A Christian Nation?

Posted: 1 July 2010 in human rights, religion, republicans, terrorism, war

The Religious Right simply cannot get enough of the concept that These United States are a Christian Nation™, founded on Christian Values™, and therefore, we need to Christian the place up.  Of course, they have very strange ideas of what Christian Values™ actually entails.

Let’s do some quick defining:  For starters, what constitutes “Christian” anyway?  The Bible itself is made up of two distinct (and conflicting) parts, those being the pre-Christ and Christ-and-beyond parts.   The first is made up of a long list of back story, but the meat of Christianity is in the New Testament.  Everything before that can be described as “not Christian.”  So, let’s focus our attention on the New Testament.

A “Christian Nation™,” therefore, would be bound by all of the morality espoused by the New Testament.  It would not only be forced to uphold whatever strictures were mentioned, but it would also be forced to conform to those very strictures.  Matthew 5 (The Beatitudes) has a number of very specific things to say, none of which sound very American.

The two biggest changes we’d need as a nation would be how we deal with the least among us (you know, the bottom 98% of all earners), and our national “defense.”  Verse 42 has something to say about the former…

Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.

And right on the heels of that, Verses 43-45 discuss the latter…

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you

Oh my!  We’re supposed to care for the poor and not fight our enemies?  What kind of madness is this?   Of course, if we were to eliminate the defense budget, we’d have a lot more left over for stuff like paying our outstanding national debt (as we should, according to Romans 13:8).

So no, this is not a “Christian Nation™,” it is simply a nation that happens to be populated with people claiming to be Christians.  Capitalism in its current form (and, in particular, American capitalism) is wholly incompatible with the Christianity that is found in the Bible.  The next time someone tries screaming about this being a Christian nation, agree with them, and ask them if they support relief funding for wounded Taliban fighters.  If they say no, tell them that they’re not Christians, and if they’re not of Christ, then they are certainly of Satan and aren’t welcome in this Christian Nation.

It’ll probably shut them up long enough for you to make a hasty retreat.

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Comments
  1. Jay Vollmond says:

    Well said Còmhradh! I’m forced to defend the secular origins and continuity of the US with many religious people in conversation. Extended family members and perfect strangers often “explain and remind” that the US was built on Christian Values™. Sometimes it can be difficult getting through to them about the honest truth of separation of church and state. I appreciate that you brought up a few bible verses that plainly show these inconsistencies. I find it frustratingly humorous that most Americans obviously don’t read (except for selective cherry-picking) the book that they seem to base their lives around. Keep up the good work!

    – Jay

  2. mythicsushi says:

    Excellent post, excellent point.

    Whether from a Christian or secular viewpoint, it’s easy to see the flaw in reasoning that puts healthcare and aid for our country’s disadvantaged people aside as “socialism” or “government powermongering” and yet proposes military buildup and aggression as perfectly in line with God’s will.

  3. Ben Hoffman says:

    Right-wingers think they can just pick and choose passages from the Bible that fit their agenda.

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