Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Importance of Old Glory in our Public Houses Of Worship

Last month, an official of the United Methodist Church created a firestorm when he advocated removing the American Flag from Methodist Churches. He equated the presence of Old Glory to implicit agreement with American Policies which tend to violate the Words of Jesus and used the example of the Nazi Flag placed in German Churches prior to and during WWII. It didn't take long for his suggestion to be officially countered by other Methodist Leaders.

This entire scenario is interesting, interesting because of the manner in which the true components of this issue are glossed over and never really addressed. It is also interesting because this manner is standard modus operandi when major points are addressed by those in leadership in this country. It matters not whether the leaders are Secular or Religious.

The first accusation made, implicit or otherwise, is that the American Flag is an idol. Standing alone, this statement is, indeed, bold! It puts the Flag in a position of something or someone to be worshipped. To the Modern American mind, especially the Modern Christian American mind, this is completely unthinkable. After all, we know that God forbids such activity. Worship is to be limited exclusively to Him. And isn't that exactly what happens in houses of worship across America, the exclusive worship of God Almighty? To worship the Flag would be UnGodly!

One of the reasons given that this implication is ludicrous is that Flags in Houses of Worship are unobtrusive and not considered to be a central focus of the decor or activities in a House of Worship. Therefore, to refer to a flag as an idol, because they occupy what many consider to be a particularly unimportant position, is considered to be without merit.

So I ask you. Have you ever taken time to ponder the position of the Flags in houses of Worship? I say "flags" because usually there are two flags flown in most houses of Worship in the United States; the American Flag and the Christian Flag. In light of the Methodist controversy, maybe you should locate them the next time you visit a public House of Worship, regardless of the denomination.

I assure you, though, that they are not placed haphazardly. Unless there was a temporary reason for the Flags being out of place in a public building, Houses of Worship included, I have always seen the American Flag and the Christian Flag consistently in the same position. Why? There's one reason and one reason only. IT"S THE LAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's true. Federal Law prescribes a whole set of actions concerning every aspect of the Flag, its maintenance and care, handling, disposal and, yes, its position within public buildings. This includes its position within the building and also its position in relation to any other flags which may be displayed in proximity to it. And there's only one position allowed by law; complete and total preeminence. That's right, the American Flag is on all occasions to be above all other flags. And it is to always have the horizontal position of power and prominence, to the right. Legally, there are no exceptions! I find it interesting that Houses of Worship consistently and properly place their flags according to existing Law. To do otherwise would make all participants law breakers as well as UnAmerican!

So, where does this place the Christian Flag, the banner supposedly representing the Savior of the World, Jesus Christ? Are we to believe that the Creator of the World is relegated to an inferior status in relation to the American Flag? Are we to believe that the American Flag is deserving of Higher honor than the One Who ordained American Governmental Institiutions?

It seems as if we have a Conundrum.

More to come on this issue. Lots More!
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