I just logged into Facebook and was hit with a post at the top of my feed which I read and said to myself, more people are getting it. Who wrote the post? To my surprise, it was a friend, a former Republican, who I respect dearly but from which I did not expect such a public rant that is genuine and requires much examination. Is America a Christian nation?
I’m trying to understand when we were a Christian nation. Was it when we dispossessed and exterminated the native population? Was it when Jefferson wrote so eloquently about liberty even as slaves labored outside his window? Was it when children worked long hours in horrible conditions in factories and mines? Was it when we tried to defeat unions with bullets and billy clubs? Was it before women had the right to vote and real status as independent persons? Was it when we dropped our atom bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Was it when we bullied and persecuted gay people? There is so much more to our faith than mere sexual ethics and mores. Indeed, those are not the beating heart of the message, because the Good News cannot be reduced to a behavioral code.
Can anyone dispute any of those statements? Intellectual honesty makes that impossible. Unlike Americans who know little about the histories of many foreign countries, foreigners are very well aware of American history. They learn it school, and many of them have lived the realities of American policies seldom revealed by the corporatized American media. And for that reason, when our citizens and politicians make uninformed statements about our goodness and exceptionalism, they view it with disdain.
America is a country comprised of wonderfully good people just as much as in most countries around the world. And yes we also have bad people, bad politicians, and bad religious leaders who’ve promoted just as much evil as those from other countries. In effect humans. Irrespective of origin share the same traits, the propensity to do both good and bad. Attempting to make one’s country more exceptional than another ask’s that other put their head in the sand like many of our citizens have been taught to do.
I would urge everyone to read the book Howard Zinn’s “A People’s History of the United States” for a more raw look at our history. It covers many subjects from our colonization that is glossed over or not taught at all.