Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

This is a Christian Nation

33 Comments

Many Evangelical Christians have insisted that America is a Christian nation founded on Judeo-Christian values and that our government policies should be reflective of that.

Even moderate Republican Presidential Candidate John Kasich has gotten in on the act saying that he would, “Create a government agency that would teach Judeo-Christian values.”

Um..no.  Just…no.

Yes, Evangelicals want their cake and eat it, too because, I mean, who doesn’t.  They call this a Christian nation and attempt at every turn to interject their Christian values into our laws.

They want the Ten Commandments displayed in every court room.

They want [Christian] prayer and Bible reading in every government run public school.

They want Creationism taught as an alternative theory to Evolutionary Theory in government run public schools because Evolutionary Theory is just a theory.  It says so right there in the name of it.

They want [Christian] prayer before government council meetings and Senate and Congressional meetings.

They want to ban abortion and same-sex marriage.

I could go on.

Yes, this is a Christian Nation and the government should operate on those values, except when it shouldn’t.

Namely now.

On just one blog that I read in just two posts  I’ve read these responses from three different Christians to our current situation regarding the refugee crisis:

It is important to keep in mind that the US Government is not the church, and should not be expected to conduct its affairs according to the teachings of Jesus. While we have always and will always accept refugees, I do think it is prudent to put some safety measures in place to keep ISIL terrorists out of the group we let in. -Jim

 

For instance, I keep having the good Samaritan pushed in my face. Great story. I should treat my enemies exactly that way on a personal level. Yep yep yep. Agreed no problem.

But, that story is not a good analogy for how a government protects it’s citizens, Ruth. – Wally

 

Where I stand now is that the government—those who are responsible for the defense of the nation—may not have the same position I as an individual have. – Rebecca

Now, in the spirit of fairness, I get  that people, all sorts of people are conflicted about this issue.  And it is entirely possible that all three of these commenters favor the wall of separation between church and state.

But I keep reading these sentiments over and over on various forms of social media.  The U.S. Government is not the Church.  The U.S. Government doesn’t have to or need to ask, “What would Jesus do?”

Well, dang, that’s what we’ve been saying all along.

Now, can we just be human beings and help refugees because it’s the right thing to do? Can we not all put our collective heads together to come up with a solution to this crisis that doesn’t involve eating each other alive?

For those who can, welcome to the middle ground.

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33 thoughts on “This is a Christian Nation

  1. I must admit, I’m kind of enjoying this. I shouldn’t get any kind of satisfaction from people being cruel in the face of tragedy, and yet the irony here is keeping it all a shade lighter for me …

    It’s easy. We’re in rich countries, we help as many people as we can. There are security measures that obviously need to be attended to, but we don’t need to pretend they are insurmountable and would make it okay to turn away people desperate for help. I’m happy that Scotland got its first batch of 1000 last week and think we all need to look more closely about what Germany is doing – 500,000 a year without blinking.

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    • Our country has taken in Syrian refugees in the past. The number is in the hundreds, though, not the thousands. This entire thing is a knee-jerk reaction to what happened in Paris. As Americans we don’t realize that we don’t have the same border-security issues that most of the EU does. They essentially don’t have borders because of EU agreements.

      Wouldn’t it be so much better, though, if we stopped sniping at each other about ultra right-wing ideal vs. ultra left-wing ideals, what a Christian response should be vs. what a secular response should be, and rolled up our sleeves and got on with the hard work of helping the refugees.

      They can’t live in those camps indefinitely, or at least they shouldn’t have to. I agree with you that security measures need to be attended to. There are far too many in this country who don’t think that the security issues are insurmountable. They think it’s all rather easy. Just close the borders.

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  2. I love the whole “Christian Nation” thing. Of course, you’re not, never were, but it’s always fun to ask a Christian then, “What would a Christian nation actually look like”?

    Liked by 2 people

      • What does a Christian nation education policy look like? In a Christian nation, do clerics sit on the Supreme Court? What does a Christian nation’s foreign policy look like? Does a Christian nation have a standing army, and if so, would it be expeditionary in nature? What would a Christian nation’s social welfare and healthcare systems look like?

        It’s fun, you should try it, Ken

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think we Americans have already experienced it to a certain degree, John. I hate to say but in years past I was all for it. That’s when I was an indoctrinated fundamentalist christian. There are millions living here who would be all for it today 100%. Though most of these ifc’s aren’t prepared to wear a vest with a button or solve conflicts by severing a head, they are none the less, indoctrinated. They believe their way is the only way.

          One of the biggest challenges facing the world today is overcoming indoctrination. Whoever has a plan for this could possibly bring peace and/or save the world.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Oh, they want it, I agree, but they’ve never really thought about what it would actually be. I mean, in the first instance, which branch of Christianity is the nation going to follow? Catholicism, Protestantism? What do you do, then, with the “other”? What would a Christian nation’s science policy look like? That’s a tricky question.

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    • I will stick with my first answer, “Shutter the thought” 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • That one’s easy, John. It would look like Saudi Arabia, but with more crosses.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. I agree Ruth, we should help the refugees . What I want to know however is where was this outcry when 60 Minutes proved to us that Bashar Hafez al-Assad was using chemical weapons to annihilate these same people 2 years ago ? This was later verified by the U.N. Our President drew a line in the sand and stated that if chemical weapons were proven ,al_Assad and his regime would face severe consequences . And what happened ? Nothing !

    If our President is right that a 2 year vetting process would be required before we let them in our country, where would they live between now and then? How would we help them if we wanted to today ? If we don’t help them today, they will be forgotten in 2 years. Many of them were killed with chemical weapons 2 years ago .

    I’m just asking questions. How do we help today ? It seems to me the urgency is today not when they are vetted in 2 years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like Obama, he’s got a good head to sit in that thankless office, but yes, he did mess up with the whole “line in the sand” business.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I’m appalled that we did nothing in the face of that, especially after drawing said line in the sand. But I’m also equally appalled that we’ve done nothing in Darfur and the Sudan. We invaded Iraq during desert storm because Hussein had a) invaded Kuwait and b)gassed his own people. Anyone who thinks that propping up Assad is the best route needs to think again. Syrians were running from him, too. And then they ran from the civil war there. A civil war in which we aided the rebellion.

      These are exactly the kinds of questions I’m getting at with my post. Let’s forget about Christian vs. non-Christian. Let’s forget about Republican vs. Democrat. Let’s find some middle ground here somewhere and figure out how to help these people!

      I wrote this post the other day and included some links at the bottom for various organizations that are aiding the refugees, most of them in camps and helping them get registered as refugees.

      I’m guess that 2-year vetting is why many of them will be resettled in places in the EU.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. For a great number of Christians, to which I’ve taken to describing as “social believers” who go to church for no better reason than it’s what people do to keep up appearances, living by the high standards set by Jesus in the New Testament is more an optional matter of convenience and open to great situational interpretation. I was raised in the Methodist Church, but got over my habit long ago–now I’m just a recreational user, happy to have a taste at Christmas, but otherwise uninvolved with that whole unlikely nonsense. If someone tired to pimp this story in modern times–supernatural being impregnates virgin–the best that could be hoped for was a cover story on the Weekly World News. And yet, millions not only believe it, they would have us base our entire civilization on the ramblings of an indigent, possibly alien-spawned, hippie preaching love and tolerance.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Except a whole bunch of them don’t want him to be an indigent hippie preaching love and tolerance – alien spawned or not.

      They want him to be ConservaJesus. An ultra right-winger who opposes the use of herbs even for medicinal purposes, is embarrassed by the fact that he turned that water into wine because…drunkard!, and hoards all the money he makes while wearing his three-piece suit to go on vacation with.

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  5. Unless the “history” you learned from your parents and family, then your private-schooling or “home-schooling” was strictly covering the tiny group of the Puritan pilgrims at Plymouth, Massachusetts and nowhere else on the continent — including the Native American tribes — then sure, YOUR America is a Christian Nation. LOL 😮

    Or perhaps your “history” is one of the hundreds of various religious refugees fleeing religious European death and persecution by the almighty Roman Catholic Church and Pope throughout the 17 and 1800’s, then sure, YOUR America is fondly a sort of “Neo-Christian Nation” whose prior refugees accepted you — excluding the Native American tribes and their beliefs. Or perhaps your ancestors got “caught up” in the Salem witch trials here, or the profitable slave-trade in the deep South because for multiple generations you’ve been taught that there are CLEARLY superior human beings and there are inferior sub-humans, typically NOT Xian sub-humans. Or maybe your ancestors immigrated to the U.S. from the British wars between the IRA and England — Irish Catholic vs. Church of England — or even split into the PIRA (Provisional IRA), the CIRA (Continuity IRA), or the RIRA (Real IRA)… or the 33,000 different divisions of Protestantism… as I begin to laugh over the non-stop fragmenting in mythological religions. I’ll stop here because my comment could go into next year if I listed all of America’s different religions, past and present. LOL 😛

    But fortunately many well-educated American Moderates know that the U.S. was NOT founded as a Christian nation. Period. I wrote a lengthy (but academically brief blog-post about this mistaken identity and history that American Conservatives insist on falsly perpetuating… if interested:

    http://wp.me/p1uLmp-2jL

    Nevertheless, your point Ruth about simply being an empathetic human from planet Earth is a song I sing more and more often in this hate-ridden divisive humanity. I applaud you! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • I thought about, for the sake of brevity, doing a sort of “Bubba Gump” impression of Christianity. You know, “You got your Catholic Christians, and your Southern Baptist Christians, and your Methodist Christians. You got your Independent Baptist Christians, and your Episcopal Christians and your Lutheran Christians. You got your Jehova’s Witness Christians, and your African Methodist Episcopal Christians. You got your Church of God Christians, and your Church of Christ Christians, and your Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Christians. You got your…”

      Yes, indeed, it is a mistaken identity and a rewrite of history to claim otherwise. But don’t Kirk Cameron that.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Canada is taking in twenty five thousand refugees in the next month or so. I’m happy and proud that Canada is doing this. The cost though I’d going to be enormous, like in the billions, and I’m not entirely sure the average Canadian can appreciate this. We can be kind to a fault, and naive at times. Our new Prime Minister means well but he is a child in many ways. So I’m torn on this issue. I’m glad we’re doing it but I am wary.
    My other big chagrin in all this is that once again the grotesquely wealthy Arab nations in that area of the world get a pass on this as they do so many things and frankly I think it is bullshit. They seem never to be condemned for their negligence.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The think is, John, twenty-five thousand refugees is a drop in the bucket. There are 4.8 million Syrian refugees. This doesn’t account for any other refugee groups. Wow. That’s an astounding number.

      You should be happy and proud that Canada is taking in any number of these refugees. I’m open to any number of suggestions as to how to help the remainder resettle. It is true that the wealthy Arab nations around them seem to be getting a pass and perhaps there are some ways of putting pressure on them to resettle them there.

      I’m certainly not arguing that there isn’t a more efficient, better, alternative to resettling them here. But how do we force other nations to step up to the plate? We can only control what we are doing.

      There are cultural/religious concerns. While the U.S. is supposed to be a melting pot and we’re supposed to have religious liberty and a host of other freedoms it cannot be understated the level of fear and xenophobia that run rampant. I’m deeply concerned for how refugees will be treated once they arrive here.

      There is also the economic concern, though the U.S. refugee program works like this:

      http://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/refugees-asylum/refugees

      So we loan them the money for travel and they are eligible for financial assistance on arrival. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll get it. And they are eligible to work right away.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, I am proud of Canada and we are definitely fighting above our weight in population proportion. And I am a bit surprised with how xenophobia has taken hold in America. I certainly don’t want that. But Canada has a tendency to see the world through rose coloured glasses and so I do not want us to reckless. It is a middle ground I seek.

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        • I’m not sure that xenophobia has taken hold here. I think it was this way all along.

          We did the same thing to the Jews who sought refuge here before and during WWII, we placed Japanese-Americans in internment camps, we have a terrible history with African-Americans which continues even now(not sure how much news you get there of it), we drove the Hispanics off the Texas/Southwest Territory, and what we did to the Native Americans is barbaric.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Over at Godless in Dixie, Neil Carter explains in depth the Christian illusion of history. The role of Christians such as William Wilberforce and Martin Luther King in ending slavery and racial segregation is championed as a triumph of Christian values. Yet…..
    When the actual history is examined it turns out that these advances were only achieved against the ardent opposition of ‘Bible believing Christians’. Wilberforce and Luther king were a minority, liberal, Christian position in their day.

    Carter’s eloquent demolition of the Christian view of history is found in his review of Tim Keller’s latest book, Here</a

    That astute observer of humanity, Mark Twain, nailed it. Twain was writing over a hundred years and his quote need to be seen in that context, since his death we have seen the development of post Christian nations, which are the most enlightened and progressive.

    The so-called Christian nations are the most enlightened and progressive…but in spite of their religion, not because of it. The Church has opposed every innovation and discovery from the day of Galileo down to our own time, when the use of anesthetic in childbirth was regarded as a sin because it avoided the biblical curse pronounced against Eve. And every step in astronomy and geology ever taken has been opposed by bigotry and superstition. The Greeks surpassed us in artistic culture and in architecture five hundred years before Christian religion was born.
    – Mark Twain, a Biography

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    • Confession: I started following Neil when he was a WordPress blogger. I love his writing. But ever since he moved to Patheos I don’t read him as often because his blog posts take forever to load for me. All the adverts make me crazy. I’m usually pressed for time so his (usually) lengthy posts coupled with the slow loading time make it hard for me to read him as often as I would otherwise.

      It’s not just his blog, either. I used to read Year Without God a lot, too. I think it’s just that platform, unfortunately.

      I’ll go check out this post and get back to you.

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      • I know exactly what you mean about Pathos taking a long time to load (I think it is all the adds), but it is worth the wait.

        I suggest a strategy of clicking on the page and then going and putting the kettle on some other two or three minute task.

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  8. Sorry i mucked up the formatting, to find Neil Carter’s post click on the ‘Here’ not the Mark Twain quote.

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  9. I think this is the height of hypocrisy. When it serves them, they are yapping there is less god in the lives of the people but when they should demonstrate it, oh no, god doesn’t want us doing that!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is precisely the point. Look, just about everybody is a hypocrite at some point about something. But I’ve been hearing, “Christian nation, Christian nation, Christian nation,” for as long as I can remember. Now, all of a sudden, when it suits their purpose…”Uh…Christian nation? Our government isn’t a Christian government and doesn’t adhere to, ‘what would Jesus do’?” It’s an embarrassment, really.

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      • I admit at some point we have blind spots. I for one is opposed to capital punishment but I would look the other side if someone was to drown all our current members of parliament, senators and county assemblies. Rather if I could wake up and find the political class and all with such aspirations all dead, I would be happy. They mess this country badly

        Liked by 1 person

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