We pledge our allegiances to many things. Our country, the reign of our God here on Earth, to justice, love, mercy. We show our allegiances. Where do we get them? How do we justify them? Most of us simply go with the obvious: we're good people, we mean no harm to anyone else, we help as we can.
But then we enter the danger zone: The Church. And then we say our pledge of allegiance:
"Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and blessed be God's Kingdom, now and forever."
Our Hebrew/Christian scriptures are unique in their "warts and all" approach. The failings of God's people to live up to this pledge are openly on display. And the job of the church is to challenge us to live up to our rote recitation. How much in need of mercy are we indeed.