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I am in an American High School, and I do not say the Pledge of Allegiance. Is it because I do not love my country? Far from it, I am an ardent patriot in so many ways; no matter where I move, I will always have a love affair with America going on. However, I personally view nationalism and the very swearing of oaths as wrong. Instead I stand, with my hand over my heart and recite a prayer in my head for our country, it goes something like this each time. “O Lord, you are my only God. Please guide this nation nearer to your ways, and guide other nations nearer to its ways that the world may be unified in Your Name. Please protect this nation from corruption and wayward influences. You are the only God and we are all Your servants.”

Religiously I draw a few inspirations for my decision not to say the Pledge. First there is Christ Jesus. In the Holy Bible it says, at Mathew 5:34:

“Ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths: But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King. Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.”

This to me says, “Do not swear oaths, do not claim a power greater than nothingness, and do not use the Seat of Heaven for your fallible endeavors. If you are an honest man Yes and No will suffice.”

As well there is as statement by Bahá’u’lláh that says: “Let not a man glory in this, that he loves his country; let him rather glory in this, that he loves his kind.”
I cannot say that I love America to the exclusion of other nations. I love mankind, and becuase I believe America represents the pinnacle of our creation, I love America. I think our nation, in showing what man can acheive, is a prayer in itself. How can I take that and say that I love America and only America deserves my allegiance? Mankind deserves my Allegiance.

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