November 2009

These dry bones
Like all creation
Are groaning

The weight of history —
the glory and its despair —
Making them sing
Like a plucked string wound tight,

Begging God’s condescension
So that they, too, may look Him
in the eye

and know

their King is among them.


Foundational to any good homestead is a good clothesline.

My brother-in-law helped me sink these posts today. I’d like to say it was because we wanted to be green, use less electricity and become less dependent on the electric dryer, but the truth is it’s just the easiest way to dry all of those cloth diapers. At least the house will be clear of all those drying racks on sunny days.

The house in the background is the neighbors (i.e. family). I didn’t want to take credit for the fencing and porching work they’ve done. But I did beat them to a clothesline.

I post this as a follow-up to my initial post about how the Pledge of Allegiance has taken on a blended civic and religious significance in some circles. This is not the only such example I have seen, but it is perhaps the most blatant. Note that not only is the cross striped with an American flag, but that the Pledge is placed at the center.


The Pledge of Allegiance Cross

From the product description page:

 This Pledge of Allegiance Wall Cross will be displayed proudly in the home of any Christian American family. The combination of Old Glory and this symbol of Christian faith is a stunning way to show your pride of God and country!

The Pledge of Allegiance Wall Cross is made of resin but it looks of deep wood. The stars and strips of Old Glory drape beautifully across the form of the cross, their folds fluid and alive in a show of amazing and realistic detail. The bright colors awaken the senses, while the text of the Pledge of Allegiance scrawled on the center scroll fills the heart. Measuring 11 ½” high, this Pledge of Allegiance Wall Cross is nicely sized to fit in with your existing décor, or place it in a spot of honor over the mantle or near the entry.

This Pledge of Allegiance Wall Cross is the ideal gift for a Christian military family or anyone who shares a deep pride in the Land of the Free and faith in Jesus Christ.

Source: Sacred Mint

I’m sure I will have lots to say about American national religion before this is all said and done, but I think a good place to start is with the Pledge of Allegiance. I have not doubt that the Pledge was initially meant to be nothing more than a loyalty oath for immigrants (and from a quick look at its original, Socialist-penned form seems to confirm that ), but in recent decades it has taken on — if not explicit — implicit religious overtones.

It’s more uncommon to enter an American church and NOT find the national flag there, and many churches will have at least one service a year in which worshipers recite the Pledge of Allegiance. (Similarly, most American Protestant hymnals have the national anthem and other patriotic hymns such as “America the Beautiful.”)

Somewhere through the years, Evangelicals have made their own Pledges patterned after the Pledge of Allegiance, the Pledge to the Christian flag and the Pledge to the Bible.

Pledge to the Christian Flag:

“I pledge allegiance to the Christian Flag and to the Savior for whose kingdom it stands. One brotherhood, uniting all mankind, in service and love.”

Pledge to the Bible:

I pledge to the Bible God’s Holy word, and will take it as a lamp unto my feet, a light unto my path, and hide it’s words in my heart that I may not sin against God.

What makes me link a sense of religious devotion of the Pledge of Allegiance to the Christian pledges is that rarely are the pledges to the Christian flag and the pledge to the Bible recited without the Pledge of Allegiance.

When I was a child, attending Bible schools in Baptist churches, all three pledges were recited every morning for the entire week; the Pledge of Allegiance led, followed by the pledge to the Christian flag and then the pledge to the Bible. Even if it was not intended to send such a message, it was a blended message of God and state.

I’ll have more to say about this later.