April 8, 2011
There is really only one allegiance to which I am truly willing to pledge my deepest oath: love for all things, with every one in all circumstances to the best of my ability. Am I successful at this all the time? Yeah, right! Truth is though that, in most instances, I find it easier to love others than to love my own self. I don’t expect I am alone in this experience. But, my intent here is not to explore the importance of self love, but rather to define the core principle, the foundational value to which I am personally willing to pledge allegiance, even to die for if it came to it.
In truth, we can only pledge allegiance to values. We cannot pledge allegiance to a flag, not really. A flag is a symbol of the values that it represents. It’s why some folks get upset when some other folks burn the flag, because they believe it’s the same as actually torching the values it symbolizes. Not REALLY, but symbolically. By comparison, we don’t see people getting emotional and asking for Constitutional amendments banning the manufacture of Speedo briefs with the American flag design. Don’t know about you, but I’m much more comfortable with someone burning the flag to demonstrate their dissent with the perversions perpetrated in the name of the flag, than I am with someone nestling their boys within the bikini brief confines of the old red, white and blue. But, I digress!
I Pledge Allegiance To The Flag…
Let’s take a look in print at the good old Pledge of Allegiance we Americans learn from the time we can place our hand across our heart and speak. It goes like this:
I pledge allegiance to the flag
Of the United States of America
And to the Republic for which it stands
One nation under God, indivisible,
With liberty and justice for all.
I don’t know about you, but my read is we are doing a piss poor job of living up to and by the values this short little pledge represents. As an American citizen, I am so disillusioned by how far we have veered from these values that I feel like burning a flag myself as a way of protesting our collective failure.
We are not “one nation under God.” More like, one nation under gridlock. One of the saddest aspects of growing up American since 1958 is to have witnessed how divisive we have become, how judgmental, how self righteous. For the record, I am neither Republican nor Democrat, so I have no party ax to grind. I am just simply fed up, and even sicker with myself for keeping quiet about it for so long.
At this point, I am part of a growing number of citizens who feel we should vote all the current office holders out of office. Fire every single one of them and start over from scratch. However, a word to the voters, if we are simply replacing them with new Democrats and Republicans, we will just get more of the same. Why? Because it is not the individual politicians themselves that matter, but rather the ideas they embody, which are the root cause of our dysfunctional two party system.
Indivisible? Hardly. We live in a world where fear is used as a weapon to separate and divide all day, every day. We take what is supposed to be “one and indivisible” and break it down into seemingly irreconcilable parts. It’s red and blue states. Bloods and Crips. Haves and have nots. Straights and gays. Feds and everyone else. It goes on and on. We are so caught up in our fears, grievances and prejudices and have been for so long, we actually have come to believe and accept that we are justified to do anything in the name of our fear.
I won’t even get started on the “liberty and justice for all” part, that’s for another day. However, suffice to state the obvious that our liberties are being compromised daily by the leaders we elected, and it doesn’t take a seasoned jurist to know the legal system has become a labyrinthine beast that feeds itself on money, rather than truth and justice.
“You’re Either With Us Or Against Us!”
To a large degree, fear dominates our culture, media and government institutions. Fear is the basis for every law, grievance, prejudice and war. Fear is also at the core of every dysfunction, abusive act and addiction. At its foundation, if it can be said to actually have one, fear is the root cause of every instance of unforgiveness in the entire history of time. Extended further, unforgiveness (ie; the withholding of love) underlies all conflict, whether personal, interpersonal, cultural or among nations.
When nations go to war, which appears to be occurring at a quickening pace here in the early stages of the 21st century, citizens of the nations affected are forced to choose and pledge allegiances. If you love your country, then you will back her decision, even beyond reason. In fact, in many, if not most cases, citizens are asked to actually suspend their own reasoning and trust the reasoning of their leaders. To not align with and support the decision of your own nation’s leaders to go to war is seen by many as being unpatriotic and the equivalent of actually being the enemy itself. I am reminded of former President Bush’s post-9/11 mantra, “You’re either with us or against us.”
As a child of the One God that created everything and a citizen of Planet Earth, I wholeheartedly reject that idea. I reject it not because I am a Bush basher, or even anti-war, which of course I am, but rather because the statement itself reinforces the false idea that there can even be an us and a them, that there can be two or more sides to that which is fundamentally one in principle and reality. Viewed from a metaphysical perspective, Bush’s jingoistic refrain reinforces the false belief in separation from God in its attempt to make two or more out of one.
Fear underpins every single dysfunction in the world. It is also the reason we have the FBI, CIA, NSA and Homeland Security. It is the reason we have an Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. If you add up the cumulative annual budgets of these and other similarly fear-based covert agencies, it can even be said that fear is the reason the Federal government is bankrupt and growing more so each passing day. Surely, it doesn’t take a think tank expert to see that this is a recipe for not only financial ruin, but ultimately the complete collapse of the Federal apparatus itself. There is no need for violent overthrow, it will fail on its own because it is not grounded in “truth principle.”
I Pledge Allegiance To The Love…
Do not misunderstand me! I love America and being an American. I have life friends who work for the Federal government in the military and intelligence agencies, and I do not vilify them as individuals. My issue is more with the mindset we have collectively agreed on over time, one that, to my estimation, is more grounded in fear and divisiveness than love and unity. Once again I reiterate, my intent here is not to demonize individuals, but rather to attempt to articulate the principles upon which an expanded, evolutionary vision might stand.
The universe was not brought into existence with fear, for fear divides, it is unstable and based on opinion and perception, not truth. By contrast, love is a unifying principle. Love always transforms fear. Fear is destructive. Love is creative. Fear brings discord. Love brings peace. No matter how prevalent fear may seem, love is always the answer, just as the light always dispels the darkness. For my part, (and I do not believe I am alone in this) I would rather be inspired to action by the love that forgives and unifies, rather than compelled to action by the fear of punishment or retribution I will receive if I do not comply.
In love, there is safety and no cause for fear. There is no war anywhere in history that has ever been promoted by love, for love cannot attack, kill or plunder. Only fear does that, and since our leaders seem hell bent on supporting wars, it can be fairly said they are fully vested in promoting fear. Therefore, I cannot in all good conscience pledge my allegiance to their tactics of exploiting fear, even if they claim it is in the interest of national security on behalf of the American people.
Instead, I will pledge my allegiance to the love that is loving the world into being. I will do my best to feel that love, to claim it, to own it, to demonstrate it in all my thoughts, words and actions with my own self, friends and family, my community and the world at large. When America’s leaders once again begin acting with love and respect for ALL mankind, I will restore my pledge of allegiance to the flag. And, not a moment before.
In the meantime, God bless the world and everyone in it…without exception! Help us to manifest a bold new vision for our future where love and unity are the motivating powers, rather than fear and separation. May we know lasting peace in our lifetime.
Stay tuned in…