By Brannon S. Howse
America has drastically changed. Our laws and governments not only disobey God but in many ways plot evil against God. So the question arises: should American Christians say the Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag in our Sunday worship services or even at church-sponsored patriotic functions? I believe the answer is “no,” and after I explain the history and origin of our national pledge, I think you will agree.
The Church in America, and around the world, needs to clearly distinguish the biblical role of the Church from the biblical role of government. Pledging allegiance to the flag—and to the government for which it stands—can send a dangerous and unbiblical message to people who do not understand when and why Christians sometimes have a biblical mandate to disobey ungodly orders of a government which violates its God-ordained role and purpose. The Bride of Christ is called to give allegiance to God over the government, and when any government conflicts with the commandments of God, Christians must obey God rather than man (Acts 5:29). While the Church must keep the cross and the Gospel higher than a national flag, most churches in Germany fell into the trap of merging with the government instead of remaining distinct and keeping open the option to oppose Hitler. Instead, the false church became a willing participant in his regime.
So what about our Pledge of Allegiance? It was written in 1892 by Francis Bellamy, a Fabian Socialist, nationalist, Baptist pastor, and co-founder and vice president of the Society of Christian Socialists. Please don’t let that last sentence pass you by. Francis Bellamy was a Fabian Socialist. He is one more example of a socialist pastor who has played a major role in building America’s religious Trojan Horse.
The first “nationalist club” was formed in Boston with the help of Cyrus Field Willard of the Boston Globe, who had been a member of the Socialist Labor Party. In Religious Trojan Horse, I detail the significance of the Fabian window created by Fabian George Bernard Shaw. It depicts a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Quotes of Fabian Socialists from today and years ago speak of using religion and the Church to accomplish their goals. The Fabian strategy is and always has been to bring socialism in “under the radar,” so what better way to program “Christian socialism” and nationalism into the minds of Americans than through a pledge to the central government and its flag?
A pro-Freemason website claims that pledge writer Bellamy was a Freemason and that he had “considered adding the word ‘equality’ to stand with ‘liberty and justice,’ but feared it would be too controversial.” Bellamy planned to use the pledge to condition America’s school children to discard state’s rights in preference for a strong central government. An early draft of Francis Bellamy’s pledge stated, “I pledge allegiance to my flag.” He chose this nondescript wording because he wanted the oath to become an international peace pledge that all socialist republics would incorporate. The Freemasonry website also explains why Bellamy didn’t get his way:
[quote] In 1924, against Bellamy’s wishes, the American Legion and Daughters of the American Revolution pressured the National Flag Conference to replace the words “my flag” with “the flag of the United States of America.” In 1954, under pressure from the Knights of Columbus, Congress officially added the words “under God.” [end quote]
The Knights of Columbus is the world’s largest Roman Catholic fraternal service organization. Founded in the United States in 1882, it is named in honor of Christopher Columbus. The addition of “under God” by this Catholic fraternity should give further pause to many biblically minded Christians since the Jesus of the Church of Rome is not the Jesus of the Bible. In truth, America is a nation of many religions that neither serve nor worship the one, true God. We are not “under God” but have clearly rebelled against Him. The Pledge of Allegiance is not only nationalistic in origin and intent but ecumenical in its reference to God.
The pledge was not Bellamy’s only significant work on behalf of socialism. He was a spokesman for the Nationalist Club movement started by his socialist cousin, Edward Bellamy, author of Looking Backward. A novel that praised socialism and nationalization of private property, Looking Backward was the third best-seller of the nineteenth century after Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Ben Hur.
Francis Bellamy influenced Walter Rauschenbusch, who is considered the father of the social gospel movement. And in 1892, Bellamy was appointed by William Torrey Harris as president of the National Association of School Superintendents to oversee, on behalf of the National Education Association, the National Celebration of the Public Schools for Columbus Day. John Baer explains Harris’s common cause with Bellamy:
[quote] As the leading Hegelian philosopher in the United States, he believed that the State had a central role in society. He believed youth should be trained in loyalty to the State and that the public school was the institution to plant fervent loyalty and patriotism. Like many other American educators of his time, he admired and copied the Prussian educational system. His support enabled James Upham and Francis Bellamy to take over the National Celebration of the Public Schools for Columbus Day, which was officially directed by the NEA’s special committee, chaired by Francis Bellamy. [end quote] [source: John Baer, “The Pledge of Allegiance, A Revised History and Analysis, 2007.”]
The National Education Association supported Bellamy’s pledge by encouraging all of America’s school children to recite it. Bellamy intended the pledge to instill in America’s school children loyalty to the central government and to promote nationalism in general. It is no surprise, of course, that the NAE would assist Bellamy since the association was started with the help of John Dewey, an avowed humanist and socialist. Dewey was made honorary president of the NEA in 1932 in tribute to his 1928 travels in Russia to study the Marxist educational system. A year later, Dewey also became a signer of the Humanist Manifesto.
Until World War II, the Bellamy pledge, as it had come to be known, was generally accompanied by the “Bellamy Salute.” It looked frighteningly similar to that of the Nazis. In an article entitled “What’s Conservative about the Pledge of Allegiance?” Gene Healy writes:
[quote] Bellamy’s recommended ritual for honoring the flag had students all but goosestepping their way through the Pledge: “At a signal from the Principal the pupils, in ordered ranks, hands to the side, face the Flag. Another signal is given; every pupil gives the Flag the military salute—right hand lifted, palm downward, to a line with the forehead and close to it.... At the words, ‘to my Flag,’ the right hand is extended gracefully, palm upward, towards the Flag, and remains in this gesture till the end of the affirmation; whereupon all hands immediately drop to the side.” After the rise of Nazism, this form of salute was thought to be in poor taste, to say the least, and replaced with today’s hand-on-heart gesture. [end quote]
Bellamy, a liberal Baptist minister, preached sermons advocating socialism. Sermon titles include “Jesus, the Socialist,” “The Socialism of the Bible,” and “What Is Christian Socialism?” He also called on other ministers to preach a social gospel. In “The Pledge of Allegiance, A Revised History and Analysis,” John Baer explains why:
[quote] A major objective of the Christian Socialists was to show that the objectives of socialism were embraced in the goals of Christianity. The teachings of Jesus Christ led directly toward some form of socialism and, in obedience to Christ, the Christian Church should apply itself to the realization of the Social Gospel of Christianity through Socialism. [end quote]
Baer also explains the relationship between the Bellamy cousins and the Fabian Socialists of Europe:
[quote] The Nationalist movement and Society of Christian Socialists had connections with the Fabian Society in England. Sidney Webb of the Fabian Society wrote an occasional article for The Dawn, and Edward sometimes wrote an occasional article for the Fabian publications. When interest in the Christian Society of Socialists and The Dawn began to decline, W. P. D. Bliss founded the American Fabian in 1895. In 1896, he turned it over to the New York Fabian Society, where it survived until 1900. [end quote]
Baer connects Bellamy and his cousin Edward to the middle class tendency to embrace social justice:
[quote] The Nationalist movement and society of Christian Socialists had connections with the Fabian Society in England. It is generally recognized that the Bellamy type of Fabian Socialism had done more to make the American middle class think seriously about social principles than any other force in the latter part of the nineteenth century. [end quote]
While my intent is not to impose my conviction on others regarding whether or not to pledge allegiance to the American flag, I personally have an issue with pledging to a national flag “and to the republic for which it stands.” Bellamy did not support the concept of a constitutional republic but rather a collection of socialist republics. For those who believe they are pledging to a constitutional republic, I would remind them that such a republic no longer exists. America is now the socialist republic Bellamy, Dewey, and Rauschenbusch longed for.
Copyright 2015 ©Brannon Howse. This content is for Situation Room members and is not to be duplicated in any form or uploaded to other websites without the express written permission of Brannon Howse or his legally authorized representative.