To Pledge or not to Pledge
Truth in History
Historical facts behind the writing of “The Pledge of Allegiance”. What was the authors original intent behind the wording of the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag?
Generally, most Americans blindly accept our national values and traditions without question or doubt. Most twentieth century Americans have been so occupied with living the “good life” of ease, pleasure and materialism that they have neglected to safeguard their culture, Christian faith and philosophical heritage. Many strange ideas and foreign concepts have crept into the average American psyche without notice or question and, therefore, have become mainstream thought patterns which set a standard by which our society is governed. Once example of this condition is the lack of knowledge concerning the history behind the writing of the Pledge of Allegiance to our National flag. Without doubt, the knowledge of most Americans concerning the writer, his political philosophy, his major objective and his long range influence in our national life would be considered slim to none.
Through statist education, we learn and accept without question what we are fed as long as it is seasoned with sugar-coated treats. In the midst of America’s present cultural war, it is imperative that we re-examine all of our “traditions” that have been accepted as part of American “patriotism.” This we shall attempt to do with the “PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE,” which was born out of the concepts of political liberalism and “Christian Socialism.”
During the nineteenth century, America became deeply involved in a social, political, religious and philosophical warfare that was equivalent to the French Revolution. The opposing forces in this warfare were Biblical Christianity and constitutional government on one side and liberal Christianity and socialistic government on the other side. Among those who became proponents of the liberal and socialistic views were many prominent northern poets, philosophers, educators, editors and even Christian ministers. A Baptist minister of Boston, named Francis Bellamy (1855-1931) was one of those ministers.
FRANCIS BELLAMY was born in Mount Morris, NY into the home of a Baptist minister, David Bellamy. As a child he was educated in the public schools of Rome, NY. 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 this speech, he applauded the concepts of the French Revolution. He said it awakened man to a realization of his personal dignity and God-given rights. He soon began to advocate the French Revolutionary slogan of “Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.”
In 1876, Bellamy enrolled in the Rochester Theological Seminary. Upon graduation in 1880 he began his public ministry at the Baptist Church in Little Falls, NY and soon 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 was involved with the social, religious, labor and economic problems of the city’s poor factory workers. While pastor he gave a speech entitled “Jesus the Socialist” and a series of sermons on “The Socialism of the Primitive Church.”