Benjamin Corey, a former fundamentalist who is now a liberal Christian, argues that the release of the torture report is the final nail in the coffin and that Christians should now refuse to recite the pledge of allegiance because the government has taken actions are “pure, absolute evil.”
Still, even with the biblical arguments that I feel are straight forward (“I pledge allegiance to the flag” vs “…but I tell you, do not take a pledge”), some Christians are hesitant to let go of this tradition that as children we were indoctrinated to engage in– and I understand that. When you’ve had nationalism and tradition drilled into your head for years on end it can be hard to step back and realize that maybe we’ve been wrong– that’s how indoctrination works and why it’s so hard to break free from it. We grow up being taught that America is the greatest nation that has ever existed, that we are exceptional compared to others, that we are a “Christian” nation, and that whatever we do is good, right, and justified. And so, pledging to give our allegiance to such an entity is an easy sell, as the narrative we are given doesn’t seem on the surface to conflict with some basic understandings of following Jesus.However, the release of the now infamous CIA Torture Report should be the final blow that closes the case on Christians reciting the pledge of allegiance. From reading the report, it should now be crystal clear to anyone who has read the teachings of Jesus as found in scripture that one cannot swear their allegiance to America while simultaneously giving our allegiance to the alternate way of Jesus. Absolutely, positively, impossible.
The contents of the report reveal what the US has done, and what has been done is anti-Christ– pure, absolute evil.
How a Jesus person could continue to swear allegiance to an entity that engages in behaviors that are so unarguably anti-Christ, sins against God, and crimes against humanity, is beyond me.
There are a couple of obvious responses to this. First, why was this report necessary? There’s little in it that is new. We already knew long ago that the government tortured detainees, sometimes to death. And even before the last 13 years, we had a long history of slaughtering people by the millions and rampant human rights abuses. Second, if one is to believe in the idea of hell — to be fair, Corey almost certainly does not — then eternal torture is exactly what Jesus has in mind for those who reject him.