The “Pledge of Allegiance” like the “Gettysburg Address” is pretty poetry and has the power to make one’s heart swell, but in terms of fact and upon close examination of words, both are nothing more than specious political propaganda. And that propaganda has been fed to inmates of government day care centers called schools for decades, many, many decades. The result being, that the hapless graduates of government institutions are sublime in their worthless knowledge and fit to follow instruction to become taxpayers, but none or very few have been taught to exercise their capacity to think. They can fit in, they can compete, and they can even achieve reasonably high levels of success. But their maleducation (the prefix mal meaning defective or evil) will prevent them from wandering from the reservation (or plantation). Thus many well meaning, productive, and fundamental Christians cannot resist the rush of reciting the Pledge of Allegiance when within the confines of the group. Sadly, Christians today believe that by reciting the Pledge their loyalty to the United States (government) is vindicated, when in reality the people are sovereign and government is our servant. It is the people’s task to keep the government from error, which is why when Benjamin Franklin was asked what kind of government we were to have he replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
A pledge is a promise, oath, or vow. God’s Holy Word explains and Jesus Christ Himself tells us in The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, 5:37: “But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.” We may salute our flag, we may respect our flag, we may honor our flag, but it occurs to me that pledging to a symbol is idolatry of which God has very clearly forbidden (Exodus 20:1-17). I may swear to tell the truth in a court of law, and in that instance confirm yes, I will tell the truth. To not tell the truth, after affirming it, is sin and brings judgment.
In order to comprehend the full meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance it is necessary to understand the purpose and intent of its author, his primary objective and the long range influence his work has had upon this nation. Francis Bellamy, who was a Baptist minister in boston (1855-1931) was its author.
It is also necessary to view these purposes and objectives through a Christian Biblical lens. God’s Holy Word also makes plain that Satan is the Prince and power of this world system (Ephesians 2:2) which operates upon the principles of lust, greed, force, envy, pride, ambition, and pleasure. Therefore, whatever popular culture insists you must do, must be suspect (Ephesians 6:12). Examine the fruits (Matthew 7:15-20) of those who are insisting the loudest.
Following the destruction of our Constitutional Republic in 1865, this country became involved in and entertained every un-Godly philosophy available from the gutters of Europe. A type of warfare was waged between Biblical Christianity and the remnant of constitutional government on the one hand and Humanist Religion and socialist / communist government on the other. It seems that the heirs of the French Revolution had migrated en-mass from Europe to North America, and the port of entry was the academics, poets, ministers and politicians of Boston and New England.
Francis Bellamy was born (1855) in Mount Morris, New York and was educated in public schools in Rome, New York. In 1872, he entered the University of Rochester as a ministerial student. For his graduation commencement speech he spoke on “The Poetry of Human Brotherhood” in which he applauded the socialist concepts of the French Revolution. He soon began to advocate the French Revolutionary slogan of “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity”. In 1876, he enrolled in the Rochester Theological Seminary and graduated in 1880. He began his pulpit ministry at the Baptist Church in Little Falls, New York and quickly became involved with the National Prohibition Party. In 1885 he moved to accept the pastorate of the Dearborn Street Church in Boston which he later named Bethany Baptist Church. There he became involved with the social, religious, labor and economic problems of the city’s poor factory workers (wage slaves). While pastor, he gave a series of sermons on “Jesus the Socialist” and “The Socialism of the Primitive Church”.
Francis Bellamy’s cousin, Edward Bellamy, was then famous as an author of the best-sellers “Looking Backward” and “Equality” and was leader of a socialist movement he called “Nationalism.” Both books advocated a socialist utopian state with political, social and economic equality for all, operated by the federal government and paid for by productive citizens. Francis Bellamy was also a vice-president of the Christian Society of Socialists, an auxiliary of his cousin’s movement. In 1891, Bellamy was ultimately forced to resign from his Boston Pastorate because of his increased socialist sermons and activities.
Fortunately for Bellamy one of the members of his old Pastorate was a wealthy businessman, Daniel Ford, who was a strong supporter of Bellamy’s socialist ideas. After his resignation from Bethany Baptist Church, he joined the staff of The Youth’s Companion, a national magazine owned and operated by his benefactor Daniel Ford. Upon Ford’s death, two million dollars of his fortune was donated to the Baptist Social Union of Boston, who built Ford Hall, the meeting place of Ford Hall Forum. It was a platform for the discussion of social, economic, political and religious issues of which Bellamy regularly preached his views. In 1928, conservative Baptists and the Daughters of the American Revolution charged the Forum with promoting anti-Christian, un-American, socialist and communist ideas.
While a staff member of “The Youth’s Companion” magazine, Bellamy was asked to help James B. Upham promote a National Public School Celebration for Columbus Day. In February 1892, Bellamy was also chosen as the National Education Association’s (NEA) chairman for this celebration. Being prestigious and very influential members of the NEA, Upham and Bellamy used the upcoming celebration to advance their socialist concepts and their concepts of American patriotism based upon their and NEA beliefs, which were the promotion of state-run secular public schools.
At this time it is necessary to remind you of certain facts. A Christian culture, for the most part is a trusting culture, since Christians are taught not to lie, cheat or steal. Most people automatically assume that to be the case with those they come in contact with. Remember when folks would not lock their homes or leave their keys in their car? Or when a man’s word was his bond? People could do that because they knew their neighbors and trusted those around them as fellow Christians. However, there are other groups of individuals who do lie, cheat and steal. They are lost souls (II Corinthians 4:3-4) who receive their training void of Scriptural Truth. They are for the most part socialists, communists, religionists or selfish opportunists, taking advantage of the nature of this world system. To lie for a purpose is fine for these people, as long as they achieve their goal. For example, the socialist French Revolutionary slogan of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity sounds all right until you grasp its real meaning. Liberty isn’t God’s liberty at all but State sanctioned permission. Equality isn’t equality before a just God or equality under the law, but equality of natural franchises. That means men and women are the same and that all people are capable of doing all things equally. Fraternity means that as one group of all equal people they’re supposed to equally share benefits; Except that in their system the ones in charge are more equal than others, unless you are discovered to disagree, in which case you receive equal punishment. There is no freedom behind that “nice sounding slogan”, because its authors were religionists, socialists, communists or world system opportunists. Most of the entire middle class of France was destroyed during the revolution because of their Christian Beliefs, they were called Huguenots and tens of thousands of them were slaughtered. So, it is important to remember that some folk, apparently sophisticated, obviously educated, seriously refined, and seemingly trustworthy, do lie boldly. It is in their nature (Jeremiah 17:9).
Socialists staffed the NEA early on. Their stated purpose is that of teachers union. However, they also desired the abolition of Christianity and the Bible from schools, and have stated on numerous occasions that it is not their mission to attend to the quality of education their teachers provide. Like most worldly organizations, the greedy and those desiring power percolate to the top.
Because the unsaved heart contains a void, which can only be filled by God, the world and its system are forever struggling with substitutes in order to satisfy. Bellamy and Upham discovered patriotism as their answer. Today those same types of groups are still using patriotism, but in the mean while, have also refined ecology. Environmentalism is the new religion of public education today. It has become the religion children parrot along, with notions that mankind can save the planet and that we are all of one world, therefore one world government is a good idea.
Meanwhile, Bellamy’s Celebration Day idea caught on and President Benjamin Harrison encouraged the nation to join in to the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America on the 21st of October 1892. “The Youth’s Companion” launched a campaign to have the national flag fly over every schoolhouse in America. They sold flags, had patriotic theme writing contests and programs to promote a patriotic sentiment in the nation in conjunction with government sponsored public schools. Bellamy worked tirelessly on proclamations, speeches and songs of a patriotic theme.
Of all the contributions that Bellamy made in that 1892 national celebration, his writing of the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag has been the most lasting and influential. His unique position, ability and view enabled him to offer his countrymen and their children an innocent sounding yet powerful pledge, that if officially adopted, would assure him some measure of success in his endeavor to promote patriotism, statism and socialism. His pledge was applauded by all his like-minded associates as well as officially adopted by the NEA. His approved pledge reads as follows: “I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the Republic for which it stands; one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”. His original salute to the flag was with the right arm extended and raised.
In 1924, the National Flag Conference with the American Legion and the Daughters of the American Revolution changed the wording from “my Flag” to “the flag of the United States of America.” In 1954, Congress – with the influence of the Roman Catholic Knights of Columbus – added the words “under God.”
The clever wording employed by Bellamy in the writing of his pledge was intended for school children, presumably without Biblical instruction, so as to mold their minds around the idea of one centralized federal government as parent, provider, ultimate arbiter and worthy of their worship. The word “allegiance” was taken from Mr. Lincoln’s Oath of Allegiance which defeated Confederates were forced to sign in order to survive, which surprisingly many refused. The words “to the Republic for which it stands” is an obvious reference to the fact that in that society’s recent cultural memories there were stories of heroism, sacrifice and death involved in the creation struggle of America. The Constitutional Republic was slain in 1861 and buried in 1865; it no longer exists and didn’t exist when he penned those words. The word “indivisible” was an obvious effort to obfuscate the fact that the Independent and Sovereign States of the Union had become subservient to one central power. The words “liberty and justice for all” were first submitted as “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity for all” and needed to be substituted with something more original, something more “American.”
Francis Bellamy succeeded beyond his wildest dreams. His pledge has made a lasting impression on young minds for over one hundred years. And as young minds mature into adults we are witness daily of the fruits of state worship. Every ill this Nation faces can be traced to that void in the human heart. The success of Francis Bellamy and his ilk cannot be denied and should stand as an indictment against every Christian who quietly submits.
That is all I care to say about the Pledge of Allegiance. I can say that I have suffered through public education, have been a businessman & productive taxpayer for over 40 years, and am a U.S. Army veteran, a husband and father, a saved Christian and unashamed to call my faith Baptist. So, when I find myself in the position of being expected to parrot the Pledge of Allegiance I prefer to reply as Joshua did in Joshua 24:15, “…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.