Thursday, March 08, 2007

Pledges

Is it ok to "pledge allegiance" to a flag or anything else for that matter? I work in our local Christian daycare center with 3-5 year olds. Everyday we say the pledge to the American Flag, the pledge to the Christian Flag, and the pledge to the Bible. Today one of the teachers was going to read the story of Jonah to the children from the Bible. She asked the kids if they knew the name of the book she was holding. One of our 5 year olds said, "that's the book we say the pledge to".

And then it started to bug me. Is it ok to teach our kids the pledges? I don't think in any way that the daycare center is out to brainwash our kids or to damage them. I think it's all done in innocence. But it just doesn't set right.

God tells us over and over to worship only Him--to follow only Him. But yet we are asking our kids to make a promise to inanimate objects that are not important. And while I understand it's the symbolism and the meaning that the object holds--isn't that the same as idol worship? I don't know.

I'm not going to demand that we stop encouraging the kids to say the pledges, it's just lately I've been trying to examine what I do and why I do it and this popped up today.

3 comments:

John Luke said...

I don't pledge to these things.
This whole American-Colonialism-Christianity justs make me sick. I stomach turns when we sing 'patriotic' songs in church.

And I'll tell ya...I sure do feel very self-conscious of not rotely reciting these commitments when I'm in an environment where people glady spout off the pledges. I'm sure if anyone were to notice, I would be branded 'unpatriotic' and maybe even 'unChristian'!

I'm willing to take these labels for the sake of a whole-hearted devotion to God. I have a tough time pledging to flags that have had their followers do crazy, anti-Kingdom things - both the US & Christian ones...

What about the Bible? Well, any authority the Bible has comes from the God behind it - not the ink on the paper. A 'pledge to the Bible' could very well mean a pledge to 'my specific interpreatation of what the Bible says'. I'm uncomfortable with that.

My heart belongs to God - not Casear, not a flag, not even a book.

Anonymous said...

Your heart belongs to you. What is "heart". Do you mean your devotion or loyalty to an idea built by the people that you listen too.

My mind is my own. My thoughts are my own. No one from church, day care, and present life has ever owned mine. I say things in my life to please myself or please others. This can at times lead to conflict.

Would you rather be pushed by a leader or would you rather be led?

Paul said...

I was thinking about staring a blog with the address of thinking.blogspot.com but it looks like you already had it. I wasn't surprised that it was gone. However, I became curious and wanted to check out the blog that had the name I was thinking about.

I read this post "Pledges" and it is something that I think about from time to time. Pledges need to be sincere otherwise you may be professing something that, if you thought about it, could be quite repulsive.

The pledge of allegiance is an issue that I am currently struggling with. I would have no problem pledging loyalty to a good cause as long as it remains a good cause. The pledge of allegiance to me, for example, is no longer a good cause in my opinion as many things that our country does are quite at odds with what I think is good. I would much rather pledge to stand up for what is good.

Pledges are just words if you don't believe what you are saying. If you truly don't believe, or are very much against, what the pledge says but say it anyway then reciting it can associate yourself with a cause that you find to be wrong or evil. This is something that nobody wants. Pledges that you say with sincerity are not bad at all. They are a way of openly standing up for what you believe in.

As it relates to your daycare. Pledges and their purpose need to be explained in depth and understood before they should be recited. To me, five is too young for that. I'd teach them ideals, values, ways to live, truth, how to be strong, and plenty of other things before I have them recite an oath to something they may not understand.

Pledging to God is tricky, because understanding God or even the concept of a god is practically impossible. This is the point where faith becomes important.

There is my long winded first post to a blog that I didn't even know existed.