Christianity Validates Patriotism
July 10, 2002
As I was conducting my daily research of the vast array of opinion articles and news stories across the World Wide Web this week, I came across a single question in an Upstate, South Carolina publication that struck me as a unique topic worthy of additional discussion and debate with the readers of Commonvoice.com.
I found the opprobrious article in MetroBEAT, formerly known as the quirky and leftist-leaning Creative Loafing. The best part of this free weekly magazine-styled newspaper is their discussion of a hot political topic of the day in a series they call “Left Hook Right Hook.” WORD radio talk show host and Commonvoice.com’s very own Ralph Bristol is responsible for writing the Right Hook (conservative) response and Roxanne Walker has the duty to make up some obligatory BS for the Left Hook (liberal) side.
The subject of this week’s article was the recent controversy that ensued over the two words “Under God” in the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance. For those of you living on another planet and missed this story, a 9th Circuit Court judge in San Francisco ruled that the Pledge was unconstitutional in schools because it violated the fictitious separation of church and state.
Roxanne Walker, who seems proud of the fact that she is unabashedly liberal, asked a seemingly harmless question in her piece entitled “Godless Patriots: Even unbelievers love their country” (Go to http://www.metrobeat.com if you want to read the article).
Here was the question she asked that spawned my response:
What does patriotism have to do with religion?
As soon as I read that question early in her article, a whirlwind of ideas quickly ensued in my mind. As a strong believer in the one true God and the country that was founded on His principles, there are numerous connections between my “religion” and my patriotism.
Before I go on, let me clarify one point in her narcissistic question. She uses the word “religion” instead of the word “Christianity.” I would venture to say that she would use these words interchangeably, but I do not. There is a huge difference between the meanings of “religion” and “Christianity” that should be clarified. Religion is a futile process devised by men as an attempt to get to God. Christianity, on the other hand, encompasses what only Jesus Christ could have done for all mankind at the cross of Calvary so that every man and woman would have an assured way to God.
So let’s rephrase the question again using the new word:
What does patriotism have to do with Christianity?
An intriguing question indeed. Before I offer my personal insights about that question, I would like to offer the following quotes from the people who were a major part of the founding of America as well as some relevant facts about our nation’s beginnings. I will let the Founding Fathers answer the question posed by our friendly liberal columnist.
- THE original Founding Father, George Washington, said “it is impossible rightly to govern the world without God and the Bible.”
- Our Founding Fathers cited 27 Biblical violations in the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 in their opposition to Great Britain.
- Patrick Henry stated "it cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians, not on religion but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We shall not fight alone. God presides over the destinies of nations." If we ever leave God out of the picture, then prepare for our nation to crumble.
- George Washington, in his First Inaugural Address on April 30, 1789, in Federal Hall in New York City acknowledged his personal and public appreciation for God’s sovereignty over the new nation. He said that he spoke the words on behalf of every citizen of the United States. He made the bold proclamation that “no people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the Invisible Hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States.” In other words, God is at the center of this blessed country and we better not forget it!
- Of the 55 men who formed the U.S. Constitution, 52 of them were active members of their church.
- In his Second Inaugural Address on March 4, 1805, in the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., Thomas Jefferson commented directly about the role of religion in America. He said, “In matters of religion I have considered that its free exercise is placed by the Constitution independent of the powers of the General Government. I have therefore undertaken on no occasion to prescribe the religious exercises suited to it, but have left them, as the Constitution found them, under the direction and discipline of the church...” This was written AFTER the infamous letter that Jefferson wrote with the phrase “wall of separation” in it. Rather than there being a separation between church and state, though, Jefferson believed that Americans were allowed to express their religion in accordance with what their church instructs with no restrictions placed on them by the government.
- Founding Father Noah Webster, who wrote the first dictionary, could literally quote the Bible, chapter and verse.
- Every early U. S. President recognized God in their speeches and addresses to Americans.
- Benjamin Franklin made an address at the Constitutional Convention on June 28, 1787 and said “I have lived, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth -- that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?” History tries to paint Benjamin Franklin as an atheist, but this quote blows that theory out of the water!
- James Madison said "we have staked the whole future of American civilization not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments." And now we have a problem even putting them on the wall in our public schools!
- Our Founding Fathers believed that you could not even call yourself an American if you did not respect and revere the Word of God.
- In his Farewell Address, George Washington said "you cannot have national morality apart from religious principle." Could this explain why there are so many problems in our country today? Hmmm...
Can you believe there are actually people in this country who would have to ask the question what does patriotism have to do with Christianity? Oh, how we have fallen in just a little over a couple hundred years of existence as a country!
The question is still on the table: what exactly does patriotism have to do with Christianity?
Did you know that the word “patriotism” comes from the root word “pater,” which means father? The very essence of being patriotic has its roots in remembering and honoring the faith of our fathers. It is about those men who have gone before us, making sacrifices on behalf of us. We honor their lives by showing reverence to the Lord God they trusted to protect them and their country.
The Bible clearly states that God has the power to set up kings and bring them down. God works within the life of a nation that was founded on a body of believers who trust Him to provide and protect them. This does not mean that Christians who live in that nation are haughty in regards to our love of country. Rather, it means they acknowledge God has taken care of and blessed that nation for many years. We should all look at the sacrifices made by our forefathers and give thanks to the Lord God Almighty for what He has been able to accomplish through their unwavering trust and faith in Him.
Additionally, the life of a Christian is not separated into secular vs. Christian. A true believer in Jesus Christ lives his life the same way every day. Since everything is sacred to a Christian, being involved and engaged in the culture is living his life for the glory of God. This includes involvement in law, government, education and politics, just to name a few.
Finally, you look at the men who sacrificed their lives for this country and you are reminded that a genuine passion and love for America is the price of freedom. And our freedom comes to us solely from God.
It is only through our Christian heritage that our patriotism can truly be validated!
(Thanks, Roxanne, for the unbeknownst wake-up call reminder why real Christians all across America love God and love America so much! God bless our Founding Fathers for trusting God to guide and protect them!)