Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Pledge of Allegiance and National Anthem


From http://www.usaflag.org/

"The pledge of allegiance should be rendered by standing at attention, facing the flag, and saluting.When the national anthem is played or sung, citizens should stand at attention and salute at the first note and hold the salute through the last note. The salute is directed to the flag, if displayed, otherwise to the music. "

Last week in church our closing hymn was "The Star-Spangled Banner." As I began to play the intro I realized the chorister was not going to signal the congregation to rise (she's only 16), and our congregation is of mixed nationality, but I thought for sure that the Americans would stand out of respect for their country. Just before reaching the chorus when I realized that for whatever reason--probably self-consciousness--that was not going to happen, I stopped playing. I told the Branch Presidency that I couldn't play it if the Americans in the congregation would not stand--it was just too disrespectful. They stood. Everyone else did also.

No wonder the Lord refers to us as "sheep"--we are such followers. It's easier to follow than to think. There wasn't one American willing to take the initiative and stand, so none of them did. Once one group of people were asked to stand, everyone stood. I'm not railing on my brothers and sisters--I definitely include myself in this also--but it seems like we are scared of so many things. Ezra Taft Benson once gave a talk on pride and said that it was the root of all sin, but I think fear may be the root of pride. Maybe that's why the Lord so often commanded, "Fear not." Maybe that's why he's so merciful to us--because he knows that many of our mistakes, sins, actions are influenced by fear.

I found out later that last Sunday was Canada Day, and I told the Canadians that told me that if I had the music for "O Canada" I would have played it. They said that if I had, they would have stood.

7 comments:

tay said...

i must've just blanked on that one. i can tell you that it won't happen again next year! :] i was a little bit embarrassed when i realized what had happened. oops!

oh yah, i'm 17...finally! :]

ML said...

I'm floored! I thought Mallory was just about the only person who ever reads my blog! Not even my husband reads it (unless I ask him to!)
Anyway, I'm sorry I got the age wrong.

marianas life said...

Perhaps they were ashamed or lazy, but what if people choose not to stand as a sign of protest? Being a patriot doesn't always mean waving a flag or blindly reciting the pledge of allegiance. I can say the Lord's Prayer the Catholic way, and the Protestant way, but that doesn't mean I believe it or actually say it as a prayer. No one should ever be coerced into saying the pledge or standing for the anthem. Forcing students to say it in school is meaningless and that coercion is counter to what the Constitution protects in the first place. Just some food for thought.....Did you know that the anabaptists (Amish, Mennonites), don't say the pledge because part of their statement of faith is that they will not take any oaths because that oath may force them to compromise their beliefs. I find that intriguing. by the way camping on managaha was fun! my beautify cnmi students had fun, i had fitfull moments of sleep;) there's a master list of saipan blogs and that's how i found yours. mine is www.breeanddoug.blogspot.com

ML said...

To me patriotism denotes love of country--it has nothing to do with politics. At any rate, I'm fairly certain that no one in this instance was acting in protest. (Except me of course!)
If I did coerce the Americans present into standing, that was not my intent and I'm sorry if I did. I would have been perfectly willing to go to a different hymn.
Also, I do know something of religions that require certain restrictions--this post refers to an LDS (Mormon) meeting.

ML said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
marianas life said...

I know it refered to LDS. I picked that up right away. I had a lot of friends in high school who were LDS and I used to go to services with them on occasion. Just dropping a line to a post I find interesting. did you know there are over 90 blogs on Saipan! That's how I found yours. Its great to see so many different perspectives and life stories in one small place:)

Roger said...

Check out this blip on taking "Under God" out of the pledge. It starts off saying they are all for taking it out but keep reading! Good Stuff!

http://www.helium.com/tm/564971