by Samuel Brooks
Is the ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ idolatrous? I’m going to attempt to answer that question in this post.
Let me begin by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance for foundational purposes:
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.
During my junior year of college, I had attended a Christian university. The professor of the history class that I was in had made the claim that the “Pledge was a form of idolatry.” The first commandment from God to Moses reads “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” The section continues on by stating “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them; for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me” (Exodus 20:3-5 KJV). If you go to Mark 12:30 NLT, Jesus summarizes this point by saying “And you must love the LORD your God with all of your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.”
Idolatry, by definition, is an “extreme admiration, love, or reverence for something or someone.” Anything or anyone (including a country) that’s put as an equal or above importance with God is considered idolatry. With that said, the line in the Pledge, “one Nation under God”, makes it clear to me that the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States and its flag is not intended to be placed above God. As an American, I live in the greatest country on earth! I stand and put my hand over my heart during the National Anthem and Pledge of Allegiance because of what this country has provided for my family, and for what both some of my friends and family have died for. If I kneel, it’s only to God and to no one else. For me, I try to do my best to put God first and above everything else…including my country.
To learn more about the history and meaning behind the Pledge of Allegiance, click here.