I pledge allegiance -- to whom?
In the early days of Christianity when the Roman empire still ruled the known world the Caesar would require his people to say "Caesar is lord" when his soldiers commanded it. They would have to say it and then drop a coin in the bucket to show their allegiance to Caesar, the "god king".
By saying Caesar is lord they were declaring their allegiance to Caesar and only Caesar. This caused problems for the early Christians. They believed, and rightfully so, that Jesus is Lord, and therefore Caesar isn't. And even though Paul in Romans chapter 13 ordered that Christians obey those God puts into authority he clearly did not mean to turn against God in the process.
The consequence for not submitting one's self to Caesar as lord was death. Many Christians rather than conceding allegiance to Caesar would instead be killed.
Today in public schools, or at least when I was in school, students are required to say the Pledge of Allegiance.
"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands: one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
Is saying the pledge any different than saying Caesar is lord?
Yes and no. Yes in that we do live in a freer society than Rome and the Pax Romana that they enforced. We aren't forced to declare "Obama is lord". And no, in that I don't think a Christian's allegiance can be divided. Jesus said "If you are not with me you are against me," and "A house divided against itself can not stand". While the second one is in response to the Pharisees saying Jesus is casting out Satan by the power of the Satan the fact of the matter still stands that man can not serve two masters, especially two masters that oppose one another at times.Can a Christian in good conscience recite the Pledge of Allegiance?
I don't believe so. As stated above I think that a man can only swear allegiance to one thing or person. Because eventually the two masters will collide and the man then has to choose who his real master is whether it be God or country.Do you think Christians should say the Pledge of Allegiance?