There is always some lively discussion going on over at God’s Gal’s blog and recently she posted something about the Pledge of Allegience
This got me to thinking about pledges, oaths and vows and how important they are, if at all. Hypothetically let’s say that:
There are two men;
One is openly patriotic, flies the flag, stands with hand over heart while singing the national anthem and reciting the Pledge of Allegience.
The other man disdains overt displays of patriotism. For unspoken personal reasons he will not fly the flag nor will he rescite the pledge.
War is declared.
The first man comes from a wealthy influential family and is able to defer his military service by attending university. He is outspoken in support of the war effort. After graduation he becomes a successful politician.
The second man is opposed to the war, is even very vocal about it. He is drafted and sent overseas. In battle he throws himself atop a grenade that lands in the midst of his platoon. He dies of his wounds.
There are two couples;
One couple meet at a dance and are smitten with each other. They go out on a date, the first time for either of them. They agree to go steady.
Another couple meet at the same dance and also find each other attractive. They go out as well, but they decide not to take things too fast. They continue to date other people.
Both couples fall in love.
The first couple becomes engaged and after two years they marry. They are married in a traditional church ceremony. They make public their vows of commitment to each other. Within a few years their relationship sours and they agree to separate. They finally divorce.
The second couple realize that they feel incomplete when they are apart. They decide to live together but they do not marry. They have no vows other than to treat each other with love and respect. They keep these vows very private. 25 years later they are still together.
There are two students;
One is a Christian. She is a member of a church, has been baptised in a public ceremony and is very outspoken about her faith. She regularly shares her comittment to God with others and declares openly that she has aaccepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior.
The other young lady claims no religious affiliation. She does not belong to any formal church and does not attend worship services. She also has a relationsip with Christ, though she is uncomfortable with identifying herself as a “Christian”. She tends to be much more quiet about her faith.
They both graduate and begin their careers.
The first woman is a successful claims adjustor with a large insurance company. She is being rewarded with a substantial bonus. She was able to find legal precedent for refusing a significant number of their client’s claims. This has saved her company millions of dollars. Although she is a little uneasy over this, she can not afford to change careers at this time. She keeps the bonus money.
The second woman recently lost her job as a very successful automobile salesperson. She refused to sell some used cars that she knew to have serious mechanical defects. Even though she is earning considerably less now, she thoroughly enjoys her new job selling heavily discounted college text books.
Although fictionalized, all of these characters and their circumstances are very similar to people that I know. I can understand the importance of making a personal public committment. But I wonder as to the effectiveness of insisting on others doing so as well.