Big family. Big table. Big opinions. Big voices. Big arguments.
Dad slowly having a meltdown as he realises how much of his hard-earned money is being greedily shoveled into his brood’s ungrateful faces. Mom shushing his nervous remonstrations while she lovingly regards her feeding flock. The kids, used to their father’s dinner-time denunciations, take no notice as they continue holding court on the weightier issues of the day. In between mouthfuls.
“There’s no God…”
“Is too! You slow or somethin’?! You just had your confirmation-”
“How can he be all-good, all-knowing and all-powerful?”
“Well, he’s… It’s…”
“If he’s all those things, how come suffering exists?”
“Why’d you say the Pledge of Allegiance, then?”
At this the youngest interjects with her own philosophical conundrum.
“What’s a ‘lee-junts’?”
Know-it-all brother, having been slightly stumped by the previous question, is grateful for the sidebar.
“It’s when you stick with something – or someone – no matter what. Like, a leader or an idea; if you pledge ‘allegiance’ to them, you’re promising to be loyal – even if they’re wrong.”
“Even if they’re wrong?!”
Sister wide-eyed in confused disbelief. Informative brother nods.
Her elder laughs adoringly. “Well duh!”
Dad desists his financial worries at last, raising a finger authoritatively. With surprising immediacy, his vocal children cut out, looking at their father.
“That’s…not quite right. Allegiance means that your leader, or idea, or whatever it may be…cannot be wrong. You are swearing before any and all witnesses that you will believe in their rightness – their righteousness – until the end.”
Pater familias paused slightly, to let this sink in, before conceding;
“Still dumb though.”
The whole table burst out laughing.
Solidarity, brothers & sisters…