Monday, July 4, 2011

Bad news for American Christians

I'm tired.
I'm old and tired.
In fact, I'm old, and tired of nonsense.

I usually regret going to church on the July 4th weekend because of the nonsense of historically ignorant Christians who think that America was founded on "Christians" and "Christian principles."
What they don't want to hear is actually was American founded on, and still pursues lo these many centuries later.

So, with a profound sense of exhaustion, I present a mathematical equation...perhaps, this will astound some, offend a lot, and bemuse those who wished this could be plastered on highway signs across the nation ala Harold Camping and his circus of doomsday cultists.

so...on to the bad news.


does not equal this

So stop it.


I think it's inappropriate to say the pledge of Allegiance in Church, I think it's highly inappropriate to equate America with Christianity by the use of co-equivalency measure of "Freedom" being indicative of sameness. And it is outright self-deception to revise history in a manner that is blatantly dissembling with what really is our national history.

No matter how you try, no matter how much you revise, restate, or outright dissemble the United States of America was never founded as a Christian nation.period.end.of.discussion.


  1. I second your piece, S. "God Bless America" is NOT a political statement.

    Happy 4th to all!

    I managed to not blow myself and home up. ;)


  2. PS

    Find yourself a better style of Christian.


  3. Didn't Mohandas Gandhi say something like "While I like your Christ I don't particularly like your Christians - so many of them are so unlike your Christ."?

  4. According to Wiki, that's disputed, and it probably is an amalgam mixed from what it is reported that Ghandi did say or write.

    Like this:

    A man of truth must also be a man of care.
    Part I, Chapter 5, At the High School
    About this time, I heard of a well known Hindu having been converted to Christianity. It was the talk of the town that, when he was baptized, he had to eat beef and drink liquor, that he also had to change his clothes, and that thenceforth he began to go about in European costume including a hat. These things got on my nerves. Surely, thought I, a religion that compelled one to eat beef, drink liquor, and change one's own clothes did not deserve the name. I also heard that the new convert had already begun abusing the religion of his ancestors, their customs and their country. All these things created in me a dislike for Christianity.

    The trouble is, that many Christians ( I assume ) take Jesus' words in John 14:6

    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. . .

    and the Great Commission ( Go out and baptize . . . )

    not only as an imperative to convert all people to Christianity, but also an imperative to live like the missionary. That puts off many, because religion is as much of an individual's culture and life as language, thought, and what foods to eat.

    And what's the advantage that Christianity claims to have over Hinduism?

    A better life-style?

    Ghandi is asking quite logically why should a Hindu's conversion to Christianity also include a conversion to the European style of living and view of the world.

    S. is correct to write here that US politics and patriotism has no business in a Christian church. I'll go as far as saying it's heretical, and this church he cites is not Christian, because they do not love God above else. The P of A is a foreign "idol" against which the Old Testament rants so often.

    ( Wishing we had "edit" ability. )


  5. Sheer-

    Thank you.

    Amen, Amen, Amen. Crass self-validation of the lowest sort.

    I am please to say that when Congress inserted "Under God in the Pledge" in 1954, I and many of my school classmates refused to utter those words, primarily because of a non-denominational prayer, written by the NY State Board of Regents that was also required to be said in all assemblies in NY State public schools. Enough was enough. We simply remained silent at that point, just as we were silent when the Regents' Prayer was said. None of felt that our personal religious beliefs should be intruded upon by a "non-denominational" prayer.

    I entered the Corps shortly after graduating HS, and since the Pledge is not appropriate at military formations (we serve under a much higher and official Oath to the Constitution), for the next 35 years, I never was in a position to utter the "under God". Since retiring, on those few occasions where the pledge was being said, I simply have done what I did in HS - remain silent at "under God".

    I wonder if all those right wing evangelical Protestants even know that the driving force behind "under God" was the Knights of Columbus? You know, the Roman Catholic K of C. Yup, it was a Papist plot!

  6. Terrific post, Sheer. Al brings up an interesting point about the military and the pledge of allegiance. Folks, esp. here in the South, are surprised when I tell 'em, "No, it isn't done in the military. The flag is a piece of cloth." Some of 'em don't like that latter comment, but inasmuch as wingers love them some military even if they themselves can't be bothered to serve, they drop it.

    I don't remember the last time I said the pledge. Probably in elementary school. California boy, you know. And speaking of California, when I made my brief foray into the education business after the turn of the century, I asked the county school teaching guru if I would be expected to lead the pledge in class. "Oh, no," she said, "too controversial." I said, "Good."

    I don't believe in the pledge, with or without "under God." I know the origins. Smacks too much of Chamber of Commerce boosterism and Babbit.

    Al's right about the origins of the "under God" nonsense. But we shouldn't forget that Eisenhower, whom I generally respected, went right on along with it, supposedly because it would draw a bright line between we good guys and godless Communism. Ike knew better. I doubt he ever said that pledge in his entire life.

  7. Interesting.

    When I was in elementary school we learned the Preamble to the Constitution, among other things (including Lincoln's Gettysburg Address) and those words have stayed with me the rest of my life. For some reason I came up with them last evening.

    "Why bother learning that stuff?" my bride, whose interest in and knowledge of history stps with 1776 and All That.

    "Because we're an odd sort of country. We don't have anything else that holds us together; we don't have a "national heritage" or a national language or "national culture"; we don't have much in the way of traditions in the sense that a Russian is Russian or a Thai is Thai. What we have are those words, those principles, those ideals. The words of the Constitution, the ideals Lincoln expressed at Gettysburg. THAT's why we learned them, because they express what "it means to be American".

    I think what's happening now is that a whole bunch of people are getting to interpret and express "what it means to be an American"...and it's not like, or much like, that white-bread version I grew up with. And there are lots of people who are uncomfortable with that.

    So - as always - when threatened, the natural tendency of those under "threat" is to become MORE fanatic, more doctrinaire. So Al's Roman Church becomes less tolerant of minor deviations during the Crusades, or during the Reformation, than when it was the lazy and unchallenged top religion in Europe.

    I think that's a big part of what's going on here. The Michelle Bachmann/Glenn Beck/Rush Limbaugh nutbar wing of the American Right is seeing all these "scary" people - Muslims, gays, Mexicans, trying to shoulder their way into their small-town, under-God America. And they don't want that.

    I honestly believe that the next twenty years will produce either a de facto oligarchy that will be aided in their pursuit of power by the 27-percenters and their pushback against these newcomers or a real change in the demographic of the U.S. Not that the latter will be "better"...just different from what we see now.

    Cynical me, I'm betting on the former; at some point the fears and hatreds of the "Chrsitian America" crowd will get a Bachmann elected and I will end up getting ticketed by some Clackamas County cop for public blasphemy.

    So it goes.

  8. Al - To this day when reciting the pledge I always say indivisible twice.

  9. To all,
    I just read Shirers last book about the life of Tolstoy, and it appears that T had a great effect on G's thinking/phil.
    Just thought you all would like to know this if desiring to do further research.