Over the past two weeks, it seems the debate over America as a Christian Nation has erupted. Conversations I've heard, have supposed that voting for Romney will somehow immediately return us to our "Christian-foundation." The arguments continue to suppose that only an uber-right-wing version of congress will ensure God's destiny for America, and that some sort of revival will spread from sea to shining sea.
Come on. Really?
I think (as a nation - or perhaps, as Christians), we've too easily repeated the mantra's of the pundits that argue such "facts." Instead, we might be better served to return to 9th grade civics class and re-read the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the founding father's other letters; to understand the myth of America being a Christian nation from its inception. (I'm assuming none of that will happen, of course).
America (whether it was, or ever has been, a "Christian Nation") is further than 1 election cycle away from turning this ship around. Just for brevity, I'll make my argument based on the statement we find on all of our currency (ironic): IN GOD WE TRUST.
The New York Times ran this article yesterday, which is sobering for a nation who believes for even one second that it's a Christian nation, much less, one that actually trusts God.
"U.S. arms sales make up most of the Global Market...Weapons sales by the United States tripled in 2011 to a record high..Overseas weapons sales by the United States totaled $66.3 billion last year, or more than three-quarters of the global arms market, valued at $85.3 billion in 2011."
[The report was prepared by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, a division of the Library of Congress. The annual study, written by Richard F. Grimmett and Paul K. Kerr and delivered to Congress on Friday, is considered the most detailed collection of unclassified arms sales data available to the public.]
The first rebuttal to this should be that just because the US is in the war business, it doesn't represent Christians. However, polling shows that over 80% of Christians support war and the overall military complex - 2/1 over non-Christians and Democrats.
I'm all for being more Christ-like as a nation, but the unguarded betrothal to nationalism is unhealthy, and antithetical to the way(s) of Jesus. It's lazy and brings us to a state where we should reprint our money to read: IN BOMBS, DRONES, SUB-MACHINE GUNS, AND FIGHTER JETS WE TRUST.
Peace (and I do mean it),
*Read more from Ross Christopher here.