Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Flags in Church -- Appropriate or not?

My church has an American flag, so did my church before that. In fact, flags in church are about as common as communion tables or Bibles. I must confess my own ambivalence about it. I'm not really comfortable with it, but I've not chosen to fight that battle.
Today in the Ethic's Daily articles, comes one that raises this issue. Apparently a United Methodist leader has questioned it's place in a sanctuary, pointing out that such a placement seems to endorse America's political policies. But that the church has loyalties that go beyond nation. That's why I'm uncomfortable with their presence.
Of course that politically conservative watchdog the IRD (Institute for Religion and Democracy) rails against this challenge to America's religious heritage. The UMC official, is of course, accused of being unpatriotic. The IRD's Mark Tooley charges Clayton Childers and others of us on the left of opposing "the United States Flag because they are contemptuous of our country, its history, its institutions, its culture. ... "
Yes, if you don't think it's appropriate to have a flag in church, then of course you must hate America. As they say, "love it, or leave it." I don't know about you, but I find that just a bit "un-American"!

2 comments:

JP Manzi said...

That is very much un-american. I love this country, I do. We are very fortunate in so many areas. However, my allegiance is not to a flag. My allegiance is to the Divine Presence and with my brothers and sisters regardless of what country they reside. I have never felt comfortable with a flag in church, thankfully the church I attend does not have one, if it did, I may respectfully, mind you, say something.

To answer your question, no. I do not think its appropriate. How about the Christian flag? Have you ever seen a church proudly waving that?

Mystical Seeker said...

That's a predictable response from the IRD.

I think that the flag has become something of an idol in this country. It seems to me that flag-idolatry puts flag and national allegiance before allegiance to the Kingdom of God.