ancient prophet said when making his declaration--of what I can pledge.

I pledge allegiance to:
  • God
  • My religion and its leaders
  • Our unalienable, God-given rights and constitutional freedoms
  • My family
  • The ideals behind America that our forefathers fought and died for: a land of liberty and justice for all
That is a pledge I can give with my whole heart. 

It pains me to witness the collapse of my once-wonderful country. I truly don't know if we can Make America Great Again unless there is a giant shift by all of us working together at once--like after 9-11, when so many of us felt unified as a nation. I pray that this once "sweet land of liberty" can rise from the dust. But if not, I know where my deeper allegiance lies.

1 comment:

  1. This is very well done and I'm sharing it broadly... Thanks!