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One Nation under God

November 23, 2012

“One Nation under God” is printed still on every penny. But in what sense is this true? Which of the founding fathers thought this (dare I say) audacious thing to say was appropriate? It is our place to say that this is “God’s Nation?” We live in a day and age where thinking or not thinking such a thing could polarize you right or left to the spectrum. Believing in God or being a Christian may ultimately affect what party you belong in. I know this because my Christian college allegedly says that people must be of the conservative party or otherwise adhere to that line of thinking in one sense or another to go there.

Herein lies the problem. God is not Politics. He exists far above the level at which we so blithely put him in. We cannot put Got into a box, or balance a mattress on a bottle, as Bob Dylan says. According to the Bible, God does not care so much about who is in power or even how he governs a people, but whether he pays attention to the poor and the needy. Conservative Christians, as I see it, do not care for the poor as much as they care for abortion and not letting gays be married. It is strange, then, how much these things are stressed above “pleading the case of the widow” or “freeing the oppressed.” It can be argued, and it is a very well backed argument, that freeing the oppressed would be being nicer to gay people. Some are not even allowed in certain towns or countrysides because of their so-called lifestyle.

Some Christians even talk of making this government a theocracy. That is what scares me the most. The pastors with a hundred thousand dollar’s worth of house (a life meant to be lived in service, no less!) want to take the power that they think they are losing back from the government. They want to make America a church-run government. But in what sense would that be a God-led government? It would be ancient Greece all over again.

An important fact that many conservative Christians seem to easily forget is that America was founded by a group of spiritually differing people. The separation of Church and State was there in order to prevent a theocracy or something of that sort, because they thought that the church had had too much power in Europe. Most of the Founding Fathers were Deists or even atheists. This nation is not “falling out of face with God” as so many people seem to think (because of gays, naturally) if it was never “in God’s favor” to begin with! It sure is nice to think your nation is godly, so godly that it deserves especial attention, or that it must be the most powerful nation in the world. But as soon as your nation becomes the god, it becomes a demon. I am convinced that God did not care how the election turned out as little as he cares for a bird pooping on a school bus. The God that I worship cares about how we defend the weak in our day-to-day lives. I failed today, multiple times. The wicked, according to the Bible, are always trying to get ahead and extorting the weak. Whether we answer God’s call (at least the God of the Bible) to defend the weak is up to us. But there are other gods to serve, to be sure. God tried (I believe) to rule a nation once. Or people tried to take something as truly amazing and awesome as the Master of the Universe as the ruler of their country, and the entire Old Testament is about how it failed – miserably.

Where are the modern day prophets? Where are the people crying out in the wilderness? They are not in the sect that you see in the news. The Westboro Baptist Church, others like them, and ‘end-game’ prophets are not the prophets I have in mind. Why? It is because America is not a theocracy, and never was. We can hope for God’s ‘favor’ in the outcome of all these things coming together, but why on Earth would he help the strongest nation in the world? Why on Earth would he help a nation that sends troops to other nations and has them blow them up with robotic drones? Why would he help a nation where every person is so haughty and arrogant? If you ask me, America is the Babylon of Revelation, if we really want to interpret that book in the present day. Personally, I don’t like to do that. As far as I’m concerned, Rome is Babylon. It is easy to say you are a prophet if no one else listens to you. But the prophets of old had no one else, and were not subject to group think or the comfort of comrades in arms. They were all alone. If someone speaks to all the evil parties, and does not give lip service to anyone, and says everything exactly as it is, that person is a prophet. Speaking of doom and gloom is one tester of whether a person is a true prophet. But it is not just that, as far as I can see. Persecuting gays until they kill themselves is not an act of prophecy. It is a heinous sin.

This is not to say I dislike or hate America. On the contrary, the Christian Conservatives and the ‘prophets’ hate America. They think it should get destroyed by a meteor or something, or the antichrist will come and so on. America is my home. When you’ve lived in a place for a long time, you become attached to all of it, in spite of the problems and foibles it has. I have never left the continent, and I probably would never live anywhere else. America is comfortable and is a great nation, in spite of all its faults. Who are the people the prophets should speak to? No one. And it is because we are not a theocracy. We are not, dare I say, “one nation under God.” Again, it is nice to think so.

And it should not be, and the reason is this. If God was to be used as a political weapon (which he is), then we have missed the boat. If he is going to be preached in churches to hate and kill people that do not deserve to be  hated or killed, and this nation is doomed because of those people, then we have not only missed the boat, but have boarded a sinking one. God is not Politics. When he is used to get a political foothold, I cringe. We cannot put something as tremendous and overwhelming as the Master of the Universe in a box like politics. To even conceive of God in our finite minds is to put him in a box. And it is truly a wonder that we are capable of even that. Let us use such an ability to love each other and worship him as we ought to, instead of using it to persecute others. Every time I think of God, I marvel at him, and I marvel still that I can be called his friend. If we can say that we are a nation that wishes God to be a friend to each one of us, I believe it to be more accurate; for God is a friend to anyone who seeks. But really, that is any nation.

I think America needs prayer. It needs prayer that we will not go into another civil war. It needs prayer that people of all nations, tribes, religions, races, and sexual identity can live in it freely and wholly. As we go into the Christmas season this year, let us remember that we should count whatever religious freedoms we have as a blessing. Many other nations put Christians to death and do not allow Christmas. But let us also be courteous and neighborly to those who do not celebrate Christmas. You can’t have Christmas decorations at your church? Well at least you’re not getting shot up. Such a thing will never happen in the America I love, no matter what. There is no slippery slope, but only a sleigh ride down the hill, which will vary in altitude. We must remember that there must be room for everyone in America, and it is hard-pressed to make such a thing happen. If the theocrats win the battle, and take America, well, so be it. It is never them who are in charge. It’s God. Let us all hasten to remember that.



From → Philosophy, Religion

  1. Well said. It takes a lot of courage , thoughtfulness and awareness to feel the way that you do. God, as you probably know, can be used to inspire people or to destroy them (think wars). I always laugh when I see a football team praying to God for victory before the game starts. On the other side of the field, the other team is doing the same thing. After the game, the winning team sometimes will thank God for making them the “chosen” team – as if God ever takes sides – as if God even cares about football – as if God even has human attributes.

    • Thanks for your comment. I also get annoyed at the sports thing. “It is the divine will that this team wins.” Ugh. I think that the divine favor rests more on protecting the weak. Sure, Tim Teebo does use his winnings to help children in hospitals, but still, I think the best actions that can be done towards someone in need are done in secret, most of the time. At least he means well.

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