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A Recent Email to Our Children’s Teachers

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Photo by Filip Bunkens

Photo by Filip Bunkens

 
Teachers.

 


I wanted to make sure that I sent this message to both of you.

 

 

As a matter of conscience, I am writing to request that our children stand outside the classroom and not participate in the pledge of allegiance/national anthem to the US (or Texas/not sure if y’all do that or not).  As followers of Jesus and social activists, we are deeply convicted that we live in a nation that constantly perpetuates a variety of injustices and we work hard to teach our children to resist such evil.  We thank you in advance for your cooperation in protecting/upholding the civil liberties of our children/family.

Jeff 

 

Since I didn’t get to watch television at home as a young child, I was mesmerized by the television in my classroom. In fact, I was so mesmerized by the television that I never noticed some of my classmates stepping out of the room before the daily red, white and blue explosion. I just faced the front and watched the cheesy patriotic video that illustrated every sentence of the national anthem. One day, I wasn’t feeling so good. Turning green, I laid my head down and looked toward the door. Right before the anthem played, I saw a few of my classmates walk out the door. I was so curious about my classmates that I forgot about the nausea. When I garnered up the courage to ask my substitute teacher about my classmates, she replied, “Their religion teaches them to rebel against patriotism.”

 

I’ve thought about her words for many years. Shouldn’t anyone who follows Jesus rebel against patriotism? How could a follower of Jesus ever pledge allegiance to a nation as corrupted as ours? How could a follower of Jesus ever pledge allegiance to a nation at all? Make no mistake: God is not a patriot. God doesn’t pledge allegiance. God would step out of the classroom.

 

I was a little hesitant to send the email. I knew nothing about our kid’s teachers. I didn’t want them to be marked so early into their first year. Then I remembered, there is no fear in love (1 John 4:18). Immediately, love pushed send.

 

When I arose from my chair, I remembered the words of my substitute teacher, “Their religion teaches them to rebel against patriotism.” May it always be said of us.

 

Amen.

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