Benjamin Corey already was skeptical of the practice – but with what we now know about the United States engaging in torture, he answers the question with a forceful “no”:
When you’ve had nationalism and tradition drilled into your head for years on end it can be hard to step back and realize that maybe we’ve been wrong– that’s how indoctrination works and why it’s so hard to break free from it. We grow up being taught that America is the greatest nation that has ever existed, that we are exceptional compared to others, that we are a “Christian” nation, and that whatever we do is good, right, and justified. And so, pledging to give our allegiance to such an entity is an easy sell, as the narrative we are given doesn’t seem on the surface to conflict with some basic understandings of following Jesus.
However, the release of the now infamous CIA Torture Report should be the final blow that closes the case on Christians reciting the pledge of allegiance.
From reading the report, it should now be crystal clear to anyone who has read the teachings of Jesus as found in scripture that one cannot swear their allegiance to America while simultaneously giving our allegiance to the alternate way of Jesus. Absolutely, positively, impossible.
The contents of the report reveal what the US has done, and what has been done is anti-Christ– pure, absolute evil.
Kyle Cupp nods, claiming that “some evils are so intolerable, so embedded in an institution, that you cannot in good conscience pledge allegiance to that institution”:
The United States of America receives no special graces or blessings that keep it mostly on the side of Christ. It’s not and never has been a “Christian nation.” It is not the world’s savior. American Christians do not owe their nation permanent loyalty. For Corey, the US absolutely crossed the line, although he already had serious concerns about the pledge.
I sympathize. The US flag doesn’t symbolize liberty and justice for all–or a nation-state that should always remain indivisible and in existence. What allegiance I have to my country is conditional. Unless we see fundamental and structural reforms, I do not wish for the US to persist until the end of history. I believe the people of my country have done great good and have the capacity for great good in the future, but the reformers aren’t running the show, and I’m not overflowing with hope.
(Photo by Alan Levine)