Many Christians argue that America was founded on Christian morals and beliefs. I have never really been able to grasp that crazy concept especially given the fact that we were founded based on a collective agreement that religion in government is a bad thing and we no longer wanted to be oppressed by it. Religious oppression is the very reason America is HERE today! So, why circle back? Well, we are on track for doing just that.
From 1892 to 1954, god was not mentioned in our pledge of allegiance. It took the Communist scare of the early 50’s to get the word “God” added to anything. You see, at that time, communists were known atheists and since we did not want to align ourselves with communism in any way, we over reacted (weird) and added the word “God” to everything so that it was known that we weren’t atheist therefore we could not be communist either (this is a gross over-simplification of the entire ordeal, but you get the point).
“Senator Homer Ferguson sponsored a bill to add the words ‘under God’ to the Pledge. On June 8, 1954, the bill was approved as joint resolution and signed into law on June 14, Flag Day. That day President Eisenhower said, “From this day forward, the millions of our schoolchildren will daily proclaim in every city and town, every village and rural schoolhouse, the dedication of our nation and our people to the Almighty.” The alteration made the Pledge both a patriotic pledge and a public prayer.” ( Buzzle )
Flag Day became a horrible, horrible day and a giant step backwards for Americans. But, I digress…
It is in America’s nature to be constantly in the pursuit of wealth and success. Wealth means you succeeded in your pursuit of the “American Dream” and that monetary success is highly frowned upon in the Bible:
“And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:24
We value individualism, free speech and the power of dissention. But the Bible says that we should submit ourselves to “every ordinance of man” :
“Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good.” 1 Peter 2:13-14
Ok. Most of us abide by the law, even if we disagree. But what if our laws and values are contradictory to god’s laws and values?
The Ten Commandments, Exodus 20:3-2, 7-10, 12-17
1. “You shall have no other gods before Me.
We idolize our favorite celebs.
2. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;
These things sell like hot cakes!
3. “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
4. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates.
35% of all working Americans work on the weekend and 51% of those working more than one job do, too. How much do you want to bet that one of the days they work is a Sunday?
5. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
We have a culture of getting rid of our parents as they age and become bothersome.
6. “You shall not murder.
7. “You shall not commit adultery.
Yes, this is completely real. It actually exists.
8. “You shall not steal.
9. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
Look at any magazine or newspaper rack in America (who am I kidding… look anywhere online!) and find stories of people blaming others, telling lies and living in deceit.
10. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey (I prefer to say ass. It sounds funnier and I’m really mature.), nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
Plastic surgery is a BOOMING industry in the US. Everyone wants what they don’t have!
American values rarely align themselves with Christian values and for that, I am glad. Of course there are some virtuous Christian values and some awful American values, but, if it were up to me (and it is) I would pick American values over Christian values any day.
I value working hard and earning what I have while recognizing that others around me may not be so fortunate (and doing something to help!). I value education, growth and progression. I value the freedom to think and believe anything I want as well as to question anything and everything. I value equality and rights. I value accountability and being held responsible for my actions. Most Americans value these things as well.
I do not, however, value ignorance or submission. I do not value blind faith in things that may or may not exist. I do not value holding on to useless traditions that stunt growth and progress. I do not value needless guilt for things I cannot help. I do not value living to anyone’s standards but my own. And, unfortunately, these are the things most Christians do value.
America is NOT a Christian nation and I am proud of that. I refuse to stand by and watch it ever become one.