Vanessas Gonzalez Kraft, writing at Busted Halo, raises the issue of flags in churches
When I was a kid, I always enjoyed holding my hand over my heart and saying the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of the school day. I love singing the “Star-Spangled Banner” at the beginning of baseball games. My heart can’t help but swell with pride for my country. My dad, being from Mexico, always made sure I knew how blessed I was to be born and live in the United States of America.
That being said, my first allegiance is to God. When it comes to “God stuff” in “State stuff,” I have no problems. I think it’s great that the Pledge of Allegiance includes “one nation under God.” I know the Knights of Columbus fought hard for this addition. It is citing the correct order of things — God first, Country second.
As Christians, I do believe that we are called to be patriotic and to perform our civic duty. I see nothing incompatible with a patriotic Catholic who has pride in his/her country. But in the physical space of the Mass, in that sacred place, our country is heaven and our allegiance is to God.
This being a country with a very large immigrant population, I have often wondered if immigrants feel somewhat excluded when they are in Mass and see a flag up there by Jesus. Do they feel like the church is telling them that Jesus is only for the American citizens?
What do you think? Does your church have the US flag displayed? Where?