OrthodoxChristianity.net
November 26, 2014, 05:50:02 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Can a religious argument against the Pledge of Allegiance be made?  (Read 2181 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
erracht
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 313


OC.net


« on: May 02, 2004, 11:09:00 AM »

I am politically dead-set against the American Pledge of Allegiance. I think it's a form of anti-democratic indoctrination that the populace has shoved down their throats from childhood and has a religious element too. Although the Supreme Court has ruled that kids cannot be forced to say it, it's still indoctrination and some teachers force kids to say it anyway. At any rate, one can be pressured by peer pressure to say it or otherwise feel left out. And I wonder how many kids realize the gravity of what they're saying when they recite the pledge. I also think that as long as you're an honest law-abiding citizen, patriotism should not be forced (Jesse Ventura would agree with me). Now would it be possible to find ORTHODOX reasons to abolish the Pledge?

Here in a nutshell is my religious argument against it: it is a PLEDGE, thus as I understand, a solemn promise before a deity to be faithful (ALLEGIANCE) to the "flag and the republic". How undemocratic is that? You promise before a higher authority to accept the state and government as is, or something like that. What if you don't want the USA to be a republic? What if you want California to be a separate state? You have a democratic right to want these things and to peacefully work toward this, but the Pledge seems to undermine it, as if you renounce these democratic rights before the deity. Then there is "one nation under God". Who is this god - the Christian Holy Trinity? Or "whoever God is"? Or a theistic god that is actually not the Trinity? I can see how the Pledge might actually be blasphemous, if you actually "confess" with it a non-existent deity.

And is there even a point having Hindus, atheists, pagans etc say this Pledge, if they don't believe in a single god?

Anyone with me on this one? Canada has no Pledge, and our kids and other citizens are not in a state of anarchy, nor do they hate their country, though our patriots may not be as flashy about it as many American patriots.
Logged

NULL
theodore
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 194


« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2004, 02:55:38 PM »

Can a religious argument be made against the pledge?  From an Orthodox Christian standpoint: No.  From a pagan or non-religious standpoint: I don't care

I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America, and to the Republic, for which it stands, one nation, under God, with Liberty and Justice for all.

Hardly what I would call inflammatory.  Give unto Caesar that which is Caeser's.  The US pledge of allegiance is an outward sign of our loyalty to the American Republic and it's symbol, the flag.   We are pledging loyalty to our God protected nation with Liberty and Justice for all.  Every Sunday we pray litanies for the President of the United States, and all civil authorities, so I can't see how this could be offensive or improper from an Orthodox Christian standpoint.

As to objections by non-believers: In a sense, like it or not, we all have our gods, be it the Almighty in heaven, or money, or materialism, or NFL Football or Ganesh the Elephant god, etc...  Thus the concept of God in the civil sense can be interpreted broadly.  One can define God in the pledge of allegiance, or in US currencty "In God we trust" to be the deity, deities or non-deity of our choice.

I think the Pledge of Allegiance is a good step in promoting good citizenship and a sense of something which binds us together as a nation.  Making the pledge controversial is the result of Radical Secularists and Atheists who want to turn Freedom of Religion to Freedom FROM Religion.
Logged
Columcille
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 55



WWW
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2004, 03:44:18 PM »

Probably going to be some verbal hand grenades tossed back and forth over this one, but here's my two cents anyway.

My allegiance is pledged to the Lord Jesus Christ and His Holy Orthodox Church not to the United States Flag and the government this flag represents.  

In all honesty I have not be able to recite the Pledge in many years.

Now ducking for cover.
Logged

"The way of God is a daily cross.  No one has ascended into heaven through an easy life."  St. Isaac of Syria
theodore
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 194


« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2004, 04:48:34 PM »

Columcille,

There's nothing in the Pledge of Allegiance which supercedes our allegiance to our Faith.  The flag represents a Republic with Liberty and Justice, and no where mentions the current government.  Loyalty to the American Republic does not equal loyalty to the government currently in power or it's policies.  One can pledge their loyalty to their spouse and family as well.  If their were to be a conflict between one's loyalty to God and one's loyalty to the Republic, it's quite clear that loyalty to God supercedes all other loyalties.
Logged
Columcille
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 55



WWW
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2004, 05:38:56 PM »

Quote
The flag represents a Republic with Liberty and Justice, and no where mentions the current government.  Loyalty to the American Republic does not equal loyalty to the government currently in power or it's policies.  

I guess I have a couple of questions then.

First, I think most citizens would say that the flag does represent the federal government of these United States.  My question - In your view how does it not represent the federal government of these United States?

Second, at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, an inquisitive citizen asked Benjamin Franklin what kind of government the delegates had created for the people.  Ben answered, "a Republic, if you can keep it."  My question - Does that Republic still exist to be loyal to?  If not, why should any of us remain loyal to some bastardized version of what the Founders created for us?

Logged

"The way of God is a daily cross.  No one has ascended into heaven through an easy life."  St. Isaac of Syria
Νεκτάριος
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,437



« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2004, 05:56:58 PM »

Pledging alligence to the flag, means pledging also to the goverment behind that flag.  Right now this goverment is using troops to help muslim terrorists fight Orthodox Christians, thus I will not say the pledge.
Logged
Robert
"Amazing"
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,442



« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2004, 06:06:38 PM »

Well, the Greek government seems secular enough, and lo and behold I have seen the Greek flag being kept before the iconostasis in several GOA churches...

What do you make of this Nektarios?

Logged
Νεκτάριος
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,437



« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2004, 07:40:05 PM »

I have the utmost respect for the American flag and am very thankful to the thousands of veterans who served to give us such freedom.  But it would not be honest to pledge to my alliagance to the flag when I would not carry this out if called to do so in Kosovo.  

As far as the GOA goes, you know that I find the GOA in general to be revolting...but maybe it would be more fitting to replace the icon of the Lord with a greek flag in most GOA parishes.
Logged
Linus7
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,780



« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2004, 08:22:30 PM »

Lemon Pledge is pretty cool. It smells good, makes your furniture shine, and even polishes up a guitar pretty well.

Some prefer Murphy's, however.

Kids: don't put Lemon Pledge in your tea.  Lips Sealed

« Last Edit: May 02, 2004, 08:24:11 PM by Linus7 » Logged

The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
- Pope St. Hormisdas
erracht
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 313


OC.net


« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2004, 08:39:19 AM »

Theodore, Orthodox may call secular values like money "deities" but I think an atheist would resent it and not call their love of cars, wealth, whatever "God". Also, it might be blasphemous for a non-Christian to call their deities "God". What goes in monotheistic faiths may not go in polytheistic or spritistic ones. So no, not everyone can accept the Pledge at face value.

Do you really want to be expected to make a religious commitment to uphold the State? This may be okay for a patriotic American, but not everyone is as patriotic as you and expecting them to recite the pledge will make them resentful. You know, there are people who mercilessly make fun of the Pledge you respect so much. I also think that for example, Texas or California have a right to seperate from the Union if the populace wants it, and it seems ludicrous for someone who believes in separatism to recite the Pledge.
Logged

NULL
Brendan03
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 544



« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2004, 08:55:13 AM »

"I also think that for example, Texas or California have a right to seperate from the Union if the populace wants it"

I do not think that a state has the right to secede from the United States.  Accession is a one-way street, unless the Union itself agrees to the secession.  We fought a war about that, remember?  You can't unilaterally "opt out" of the United States.

"What if you don't want the USA to be a republic? What if you want California to be a separate state? You have a democratic right to want these things and to peacefully work toward this, but the Pledge seems to undermine it, as if you renounce these democratic rights before the deity"

You can think anything you want, of course, in that sense you are free to think what you want.  And you can peacably agitate for what you want too ... at some point, there is a line that cannot be crossed, and the existing government has a right to protect its own existence and constitutional form, other than changes within the constitutional amendment process itself.  So, in other words, if you were to obtain a constitional amendment that changed the form of the US federal government, getting rid of the "republican form of government" clause (yes, the states are restricted in that way, they have to have a republican form of government), that is fine.  Agitating for changes to the form of government outside the constitutional process however, is more dicey and at some point beyond mere agitation, if agitation becomes closer to action, you start to get closer to the criminal statutes.

I don't see the pledge as a big deal one way or the other, personally, but I respect other views on that.


Logged

B
erracht
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 313


OC.net


« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2004, 10:15:44 AM »

I think that any political body should have the moral right to work toward becoming independent from another, as long as it does so in a way that will not undermine the rights of the state it's seceeding from. It seems silly to say that because a state joined the Union in the 1780s, it's stuck in the USA forever. The political map of the world changes all the time. In 1993, the state of Czechoslovakia was peacefully divided into the Czech and Slovak Republics mainly because the Slovaks didn't feel like being part of the union any more. Why should the USA be different?
Logged

NULL
ania
Life according to Abe Simpson:
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,097



« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2004, 11:11:37 AM »

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness...  and for the support of this declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the Devine Providence we mutually pledge or lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honour..."  

Words written by Thomas Jefferson & enshrined at his memorial in Washington DC, (from the Declaration of Independence, BTW).  Looks like they were firmly into believing that God presided over everything.  So if God can't be mentioned, I guess that makes the DoI obsolete...  I guess we should all start speaking with British accents & measuring kilometers rather than miles.  

Actually, I've refused to say the Pledge since the Kosovo fiasco but if the US gov ever makes things right over there, I might consider saying it again.  However it does irk me to see people forget that the rights the founding forefathers fought for in the Revolution they considered to be granted to them BY GOD.
Logged

Now where were we? Oh yeah - the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones...
The young fogey
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,798


I'm an alpaca, actually


WWW
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2004, 11:40:55 AM »

I don't like the pledge but am not opposed to it for religious reasons like the Jehovah's Witnesses are. In theory, OK, it's a secular gesture of respect, part of rendering unto C+ªsar, but treating the American flag like a swastika goes against what America was meant to stand for.

Quote
I guess that makes the DoI obsolete...  I guess we should all start speaking with British accents & measuring kilometers rather than miles.

Seriously, while the Enlightenment Englishmen who started the American experiment did so based on good arguments for the God-given rights of man (they weren't Christians but deists, but as you point out they weren't anti-God, just anti-state religion), the War of the Rebellion was against a sacramentally crowned king to whom the colonists had sworn their loyalty, and the grievances of New England and the merchant class weren't His Majesty's fault at all but rather Parliament's (taxation without representation - actually anything like today's income tax would have been abhorrent to the colonists).

Many Americans, many of whom were Southerners, were loyal Britons - about 8,000 served with honour in HM Forces. (Not to be confused with Benedict Arnold, whom the British didn't like personally because of his betrayal. There is a statue of Washington in Westminster today, not one of Arnold!)

Kids aren't taught this but the war really was a civil war - the redcoats often were Americans themselves.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2004, 11:42:52 AM by Serge » Logged

moronikos
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: ...and they were first called Christians in Antioch
Posts: 150


I'm trying to think, but nothing happens!


WWW
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2004, 11:55:44 AM »

Sacramentally crowned king?

No offense to our friends Keble, Ebor, and Edwin but we all know what the position of the church towards Anglican sacraments is.  Secondly, in the XXXIX articles, I don't believe that coronation is listed as a sacrament --so a sacramentally crowned king is a misnomer.

Thirdly, I don't think nationalism is an orthodox family value, however, it seems to be highly tolerated--unless one is an american.  If you have a blue flag with white stripes and white cross, you can wave it all you want--however, don't dare wave your flag if it has 13 red and white stripes and 50 white stars on a blue background.
Logged
Brendan03
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 544



« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2004, 11:56:51 AM »

"I think that any political body should have the moral right to work toward becoming independent from another, as long as it does so in a way that will not undermine the rights of the state it's seceeding from"

Well, there's the rub.  A state seceding from the United States virtually by definition undermines the union of which it is a part.  And besides that, we have the Civil War as precedent that you cannot unilaterally opt-out of the Union because you do not like the results of the political process in Washington.  The remedy you have is the political process itself and the constitutional amendment process.  If the remainder of the States and the federalo government were to vote to *permit* a state to secede from the Union that would be another matter, buit absent that the precedent is crystal clear that this cannot be done unilaterally, and that the Union will go to war to prevent that from happening, if need be (which of course would never happen again, which is why we won't see states seceding from the Union).

Brendan
Logged

B
The young fogey
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,798


I'm an alpaca, actually


WWW
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2004, 12:06:48 PM »

Well, of course the number of the sacraments, as in 'instituted by Christ', wasn't pinned down until around the Counter-Reformation and subsequently adopted therefrom by the Orthodox, right? IIRC some lists may have had the crowning of the emperor listed.

In any event, I'd agree with the universally accepted list of seven and say the crowning of the king is a sacramental, not a sacrament. (So the dispute about grace or not in the Anglicans' use of confirmation, confession, the Eucharist, orders and unction doesn't apply.)

And I agree that abusing the church for nationalistic boosterism is wrong, be the flag the Greek cross, the Russian eagle or tricolour or the American stars and stripes.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2004, 12:09:29 PM by Serge » Logged

Tags:
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.073 seconds with 44 queries.