Allegiance and Idolatry

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Allegiance and Idolatry

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Most U.S. citizens happily recite the traditional American pledge of allegiance, which reads, “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.”

Some people are conscientiously opposed to reciting the pledge. Those opposed on religious grounds say making such a pledge is idolatry, since there should be no allegiance except to God.

Also, most religious people do not view allegiance to country as a sole, absolute or ultimate allegiance. They are merely declaring to which country they are pledging their national allegiance. Most people have many allegiances—to one’s spouse and family, the company one works for, one’s school, certain charitable organizations, one’s church and God.

Much of the time allegiances don’t conflict with each other. When they do, the person must decide which takes precedence. Of course, the greatest allegiance should be toward God, who said, “You shall have no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3 Exodus 20:3You shall have no other gods before me.
American King James Version×
). Any allegiance that supersedes allegiance to God is idolatry. As Peter and the other apostles said,”We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29 Acts 5:29Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
American King James Version×
).

The words “under God” were added to the American pledge of allegiance by the U.S. Congress in 1954. This addition should make it even clearer that this pledge is expressing an allegiance that is under one’s allegiance to God. GN

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