America is NOT a Christian nation: As a friend of Christ and an American, I am thankful
I keep hearing these comments made about America being a Christian nation. America is a multi-cultural, multi-racial, multi-religious country. I believe we’re all the better for it. We are not a Christian nation, a Muslim nation, or a secular nation. What we are is a nation of diverse peoples who could and should be made stronger by our diversity. How can Americans expect to keep their freedoms when they are so quick to deny those freedoms to others?
If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.
~Founding Father George Washington, letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789
It seems to me, Muslim Extremists act out in terrible, violent ways because they have become so obsessed with being right and with trying to force, by any means necessary, their world view, that they forget the whole message of their religion. Sound familiar? Well, it should. Because it happens within Christianity as well. I am not just talking about the crusades or the Catholic/Protestant let’s burn/behead anyone who disagrees. Even in this day and age: dangerous cults, abortion clinic bombings, homophobia, violence committed in God’s name. There are atrocities going on right now in around the world in the name of Christianity that make me feel physically sick. The more you allow hate and fear to control your thinking the more twisted your worldview becomes.
I get it, people are scared. Our fear does not service us. To use a Star Wars reference, “Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, and hate leads to the dark side.” Every time.
The anti-Islamic, or anti-(place group of choice here) sentiment in the country and in the world is just awful to behold. It seems obvious to me that when you think using a US vs. THEM mentality that you are becoming exactly what you fear, an extremist. You may not be blowing anything up, but you are contributing to an environment of fear and distrust that can only lead us down the path to The Dark Side.
Because religious belief, or non-belief, is such an important part of every person’s life, freedom of religion affects every individual.
State churches that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights. Moreover, state support of the church tends to make the clergy unresponsive to the people and leads to corruption within religion. Erecting the “wall of separation between church and state,” therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society. We have solved … the great and interesting question whether freedom of religion is compatible with order in government and obedience to the laws. And we have experienced the quiet as well as the comfort which results from leaving every one to profess freely and openly those principles of religion which are the inductions of his own reason and the serious convictions of his own inquiries.”
~Founding Father Thomas Jefferson: in a speech to the Virginia Baptists, 1808
I would like to believe we have not forgotten the terrible lessons of the Holocaust and the anti-Semitic, or anti-(place group of choice here) sentiment that allowed it to take place. To place the blame on Hitler alone, or the Nazi party, or the Germans is a dangerously blind simplicity of history. The belief that Jews were inherently evil had been propagated for some time. As were similar sentiments about the mentally disabled and others who became targets for Nazis. This was a widely held view by many, even Christians, that accumulated in the actions of Hitler and the Nazi Party. I would like to believe that we, humanity, learned something from that. However, the Islamaphobia and general fear and hatred of THEM that I see taking place in this country makes me doubt that we have.
Religion is not mandated or imposed by the American government for one reason, it does not, can not, and should not work. Our forefathers understood that. They saw what happened in Europe when the Government tried to enforce religious beliefs. A bloodbath. Wars and countless atrocities all in the name of God. So in their wisdom they wrote the first amendment which allows for freedom of religion, freedom of thought and faith. You must choose God for God to have any effect on your life. Mandates are made by man and man is certainly no God.
Ephesians 4:2-3 “with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
We shall overcome.