Monday, July 04, 2005
Happy Independence Day! For love of and gratitude for our country-- or for a good excuse to make noise, throw parties, get drunk, and play with fire in the dark, we declare today a holiday. We'll sing America the Beautiful and pledge allegiance to the flag. Maybe. Or maybe we'll just make noise, get drunk, and watch the colored lights when the sun goes down. As for me, I'll probably do nothing. Other than watching the pyrotechnics tonight with some friends and family...maybe, I'll just be staying home today with my gratitude and allegiance. My brother doesn't agree with the pledge. He thinks it is an insidious implication of idolatry of one's country or flag above all other obligations--specifically, above God. I tend to agree with his fiancee, that it is merely a statement of loyalty to one's country as opposed to loyalty to other countries or to the enemies of one's country, or as opposed to professed hatred of one's country whilst living in it and enjoying its privileges. As far as allegiance goes, no one is assuming that it means to subject oneself to be obedient to one's country above all other things, mindlessly pledging oneself to follow come what may-- else who even among the patriots would whisper that pledge? We all have our allegiances. Some pledge allegiance to family, some to self and character, some to the service of suffering humanity, some to wealth and pleasure, some to God, some to something different every year. As for me, I don't think enough about where my loyalties lie...so I'll ask you. What's your allegiance?