Make America Christian Again (?)

Sorry, I have to say something here.  We may not have seen (or believed) what was coming, but we all know what’s ahead now.

The Christian Nation is returning.  Back to the time when we were “Great,” and White (at least the only ones who counted, and voted, and owned property. . .), when we were all Christian too, weren’t we?  (No, but the fantasy is still strong).

I just spoke to a college class full of young minds on the topic of “Humanism.”  Students were attentive, engaged and inquisitive.  I quoted Ingersoll, Whitman, Paine, Muir and Stanton.  Lots of nodding heads (and not nodding off!).

I think. . .and hope. . .that this younger generation gets it; they know a healthy community and healthy country depends on diversity, inclusion, common sense and human rights.  So encouraging!  (hear that, you discouraged folks?).

Then, I returned home to the following comment on my recent column in a local paper entitled “Can Secular People Also Have Devotion”? (btw, my original title was, “Walls or Bridges?”).  My response follows.  I hope you see the challenge we face. . .”We” meaning those who are grateful, with or without faith, there is a country where Freedom is based on basic rights and protections for all (not just the piously privileged).

I wonder how you would have responded to this person?

(John):

Regarding your “Can Secular People Also have Devotion?” article, barring atheists from holding office indeed does sound like America. George Washington, at the first-ever Presidential inaugural address, set a religious tone by expressing his own heartfelt prayer to God. One of my ancestors, a Founding Father whose name was given to me, declared the Oath of Office not only a religious action, but “an act of worship.” Multiple U.S. Presidents have made similar acknowledgements to God in their Inauguration.

And as for your question “Does that sound fair?” (denying public office to an atheist), it is not only fair but a quite practical qualification. The Bible tells us in several places that only a fool denies the existence of God (Psalm 14:1 among others). Our Founding Fathers had the down-to-earth notion that fools should not be serving in a public office. It’s hard to argue against such a qualification when one views the broad sweep downward in our Nation’s culture and morality since this kind of qualification was deemed irrelevant. The most recent evidence is half our electorate embracing a candidate who engaged in destruction of evidence, lying to a Federal agent, treasonous sale of uranium resources to Russia, “pay for play,” looting 95+% of earthquake relief funds, and much more.

I take heart that the American public seems to be reviving to its heritage. This last election was not so much a political battle but a moral and spiritual one. I’m thankful that the side that embraces Satanic worship involving semen, menstrual blood and pedophilia was not successful.

(Chris):

Ok, John. Let’s look at what you say here. I sense you would very much like a Christian country, but sorry to let you know, it’s not, and never has been. For authority, you quote Washington, your ancestor and the Bible, while the Constitution itself clearly states in Article VI, an “oath OR affirmation” is acceptable for office, and “no religious test shall ever be required.” I take it you would replace the Constitution (that has nothing to do with the Christian God) with the Bible. I understand your wish, but it’s not reality (thankfully).

It makes no sense to jump from my Constitutionally-based question to quoting the Bible. Your holy book is frankly irrelevant to the point I make in my column. On the other hand, you prove my point. A person chooses to build walls, or bridges. You’ve chosen walls.

Apart from your obvious politicizing to tout your “I’ve never asked forgiveness” candidate, I hope you’re right about one thing: that America is reviving its heritage. That heritage happens to be secular, with protections for freedom of religion and freedom not to have a religion. If you don’t see that, I’m sorry to tell you, you missed the intent of the Founders including your namesake.
Yet, I still wish you peace, and defend your right to believe what you do. Apparently, you don’t defend my freedoms. That indeed does not sound very American. . .or Christian.

I ignored that he called me a fool.

Was it foolish to even respond?

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4 thoughts on “Make America Christian Again (?)

  1. I think you handled it well. I might have pointed out that the wording in the Constitution is:
    “Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

    So, if John has an issue with an “Oath” being some religious ritual, a President may “Affirm”. I also noticed the constitution states “He”, so I suppose John feels women shouldn’t be allowed to run for President either?!?

    I find it strange he quotes John Witherspoon, could he have chosen a more obscure founder? Perhaps if he followed along with the more active founders, he may see the same thing you and I do, that we were meant to be a secular nation.

  2. Thanks for the comment, David. Yes, the omissions and faulty logic are strange, but maybe not so strange in the current climate. Witherspoon was a Presbyterian (I used to be one) but I doubt very much he wanted a Presbyterian country with exclusively Presby leadership. Then again. . .

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