No, God Doesn’t Bless America

Holy Bible And Cross On American Flag

God doesn’t bless America.

No, this isn’t the kind of inflammatory, fear-fueled message that lots of Evangelical pastors prefer to major in these days.

It’s not some doom and gloom, sky-is-falling, bullhorn warning that God is ticked-off at America and is doing terrible things to us because of it. 

This is not a dire, brimstone chastising about God abandoning us for our growing wickedness, removing the specific good fortune we once deserved and received.

It’s simply a reminder that God doesn’t bless America and has never blessed America.

God doesn’t bless America for the same reason that God doesn’t curse America—God doesn’t see America.

The heart of our Christian story is that God is not in a nation-maker or an empire-builder. God is a soul-lover.

The first few words of one of the most universally known passages of Scripture: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life, reveal something powerfully beautiful about the massive scope of the love of God and yet the startling intimacy of that love.

This love is universe-sized, and yet it is individually delivered.

There is no talk of continent or nation or government, no mention of border or land or country anymore. God’s plan is actually far too big and yet much too small for that.

It turns out that God has been creating, speaking to, and blessing people long before America was ever a gleam in mother England’s eye. Hope was already provided and it wasn’t going to be through a place or a regime or a power, but through a person. God is the hope of nations—not any nation.

The lazy phrase God Bless America has saturated our Christian culture and flooded our churches and pulpits, and yet beyond an easy high, beyond a feel-good phrase to fuel our nationalistic and religious fervor—it doesn’t really mean much.

God’s agenda is not America’s prosperity or dominance or success, and God’s reach is not confined within our borders either. To say that God blesses America, is to claim that we have the market cornered on reflecting the image of the Divine and that all of our citizens would even care to make such a claim for themselves.

I understand patriotism. I get loving where you come from. I understand how proximity naturally breeds affinity. It’s when these ideas of nationalism and home and country begin to define our theology or create our religious worldview that we fashion ourselves into an idol. We begin to actually renovate God in our own opulent, aggressive, materialistic image and ask that the world bow down to it.

When we imagine America as specifically blessed, we replace God’s will with our national desires. We make our country God’s focus. We act as if Divinity is on our payroll. We can then easily justify seeing those beyond our borders as inferior or dangerous or even evil.

We begin to legislate out the love and wrath of God.

The phrase God Bless America implies that God chooses favorites; as if driving around with a bumper sticker that reads: PROUD PARENT OF NORTH AMERICA.

The simplified story of our faith is:

– God uses a people, the Israelites, to be a model for the world; a way to reveal to them God’s character.
– God makes a covenant with Abraham to be the “father of many nations”. In this first covenant, God is reached through following rules and laws.
– When the Israelites prove to be unable to represent God and to follow the rules to perfection, God sends Jesus and he makes a second covenant. This time, God is not reached through rules, but by faith. God creates a new people; one not marked by government or borders or geography, but by belief and because of their belovedness.

In other words, God is not about the franchising out of the American Dream and we should never operate under that assumption.

In a letter to a church in Colossae (Col. 3:11-12) a pastor named Paul is writing to an early Christian faith community, and he gives them these words: Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Paul reminds his listener that all barriers and divisions, all designations, labels, borders and bloodlines are now inferior. They are man-made and they are all rendered meaningless. This is not just semantics; not merely a trivial word choice revision we need to make as we live in the world. This is a life-altering truth that can change how we see everything.

As a Christian, when I begin to live bigger than God Bless America:

God gets right-sized. Instead of being an employee of my country, God again becomes the eternal, perfect, unfathomable Creator of the world whose name or likeness or will aren’t up for sale.

Equality leaves the building. A child in the suburbs of Detroit or in the slums of Africa becomes just as important to me as one in my own playroom. I will advocate, grieve, work and sacrifice for all of them equally.

My purpose changes. My goal will no longer be to get everyone to live like America or to emulate America. I won’t look to franchise out my culture or my lifestyle. My individual calling as a believer, will be to tell every person I meet of God’s love for them.

Justice goes viral. I’ll no longer deem suffering outside my country as more tolerable as that which happens within it. I will become a citizen of the world and a lover of Humanity.

American Christian:

Love your country.
Treasure your home land.
Be proud of where you come from.
Celebrate this nation.

But never believe that God blesses America.

God loves the world.

That is even greater news.

 

140 thoughts on “No, God Doesn’t Bless America

    • The point is not patriotism. It is clear from the Bible that God DOES bless some nations. Israel, for example. But He does it for His purposes, not ours. With blessing comes responsibility.

    • You are right Hope. It is not.

      Some fundies try to claim that God specifically selected the United States to replace the Israel who rejected Jesus in 32 A.D, thus making every person in the United States God’s NEW chosen nation and people. That is not part of the gospel either. They are called Christian reconstructionists, Christian dominionists, and Christian theonomists. The so-called Seven Mountains Christians fit in with these folks too. You can read more about Christian reconstructionists in my new blog post entitled “Well… It’s About Time!!!!” at the following safe link:

      https://faith17983.wordpress.com/

  1. Ah, you will doubtless get a firestorm of criticism for this, John Pavlovitz…..When one views Earth from space, no political boundary lines are visible, no flags ….only the Earth.

    I’ve always been uncomfortable with the linkage of the United States and the Kingdom of Heaven…the US is a country among the others on the earth; we can love it, wish it well and seek its prosperity – but it is NOT Heaven.

    • It is clear that God has blessed America. Look at its prosperity. But that prosperity can be used in a self serving way. Or, it can be used to be a blessing to the World. That is the part that John misses. We are blessed, not for our own pleasure, but for the opportunity to be a blessing. Sadly, America rarely does this today. But there are men and women serving God in nations across the world.

      • God has blessed America—and lots of other places too. As the Bible says, he causes his rain to fall on both the just and the unjust. Rain can be either a good thing or a bad thing. If you are a farmer in a drought, it is a good thing. If you live on a T-0 floodplain, it can be a very bad thing and sweeps away all you own and your family members.

        But I most agree with the guy who said “God Bless America” is a prayerful request rather than a statement of the American condition.

      • Can we say that God has blessed America? Having great financial resources, etc. may seem to us a “blessing,” but look at those whom God said he “blessed,” and you will find hardship and calling. Abraham – when almost 100, is called to wander the wilderness, and never to see the “blessing” himself. Moses, also blessed, is given an impossible task, and also wanders in the wilderness for forty years, dying without ever entering the. Promised Land. To be “blessed” means something far different, apparently, to God than it does to us.

  2. A great unifying theme for the day. Less division into nations and ideologies, and more inclusion. Even sparrows and platypi need grace from time to time.

  3. You are amazing! You are voicing so many of my own thoughts and beliefs but more eloquently than I ever could Thank you so much for your insight and spiritual wisdom. You make the world a place of hope and promise. I am so blessed to have found your posts. Your writings on the 4th of July weekend are helping me to enjoy a holiday that can be a challenge. Thanks for your perspective.

  4. John- You are an idiot. Your little piece here serves your liberal minded flock well. You’ve created a straw man to spirit forward your political agenda. It’s a sad commentary on the state of so called Christian leaders today. They strive to do everything they can to throw America under the bus. Your message is small and weak.

    • Tim, God does not bless America any more than God blesses any other nation on our planet. I’m a loyal American and love my country but this notion that God somehow blesses the United States more than any other nation is bordering on idolatry. We are late comers to most of the nations of the world. We are not even a “Christian nation” despite attempts to convince us of that. We were founded as the antithesis of a theocracy. Look at the damage theocracies have done to the world over the centuries…..even to this day. I’m not a liberal. I am a moderate whose views have been molded and shaped by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And remember what Paul reminded us: neither Gentile nor Jew, male nor female, Greek nor……fill in the blank. All are one in Christ Jesus. How we conveniently forget that.

      • God loves Freedom, and Americans are fortunate (blessed by God) to live Free.

        Christianity is the most Free religion of all. It’s the only ‘religion’ that isn’t merit -based. [And it’s the only religion that is not culture-based.]

        • That depends upon which denomination of Christianity you follow. For a lot of women and children, they are little more than chattel or, at best, considered ‘complementary’ to men and denied any power to address their own needs. They often also don’t make as much money as men do while doing the same work.It also depends upon which part of the country you live in. In about 29 states, LGBT people can still be denied employment, housing, or adoption rights for the sole reason that they are LGBT and not for any other cause. In many states, blacks and other minorities are being disenfranchised by bogus voter ID laws and attempts at redistricting . In many places they are still treated like crap.

          There are a lot of so-called ‘freedom loving’ Christians out there who are doing their best to try to make America a theocracy, ruled by their particular denominational choice of Christianity. They want to have freedom to practice their beliefs while denying others, even other Christians, the right to practice their own beliefs.

          So, yeah, while we have it pretty darn good in this country, and while I’m free to speak my mind here, we’re far from perfect and we still have a lot of work to do before we can call ourselves dedicated to the freedom of all. Peace, and a Happy Fourth to you and yours!

          • Why do all LGBT ppl always lump Black people and minority people, in the same view points on u equality? I don’t get it. It’s clearly not the same. Stop doing that, please!

            • You don’t get it, Kim? It’s not rocket science. People are discriminated against, hated, denied rights, simply based on who they are, factors beyond their control. Whether it’s someone’s race/color, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity, these are simply factors of how we are born, and are immutable. So it’s EXACTLY the same thing when someone hates and discriminates on the basis of immutable biological characteristics.

              • REVEREND Carey, no you don’t get it. Do you not read your Word or have you distorted it’s meaning. Check this out:
                1 Corinthians 6:9
                Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals.

                This clearly does not say anything about anyone with a certain skin color, but it CLEARLY calls out homosexuals. How can you lump my
                Blackness, with your sinness?

                • No, Kim, you don’t get it. First, our laws are not based on your religious beliefs. Nor is our understanding of biology.
                  You quote 1 Cor. 6:9 as if you think you are showing me something I have never seen before, like you are enlightening me! Well, let me enlighten you: I am far more familiar with that verse than you, because I can quote it to you in the original Greek. I can also tell you that the translation of it you posted is nonsense, as are most English translations of it. There is no word in that verse in Greek that means effeminate, nor do any of the words mean homosexual.
                  http://hoperemains.webs.com/1cor1tim.htm
                  The plain fact remains that people no more choose their sexual orientation than their skin color. They are simply facts of life people can either accept or futilely fight against. And people are discriminated against on both counts. And THERE is the valid comparison between race and sexual orientation.

                  • Your OPINION is that people do not choose their sexual orientation. There is no hard science to prove this.
                    But just for a minute, let’s suppose that there is a in-born tendency toward homosexuality.
                    Some wonderful, liberal psychologists also say that there is a in-born tendency for some to be keptomanics. So should the church tolerate stealing because the tendency to do so is in-born?
                    And we really, really do KNOW, from the Bible, that all mankind has an in-born tendency to SIN… sin in all forms.
                    Does that cause the Bible to justify sin? Absolutely not. You can be forgiven of sin if you confess your sin and, as Jesus himself said, “Go and SIN NO MORE!”
                    Of course, all Christians will err and sin at times, but Christians do not plan to sin and do not justify their sin. Romans 13:14 clearly says, “…make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”
                    Homosexuals living in the sin of homosexuality, attempting to debase marriage by calling it between and a man and a man or a woman and a woman are clearly making provision for the flesh.
                    Christians living with the temptation of homosexuality should be prayed for, assisted and helped to avoid temptation, as should those with specific temptation of any sin.
                    Those who live openly in sin, like those living openly as homosexuals and regularly practicing the sin of it, should be prayed for but should be treated by the church the same as any person or people who openly practice sin.

                    • You have some of your own opinions in there. Nobody on earth can choose their sexual orientation. It isn’t possible. Nobody can wake up one day and “decide” to be sexually attracted to one sex, and not attracted to (or even sexually repulsed by) the other. It’s not possible. All anyone can do is act on the attraction that comes naturally to them (or live a lie to make people like you less uncomfortable.) If you think for even a second you could choose to be attracted to the same sex, then you are bisexual, because no heterosexual has that option, nor does any homosexual have the option to be attracted to the opposite sex.
                      All of that is FACT. It does not take scientific research to prove it because it’s common sense and common knowledge. Anyone who thinks about it logically, without being biased by preconceived notions, will come to that same conclusion.
                      In another post, you mentioned that you believe the Bible is 100% true. Good. So do I… AS IT WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN. That belief, however, cannot reasonably be extended to all the various translations and paraphrases of it, since they don’t agree with each other, let alone agree with the Hebrew and Greek texts. God’s protection of His word extended no further than the original languages, which He has preserved remarkably well for thousands of years. This enables us to know for sure what scripture SHOULD say. It is a sad commentary on the general dishonesty found in religion that there is NO translation of the Bible that is accurate. All were translated to support church doctrines and traditions.
                      In regard to homosexuality: Scripture in the Hebrew and Greek texts never even directly mentions it, and therefore, does not condemn it. There is some indirect mention of it, but that mention is not in any way negative. Homosexuality exists throughout God’s creation. In other words, He created it. And despite the animosity toward it from some Christians, and the ignorance that abounds in those same circles, it is not a sin, and God has no problem with it at all.

                    • Willie and Kim, please explain to me why anyone would deliberately choose a ‘lifestyle” that would expose them to ridicule and harassment at best, and bodily harm at worst? You are born as you are – there’s no “choice” about it.

        • I agree with Siddig fan. Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism are forms of oppression and slavery—and I am not talking about slavery to Christ. They are both slaves of a man-made ideology that claims to be Biblical —but they are really made up of human presuppositions that are imposed upon the Bible from outside of it—and it is antithetical to both the sayings and doings of Jesus Christ and much of the text in the New Testament. Fundieness is the very yoke of bondage Jesus came to rescue people from…

      • The only kingdom God blesses is his own, the “kingdom of God,” or “reign of God.” The only thing I”d disagree with, John, is the “simplified version” of the message. God’s call to Abraham, of course, is to be the “father of many nations.” That part is correct. Israel is supposed to be a “light to the nations.” They always struggled with that, often seeing themselves, as we tend to see ourselves as well, as “specially blessed,” as if they were especially deserving. The law was never meant to be the basis of their relationship with God, however – as Paul says, in Galatians, it was always a matter of faith. That idea, which became the kind of legalism against which Jesus fought, is also a current understanding of many evangelicals and fundamentalists as well. The law was meant to be a gift that helped them understand that they were special to him – a means of grace, as it were. But it could never accomplish that, as Paul says. Christ is the “fulfillment of the law” in that he did what the law could never do – establish and keep us in a relationship with God – a real relationship of grace and mercy. Anyway, as always, thank you for your thoughts – always good!

    • God himself says…

      “I change times & seasons, I depose Kings & set up Kings. I give wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to the discerning.”

      “I am the judge. I bring some down, and exalt
      others.”

      • I agree with you. But John has to write things that get him lots of readers from “liberals”. So he has to bash America.

        • ” So he has to bash America.”

          This is literally libel.

          “Liberals” love their country as much as “conservatives.”

          “Liberals” have different ways of looking at our country, to be sure, and “liberals,” it seems, believe that America could be better and its best days are still ahead. “Liberals” believe that the words of the Declaration and the words of the Constitution were written by flawed men with a vision of what could be, but even their vision, larger than their words, wasn’t as large as the reality of today. “Liberals” see the Declaration and the Constitution as starting points for a “more perfect Union,” to quote the words of the great Liberal Abraham Lincoln.

          All Americans should, in my opinion, appreciate the contributions and insights of “conservatives,” “liberals,” and people who simply are trying to do their best to make their world better.

          We are not “liberals” or “conservatives” in the Kingdom, of course. We are God’s family of chosen people, here to be healed and to heal.

          Let’s do that instead of bashing each other as if we’re enemies and not friends. Let’s build the Kingdom in our own lives, first, and see how that can transform our neighbors, our community, and our nation.

      • So, I guess God also established the governmental regimes of Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, and Mao? Thanks for reading the Bible literally and thereby ruining your own argument.

    • Tim, I agree with you that John is leading many, especially practicing homosexuals astray. He thinks sin is “no big deal”. He will, one day, be held accountable for the thousands he has led astray. But, please, do not call people idiots. Why? First, because it is not Godly. And, second, because it gives “liberals” fodder to condemn Biblical Christians.

      • “Biblical” Christians are those who follow the teachings of the Bible and attempt to incorporate its values into their lives. How do you think John is not a “Biblical” Christian?

        I follow the Christ of the Bible, the Jesus of history, born, crucified, dead, and risen. Isn’t that “Biblical” Christianity? Or is there some extra-special version with a secret handshake?

        If the Christianity of Christ isn’t enough, then please let me and millions of others know what it is you’re adding on to this. We’re curious to see how in your eyes our faith and obedience are flawed.

        • SM: John P continues to confess his confusion, his doubts, his worries, his unbelief about the bible.

          I think the Holy Spirit is working on John P. , as he seems so convicted (defensive).

          God is patiently waiting to hear John P say , “I give up!”

          • Paul, if you are someone who shares no doubts, confusion, worries, and yes, oftentimes even unbelief, re: the Bible, then I wonder how you can be intellectually honest about it. From my own experience, certainty doesn’t allow for openness to the Spirit – mainly because it borders on fear. In the words of Pastor Jonathan Martin, “If you feel too sure, you are probably living with a false sense of control.” My own life bears that out. John’s open admission to doubt is a breath (Spirit) of fresh air. I wish everyone could be so honest.

          • John does believe in the Bible—but just not the precise way you do. The Bible does not have to be inerrant, internally noncontradictory, or read literally to accomplish the purposes for which God gave scripture. God is a lot bigger and smarter than you fundies give him credit for being. Just sayin’.

        • I will give that an AMEN. Both John and Paul follow a NEW “secret handshake” Christianity that was founded in the United States in 1910 rather than the original Christian faith that was founded 2,000 years ago in Roman Judea and other parts of said Empire by People like Paul and Peter.

        • “How do you think John is not a ‘Biblical’ Christian?” As Matthew 7:16, “Ye shall know them by their fruits.”
          And, yes, I believe in the Bible literally true and that it is inerrant. Otherwise, it is just silly putty to be shaped however a sinner wants to shape it.
          The Ten Commandments were written in stone, not in silly putty.
          And yes, that is 100% consistent with good science. I am an engineer and I have won national awards for my technical work. Just FYI.

      • I’ll keep on saying this as long as I have to: you sanctimonious, so-called Christians are going to be in for a big surprise come Judgement Day. You’re going to discover that you don’t stand nearly as high in the Lord’s estimation as you like to flatter yourselves……

    • Tim, I think that you’re on to something about the Liberals. I sure feel Blessed in America and I feel that God is doing the Blessing!

    • Tim P Bryant John’s message is exactly the same as Christ’s message in the Bible. Therefore everything you just said to john about John’s message you have said to Christ about Christ’s message. John’s message is Christ’s message. I guess since Trump has now compared himself to Christ publically; you now believe his message is the only message from God.

    • Tim,

      You have swallowed the whole anti-Christian agenda put forth by the fundies, etc. Their religion is in no way Christian as it is a merger of the cult begun by John Calvin & Oliver Cromwell. Reagan and his fundie supporters then added “Objectivism” to the mix. It is the cult founded by the atheist Ayn Rand that possesses one and only one value. That is the worship of money & power.

      Thus this “conservative” (reactionary) movement is virtually identical to the businessmen The Christ threw out of the Temple. He make it quite clear as to the status of individuals like these.

      Stan

  5. I appreciated your thoughtful approach to this subject and I agree with much of what you said. However, I do believe God has blessed us as a nation and we need to be very thankful. To say that is not to left our nation above others, but to acknowledge that God does lift nations for his own purposes.

  6. Thank you for this, John.

    I’ve always believed that God keeps calling people of faith from narrower loyalties to broader loyalties, and that God keeps making that call broader and broader.

    The old Babel story tells us that the division of humanity into racial and national groups is a result of human sin.

    The Pentecost story tells us that being God-intoxicated leads us to the conviction that all humanity is a single family.

    Thank you for speaking the truth in love, and for doing so in such an eloquent way.

  7. @Tim P. Bryant: In the ‘new heavens and earth’, does the United States of America exist? Is it New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston or Philadelphia that comes down to earth as the residence of God and the redeemed….or is it The New ___Jerusalem__ spoken of in Revelation?

    • Well…if you talk to a Mormon or member of the Community of Christ denomination, apparently Kansas City is. They taught the New Jerusalem would touch down somewhere around Independence, MO. Seriously.

  8. John, this is one of your best posts yet. Well-spoken, with the truth clearly set forth, but eloquently expressed; only zealots and idiots will be offended. And since they are constantly offended, no worries there.

    This really is beautifully written and expresses the truth of the situation so very well. Thank you for posting this. I’ll refer friends & colleagues over.

  9. Thank you LORD, for blessing our nation. We are truly the land of the Free and the home of the Brave.

    Thank you God, that you made a Country that (still, for a little while longer) has the Freedom to chose faith, or to reject faith.

    • Thank you Lord, for Paul Inberea. Thank you for bringing her here to this blog to exemplify everything that is WRONG with your American church. Please allow her to continue writing these simple blog posts that warn people away from Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism–and that drive people out of the clutches of fundie churches—those poor people who have been battered and abused in church by a recent, man-made fundie religious system founded in 1910. As Paul Inberea drives those people into the waiting arms of Jesus, please find those people decent and loving churches where they can worship God the Father, Jesus his only Son , and the Holy Spirit in both Spirit and Truth. Please nurture them and help them to understand that the gospel is all about God’s love rather than all about God’s vengeance. Please fill the hearts of these people with YOUR ETERNAL LOVE and let them pour out that love to all of humanity in the name of our Lord Jesus—whose name is above every name—including the name “Bible.” And while you are at it, please get Paul Inberea out of that hell-hole church where she is learning fundie nonsense and Spirit her away to a decent church where she can learn the real gospel of Jesus Christ. AMEN

  10. John,
    I love reading your blog. So much of what you have to say rings true to me, and follows what my church believes. As I read today’s blog, though, I kept thinking, “That’s not how I hear it when I say “God Bless America.” I don’t hear that God has blessed us in particular, but that we are ASKING God to bless us, our country, its leaders, its freedoms, all of it. And I guess I don’t think that by saying this, I am saying God blesses our country and not others, or that He blesses ours more, just “Please bless us.”

    I can see where you are coming from, and I agree that there are people who truly believe that we are more blessed by God.

    • Tammy, thank you, I must admit I was a bit lost on this blog, for I too use the term bless as asking by prayer a blessing and covering of his mercy. God is so awesome and not to ask him for blessings, counsel, and leaders of faith ….best I can say is when I say God bless America what I am using as reference is James 1:5, so yes God bless America, bless our leaders, bless our judges – courts, bless our military, bless our outreach, bless those who have not yet found it pure joy to know you father God, in Jesus name – amen

  11. Very well put and something the Calvinists need to understand. BTW, WWI German soldiers had “God is with us” engraved on their uniform belt buckles.

  12. Paul, Darlene and I are the only sane people in this thread. God has obviously blessed America. His blessings are not a zero sum game. John, and apparently many of you, have bought into the crap that Obama has been spewing for more than seven years. I hate to break it to the libs in this thread that are praising John, but America is exceptional and much of our exceptionalism can be attributed to blessings God has bestowed upon our nation and individuals in it. Americans have leveraged His blessings to spread the Gospel to other nations all over the world. That doesn’t mean other nations are somehow less blessed. God blesses all that love Him and call him Lord regardless of their nationality. The entire premise of John’s post is ridiculous, liberal, crap we’ve all had to hear for the last 7+ years.

    • Tim: If you look honestly at the history of this country, and were honest, you’d have to admit that we have had some very shameful periods of which we have no right to be proud. We should focus more on what we can do better instead of patting ourselves on the back for how great we think we are.

    • I agree with you, but this whole post is a “mutual admiration society”. You are wasting your time. John is a false teacher that thinks “sin is no big deal”. That is the problem. It IS a big deal.

    • So, Tim, anyone who disagrees with you is not only an idiot, but also insane. God has obviously blessed the country you live in because of the faith to which you adhere. How nice. How convenient for you. I wonder if the true Americans who were displaced and slaughtered would feel the same about the blessings of God on this nation. Maybe interview some Cherokee, Shawnee, or Iroquois indians about their ancestors and get a different take on God’s hand on this nation. Just a thought.

    • This is a foolish post.

      We are first of all citizens of the Kingdom. Our hope is in heaven, not here on earth. Christians are not solely identified with one side of a political argument. Obama himself is a Christian brother, faithful to his wife, a father to his two children, who has followed Christ and led his family to follow Christ. To speak ill of a brother you do not know is both ignorance and cowardice. You might not like your brother’s political views, but it is no reason to slander or libel him. Oppose the politics, sure, but smearing the man is not a Christian value.

      If we as Christians have not changed our society based on our own lives and our own example, the government is not going to do much better. We’ve had an unbroken line of Christian presidents since the founding of this Constitutional republic, and in all that time Christian presidents and a government comprising nearly 100% Christians has not brought about the Kingdom of God in America, so it is really unfair to think that somehow Obama’s Christian faith and Christian example have failed when no one else has brought about perfect justice and peace.

      One thing I think Christianity teaches us that the Kingdom of God and the citizens of heaven must not think that alliance with any political movement will somehow bring about God’s rule. It has always, in history, resulting in the Church being a captive of a political party, and it has always, in history, led to the Church abandoning the Gospel.

      We should be warned from that and be warned from thinking or espousing the idea that all we Christians need is to get “our party” into power. It hasn’t worked before, and it won’t work this time, either.

      Want to make America better? Work on your own life. Work on your own family. Work on your own career. Work on being Jesus to your neighbor. Work on the goals and examples of Christ.

      You won’t find salvation in a political party. You won’t find righteousness in allying with a political movement. You won’t find justice in suppressing the Gospel in order to advance the cause of a sectarian belief.

      • Yep. I would add that the Kingdom of God begins here on Earth with his “will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.” However, it is not a kingdom of political boundaries or partisan politics. Instead, it is a Kingdom of human hearts who know and hear the voice of their Sheep Herder Jesus and follow that voice—knowing the voice of no one else—and refusing to follow the voices of strangers like Bob Jones, Jerry Falwell, James Dobson, etc.

    • “Liberal crap”??! Like “All men are created equal”? and taking steps to really make those words true? You poor thing. God does not dig willfull ignorance.

    • Is there a possibility that God has ALLOWED the USA to prosper rather than BLESSING us with prosperity? The fact that we have prospered (or that any nation or individual prospers) is not necessarily God’s doing. Perhaps it is God’s permissive will that, for a moment, has forestalled judgement as his perfect will is being revealed. Who is it that knows the mind of God? As someone has said, we need to be very careful in the motives and verbs we assign to God. Indeed, God’s ways are not our ways, God’s thoughts (and actions) are not ours either.

  13. I have stopped saying “I am so blessed” because it implies that somehow I deserve to blessed more than someone else. Believing that God blesses America somehow more than other countries seems arrogant and privileged, but that is pretty much the way American Conservative Christians behave nowadays in this country.

    • Are you speaking for all “Conservative Christians”? There are really not liberal or conservative Christians anymore. There are just ones that believe the Bible and those that do not. Sadly, John is a false teacher that has left the Bible. So, he really has noting to say to Christians.

      • This is a false statement.

        People who “believe the Bible” comprise a lot of Christians, some who are also conservative politically and some who are liberal politically.

        If you want to say that your interpretation of the Bible isn’t the same as others, feel free, but if you want to continue with “…and my version of the interpretation is right and all others are false,” well, then you are saying things you have no right to say.

    • I agree. It is like the kid on the playground that says, “Nya-nya-nya-nya-nyah” God has blessed my country. See how much stuff I got in my country!!! Just look at how little you got in your country. God must hate your country or else he would have blessed your country like he did ours!!!

      AND WE WONDER WHY THEY ARE SO ANGRY AT US AND WANT TO KILL US.

  14. The founders of this nation were led by their moralist philosophy to frame our government as democratic and to allow for freedom choice in the practice of religion. The earliest leaders went a step further to ensure our liberties by creating a Bill of Rights they felt would ensure for all, equal treatment under the law as well as equal opportunity to prosper. Where did these gifted men get the moral compass they used in writing our Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that most of them got it from studying the philosophy of the Reformation and the emergence of Natural Philosophy both extant in Europe in the centuries leading up to the colonization of North America. All of that philosophy was framed in the context of the Judaeo Christian Religion.

    I believe one must be very careful in stating who God blesses and whom he doesn’t. Today marked the death of Elie Wiesel a holocaust survivor and Nobel Prize Laureate. Did God Bless Elie and that is why he survived? Was God blind to politics as Pavlovitz suggest and therefore bestowed his blessing upon the Nazi’s who imprisoned Mr. Wiesel and killed 8 million Jews in the name of ethnic purity. Conversely are we to believe that God sent the holocaust to curse the Jews because he was angry with them? Does anyone seriously believe that kind of stuff?

    Should we change the words of the song to “Jefferson Bless America”? Manuel Lin Miranda certainly has a hit from his musical praising the accomplishments of Mr. Hamilton.

  15. As always, you have missed the point. God Bless America is not a bad thing to say. You are reading it to say “God Bless America Only” or “God Bless America More than those other Infidels”. That was never the intent of the phrase. You are making the phrase say something that was never its intent.

    Of course God loves all people. But, your mistake, and where you miss the Gospel, is in thinking that is a license to have no responsibility to tell people in sin that at they are perishing.

    It is interesting that you quote Paul in this post. The same Paul that, in Romans 1, prohibits the homosexual practice that you glorify.

    The Bible has things to say about false teachers that lead others astray. I’d encourage you to read them. It is never too late to repent. God does love you. And, His love calls you to repentance.

    • You really have sexual practices on your mind a lot. This is the Fourth of July, a time to think about our past, think about the wonderful words of the Founders, and think about how we can extend the blessings of liberty to all Americans.

      But you bring this up, continually. How is this even germane? What is your life like that you are so focused on this?

      Is this all Christianity is to you, the examination of sexual behavior?

      • Huh. Sorry that comment got misposted here instead of a response to “John” who cannot seem to let go of his fascination with sexual behavior even on the Fourth of July.

        Blame WordPress, I guess.

    • [Rom 1:28-32 KJV] 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in [their] knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

  16. Patti, I think you’ve missed the entire point. It’s not about patting ourselves on the back. In fact, it’s the opposite. It’s acknowledging, unapologetically, that God has blessed our country beyond any measure we deserve, and having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and gratefulness. He’s blessed other nations in ways we aren’t as in tune to and that has nothing to do with whether or not He’s blessed the United States.

    Our country and those that believe in liberty have been the bastion of peace and freedom throughout the world for 240 years. Patti, saying America has done things we aren’t proud of is like saying a baby soils his diaper. Well, of course he does, that’s what babies do. Nations aren’t perfect, including the United States, but history shows us we do eventually get it right a lot more often than not. You sound like Michelle Obama during the first year of Obama’s presidency when she said for the first time in her life she was proud of her country. What a ridiculous statement.

    If if bothers you and the rest of the liberal minded folks in this thread that America is exceptional and most of our accomplishments can be attributed to God’s blessings, than it makes sense why you’d praise John’s ridiculous commentary.

    Honestly, it amazes me more and more each year our Republic manages to survive when 45% of its citizens are so out of touch with what makes America so unique. I pray your way of thinking does not become the predominant view. If it ever does, this great experiment will end.

    • You really have sexual practices on your mind a lot. This is the Fourth of July, a time to think about our past, think about the wonderful words of the Founders, and think about how we can extend the blessings of liberty to all Americans.

      But you bring this up, continually. How is this even germane? What is your life like that you are so focused on this?

      Is this all Christianity is to you, the examination of sexual behavior?

      • Huh. Sorry that comment got misposted here instead of a response to “John” who cannot seem to let go of his fascination with sexual behavior even on the Fourth of July.

        Blame WordPress, I guess.

  17. @Tim – perhaps if people like myself didn’t experience being spit upon, called names, and hated for for having the unmitigated gall to merely existEVEN IN 2016, perhaps we would feel differently.

    You might want to ask people who haven’t (and still don’t) largely fit in to this society if they feel the United States is their country – people who are largely:

    non-wealthy
    non-white
    non-male
    non-straight
    non-Christian

    It does seem that some feelings of patriotism regarding the United States do border on IDOLATRY…it is a country, like ALL THE OTHERS of the Earth…but YOUR ANSWER and those who tend to think like you tends to be, “well, go somewhere else”, which is simply a cold, unthinking, LAZY, brush-off and total disregard of the experience of people who are NOT LIKE YOURSELF.

    I believe that _____________SCRIPTURE____________________ calls believers to be looking to a country beyond Earth as their ultimate home

  18. You state one truth, that God loves and blesses the world, and think that negates another, that God placed us here for a special purpose and gave us a special place in history (that’s HIS STORY) and gave us His blessings and watchful eye as we were established among the nations.

    When Jesus arrived, God did not stop using nations for special vehicles of enacting His will among the rest of the nations.

    America had left the path God gave it, and it makes Him sad, in the way that a child who should know better has rebelled against all the good that was taught to him or her saddens the ones who did the teaching. So yes, at some point in time, He did have a bumper sticker like you suggested, but maybe He’s taken it off right now. I hope some day He feels like He can put it back on.

    When you say this:

    “Paul reminds his listener that all barriers and divisions, all designations, labels, borders and bloodlines are now inferior. They are man-made and they are all rendered meaningless. This is not just semantics; not merely a trivial word choice revision we need to make as we live in the world. This is a life-altering truth that can change how we see everything.”

    This is exactly what the globalists, the “world without borders” crowd, the Communists, and others who would bring about a “new perfect world” – a Utopia of perfect justice and unification – that is what they think. And they are busy implementing their dream, and it will turn into a nightmare. It always does.

    Yes, in God’s eyes, there are no borders. That doesn’t negate the structures that He set in place. Remember a time recorded in the Bible when the world tried to put aside their differences, and unite in a humanistic endeavor? Tower of Babel, yes? Was God pleased about that? No, he wasn’t. He made us to be tribes and nations. And He uses even evil nations to achieve His purposes.

    You couldn’t be more wrong when you say:

    “It’s simply a reminder that God doesn’t bless America and has never blessed America.

    God doesn’t bless America for the same reason that God doesn’t curse America—God doesn’t see America.”

    You state the truth that in God’s eyes there are no Americans, Mexicans, Russians, etc. Yet that truth does NOT negate the truth that God uses the nations for His special purposes, and it does NOT negate the truth that God gave America a special, UNIQUE place in history to be a bastion of liberty, reflecting the liberty found in Jesus Christ.

  19. Hi Yattwood,
    So help me out. When you say you are not like me, what do you mean? As far as I am concerned, the topic here is whether or not God has blessed America. What does one’s financial status, color, gender, sexual orientation, or frankly one’s Christian or non-Christian beliefs have to do with it?

    Another thing in a long list of things that makes America so unique and exceptional is our core principle that all are created equal with unalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The United States is the only country on earth that hold these principle as part of its core mission. It’s taken us 240 years to get to where we are and it might take another 240 for this core mission to be actually realized by every single American. But there’s no other country on earth on our path and I think folks with your attitude fail to recognize it. You have to “PURSUE” happiness…it’s not going to be given to you or included as part of some legislation. There is no other country on earth that provides a better pathway to a remedy for someone that has been wronged than the Constitution of the United States. With all do respect Yattwood, pick yourself up, stop being the victim, gravitate toward those who love you and share your values, and block out all the other noise. Oh, and I would not recommend leaving this country. We need you. Our diversity is what makes and challenges this great experiment. It’s yet another reason our country is exceptional.

    • Tim,
      This statement…”Another thing in a long list of things that makes America so unique and exceptional is our core principle that all are created equal with unalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The United States is the only country on earth that hold these principle as part of its core mission”……seriously?….It’s Canada as well so don’t be so conceited to think you are the “only country” on earth with these principals at its core. And there are others. I think that is one of the discussions here…God has blessed many nations and all are unique and exceptional. It’s not “just” America.
      Tunnel vision can be selective.
      Being proud of ones country is wonderful, however not acknowledging it’s travesties and therefore not taking responsibility for them is called being in denial. The US has been in every war, and funding both sides since world war 1. War is BIG business for the powers that be. It is in their best interest to fuel them. Please read the history, the real history of why and who is behind the wars.
      I love the country of America, but I also have traveled well and love many other nations for their uniqueness and above all their “humanness “. None of which includes their religious bents. They all have their faults, however some have bigger faults than others and the US has many. As much as the US is a beautiful country it is far from being the best country on earth.
      Being kind, gentle, loving, accepting, and having a sense of simply being a child of The Universe is really what counts. Religion and politics have nothing to do with that. At the core of all beings is that We are equal. How could He make any mistakes? We are born innocent, only humans can distort that with any of the 7 deadly sins, which according to Christian tradition are, envy, gluttony, greed or avarice, lust, pride, sloth, and wrath. If you can honestly declare you have none of these, then I would say you are the second coming!

      I too believe John speaks a truth that religious zealots have an aversion too. That is why they crucify him like they did Jesus, who had no church or dogma. The world was his church, all people were his congregation. Interpretation of the bible and its words come from individual perspective and that is why I believe only some of it. It was written and rewritten many times after Jesus walked the earth. Just like a story that is told many times, it changes as it goes around by what one thinks they heard or wants to hear.
      Jesus, at his core, loved, was loved and hated because of it. He was here to show us our mistakes and love anyway. Only love will prevail, not hate, not arrogance, not judgement, not self righteousness, not separateness, not bullying, not discrimination, ONLY Love…even for your enemies. Why not just practice simply loving and accepting others? You don’t have to be them or even believe what they believe, just simply love them as being human. If we all did that this world would be heaven on earth. The other way just makes it Hell….

  20. To Tim Bryant:

    I see you have swallowed the koolaid provided by Faux News, Trump, the KKK, and many other anti-American groups & people. You in turn spew the same anti-American rhetoric in an attempt to support bigotry, unnecessary war, inequality, economic division, and a whole slew of anti-Christian positions. Given you do not like, nor agree with the positions taken on this blog do yourself and others a favor. Just go away and post on blogs more suitable to the followers of the atheist Ayn Rand, David Duke and the like.

    • I would also point out that U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is an on-the-knees disciple of atheist nutjob philosopher Ayan Rand and is on public record as being one. He also claims to be a Roman Catholic, but if the Pope ever sees one of his proposed federal budgets, he is going to get a butt kicking and an excommunication for abandoning and condemning those Jesus identified as HIS OWN “the least of these.”

  21. Stan,
    I think you’ve mistaken me for a Trump supporter. That I am not. What does a cable channel, war, or anti-anything, for that matter, have to do with whether or not God has blessed the United States? That’s right, absolutely nothing. Bravo for successfully nailing all of the liberal talking points that are meant to divide us. It was especially delightful that you played the race card, as all true liberals do when they are unable to make a rationale case for their side. You successfully managed to undermine any credibility you thought you had. Well done.

  22. Typical reactionary knee jerk response. Citing the KKK does not = race card as it is obvious you do not know about or understand their version of hate. Citing Trump does not equate with calling you a Trump supporter. Once again you’re nothing but a knee jerk reactionary who lives to twist other peoples words. You behave like a piece of white trash therefore I will call out your behavior.

  23. Willful ignorance seems to be a requirement of the reactionary right. Last Sunday one of their ilk in a letter to the editor claimed we “won” the Vietnam War. So just what was I doing on Yankee Station during April & May of 1975 on the USS Coral Sea with the air wing providing air support for the evacuation of Saigon? Then afterwards having two A-6 Intruders ready to launch with nuclear weapons under both wings. BTW, there was a Soviet Fast Attack sub known to carry nuclear tipped torpedoes shadowing us all the time.

    • Thanks for being on watch for us Stan. You came home a Navy hero in my eyes. My father-in-law was at Pleiku with the U.S. Air Force, but his tour of duty was up a little sooner than yours.

  24. Stan,

    There is no need for anyone to twist your words as you seem to be doing a fine job of it yourself.

    I’m content with the fact that God has blessed America (and other nations and peoples) well beyond what we deserve.

    Good luck to you, brother. I truly hope you are able to one day find peace.

    • Tim all you do is further prove your willful ignorance which is a version of hubristic pride, one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

  25. Here’s a strange thing. When a country gets some things right and some prosperity happens, the Christian citizens claim God has blessed the nation. When a country without a large Christian population gets somethings right and some prosperity happens, and maybe even some more good things come to pass, no one is talking about God “blessing” that nation.
    Two people have cancer; the Christian lives, the pagan dies. Of course God blessed the Christian and the prayers! But next time the Christian dies. Quick, come up with a reason why God wasn’t “blessing” the pagan!
    I think most of the ways in which we think are what we have thought up, rather that how the unseen spiritual world really works.

    • I so agree! Religion has naught to do with it. Universal creation does, karma does, spirit does. People divide and conquer, not God/Creator. It just simply gives us that which we focus on and it isn’t selective on good or bad, it just gives what we think. We have to figure out what the lesson is for our spirit to move up to.

    • Yes, but with all of the Apostate churches such as the Roman Catholic Church, United Methodist Church, Lutheran Church, Episcopal Church, and so many other churches and denominations that hate our Lord Jesus, how can we truly say that our nation’s Lord is the one true God? Now, if they were all dead. And then if all the followers of other religions were dead. And then if all the nonbelievers were dead, then all that is left would be the so-called Bible-believers. Then America truly would be blessed. Can I get a high 5 from all you fundies out there?

  26. Tim P Bryant – I believe you to be a principled conservative ….one of the many delightful aspects of freedom, indeed, is for principled people of good will to engage in civil discourse and to agree to disagree.

    As a black woman, I have had some experiences doubtless different than yours in the United States; I owe a debt of gratitude to Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn whose works I read in the 10th grade saved me from developing much of the endemic bitterness common to many blacks in the United States – I read his books on Stalin’s cruel gulags, as well as works on the Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide, the Troubles in Northern Ireland – and I came to understand that black people did it have an exclusive corner on being oppressed.

    I have been fortunate to be able to obtain a good education and an interesting, challenging occupation (I am a database administrator) ; I have met people of different races, faiths and opinions – and this is goodness.

    Another poster mentioned Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘Hamilton’; I am currently reading Ron Chernow’s fascinating biography that the musical is based upon, as well as a biography of James Madison; I hope to read about all the Founding Fathers because it is amazing that many of the issues they grappled with are pertinent 240 years later – especially questions regarding the role and place of government.

    In an interview, Miranda said that ‘Hamilton’ (disclaimer: I’ve been very much taken with ‘Hamilton’and have coughed up serious cash to see it when it comes to the Pantages Theatre in Lost Angeles in 2017 – so yah, I’m biased ????) “is the story of America then as told by America now”.

    It is thought provoking to see Daveed Diggs, a black man, portraying Thomas Jefferson singing about looking over his Virginia fields and not believing they were free from the British when there were slaves toiling in those very fields – and that is the pain many of those who feel excluded in America feel, Tim: the marvelous declarations of freedom and the clarion statements of individual rights that don’t seem to quite apply if you aren’t a white, male, straight Christian.

    I would say that it is this pain which which is behind a good deal of the anger directed towards Christians, and especially those believers of a conservative bent. Jesus did call people to repentance, but He did also __love___ them; the tax collectors, prostitutes and other ‘sinners’ followed and listened to Jesus because they felt and saw love from Him that they did not feel and see from their legalistic, religious leaders.

    Patriotism and conservative faith without love that acknowledges the pain and experiences of others tends to come off as hateful …I don’t think that is your intent, Tim.

  27. This strikes a chord with me. A number of years ago, I preached a message about a very dangerous variety of Christian in the US, a variety that still exists. These individuals cannot distinguish between the US and the Kingdom of God, and mistake the American flag for the cross of Christ. These are the ones who bought, and repeat, the 1950s nonsense that America is the object of God’s special favor, above all other nations, that this is the greatest nation on earth, has the most freedom, etc. None of that is true. The nations with the highest standard of living and quality of life are Norway and Australia. Denmark is rated as the happiest nation on earth. We cannot claim the forefront on freedom or equality, either, as several nations are ahead of us on that. (In those nations, ALL citizens are protected against discrimination and enjoy equal rights. That is not true in the United States, where it remains legal to discriminate in more than half the states on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.)
    Want to talk freedom of religion? Look to Denmark. Even though the US officially has freedom of religion, and no one should experience discrimination based on their faith, in practice, that has not been the case. In our own history, there were places where Roman Catholics were unwelcome as employees, and when we elected our first Catholic President, some Protestants acted as if the world had come to an end.
    Not far from my house, there is a Catholic shrine. The money to build it was raised before WWII by radio broadcasts by a priest. The message of his broadcasts? Pure antisemitism.
    Now look at Denmark: That nation has NEVER tolerated discrimination. In the 1600s, when many European nations were establishing ghettos in their cities for Jews, the chief of police of Copenhagen asked if they should do the same. The people of Copenhagen suggested he find new employment. They wouldn’t have any of it. When the Nazis invaded, they were unable to institute their anti-Jewish policies because of the Danish mindset. The Danes didn’t see Christians or Jews. They saw Danes, and one was as good as another. They viewed the Jewish refugees from eastern Europe who had recently sought asylum in their country as nothing less than Danes. Almost all the Danish Jews survived the war, because the entire nation mobilized to smuggle them to safety in neutral Sweden. We would not see that in “blessed” America, at least, not on the national scale Denmark did. We would see Christians all too happy to sell out immigrants, Muslims, and just about anyone else.
    God blesses people. If all or most of the people of a nation are righteous, then the nation may consider itself blessed. But when the people who seem to speak loudest for God are those who speak hatred, judgment and condemnation, who vilify their neighbors, call for violence and bloodshed against other nations, whose words and actions are as far from the fruit of the Spirit as the north pole is from the south pole, then those people are not blessed by God, and neither is their nation.
    I like America. I like living here. But I hold none of those McCarthy-era notions about it. And I know that in Christ, there is neither American, nor Dane, nor Russian, nor Chinese, etc. He gives no special favor to Americans.

    • And Reverend Carey plays the hated “Denmark Kard.” LMAO. Everything you said hit the nail squarely on the head, and yes, being something of a historian, I concur in your comments about World War II Denmark. After Himmler had dug the NAZI party’s “Pure Aryan” hole too deep to climb out of, the German government felt unable to be too severe with the Danes because they were considered to be Aryan brothers and sisters—and the were worried about the potential bad political optics of a crackdown on the Danes.

  28. took some time to read through all the posts but it was worth it to get to the entries by Yattwood and the Rev. Carey. Finally some rational articulate intelligent comments to counter so much willful ignorance from the several “true believers” like Tim. An interesting discussion nevertheless but I believe that but for an accident of birth, Tim P. could easily be a suicide bomber today.

    • Tim could join the Christian reconstructionists, Christian dominionists, and Christian theonomists. In recent years, they have been identified as the up and coming Christian ISIS, just waiting in the wings for an opportunity to stage an armed insurgence against the United States from within—you know—to establish a bobble-bleeving nation based entirely on Old Testament law. You can read about it at my blog:

      https://faith17983.wordpress.com/

  29. Hi Yattwood,
    I thought your recent post was thoughtful and appropriate. I was raised well and have no hate in my heart. Perhaps I’ve been misunderstood here and came across too strong. For all those that have been offended by my thoughts/comments, I sincerely apologize. I mean no ill will toward others that do not see it the way I do. I think America has been a bastion of freedom for anyone in the world that believes in her principles and even those that do not. That is what makes America unique. Some seem sensitive to that claim and your opinions are noted. Many have pointed out, America has not always gotten it right. I just happen to believe at our core we strive to get it right and usually do, although not as quickly, perhaps, as would be considered ideal. Bottom line is, I disagree with John P.’s premise. It does not mean he is wrong or right. It simply means I see it differently. To all the hatas, I wish you well also.

  30. @ lou Mndzbl,

    You said:

    “yes God exile everyone out of that confounded talmud heresy loving devils called Zionists today…”

    This is the 21st century dude. God didn’t, hasn’t, won’t ever exile anyone. Stop perpetuating hate (and myth).

    It’s okay if Jefferson was a heretic. That is exactly what I was talking about. The theme of the Natural Philosophy I mentioned was to have science and Christianity co-exist. Some who founded this country would have been considered heretics because they were struggling to reconcile the scientific discoveries made during the enlightenment with the Roman Catholic view of man’s role in the universe. And I mention the Judeo-Christian influence solely because that was where these men started. They did not come from families that embraced Islam, Hinduism or Paganism. For better of worse, taken in the context of Europe leading up to the colonization of North America, the colonist founded this country upon principles taken from Christianity. They did not claim to be inspired, only to be motivated to establish freedom of religion including the right to denounce it. I am espousing that regardless of their own worldview, the history they represent, and the line of thought that guided them was Judeo Christian. They didn’t get it from space aliens as the folks over at Scientology suggest. So while I am very very far from a right wing Christian who wants to believe God chose only WASPs for American leaders, I maintain that the USA remains a nation founded soundly upon Christian thought. The majority of people here identify as Christian and we are free to invoke God’s blessing upon our country as often as we wish. My point is saying that we should consider changing the lyric of the song to “Jefferson Bless America” was hyperbole my friend. In this country, we are free to worship God, Christ, Mohammed, Gaia, Mars, Buddha or The Great Pumpkin, but we don’t worship men and we don’t force others to worship as we do. All of it comes down to an accident of birth. People tend to worship the God of their fathers. I’m personally a little bit agnostic, but, I know where I came from and I know who raised me and I’m not getting on the bandwagon of political correctness to the extent that I’m not going to sing God Bless America at the 7th inning stretch the next time I go to a baseball game.

  31. All throughout the bible God blessed and cursed nations, and people. Since i believe the whole bible, then i believe based on numerous examples throughout the bible, God still blesses and curses nations.

  32. Beautifully stated, Yattwood — and Hamilton is teaching our family much of the same lessons as well. Enjoy the performance (wishing we could be there too! 🙂

  33. John, I’ve read a few of your essays and found you to be a good man with a good heart who loves people and wants to do good by them. I admire much of what you say but depart from you when you begin to talk about the Bible and God and Jesus.
    Of course a god doesn’t bless America because there is no god. Jesus may have existed but he was simply an itinerant messianic preacher who had some good ideas. He very likely wasn’t crucified and he certainly wasn’t god. The bible is a group of stories told by desert dwellers who tried to explain their world. Not terrible for the time but certainly nonsense for our time. As for god blessing Israel, also nonsense. Beautiful to think about, but clearly a childish notion.
    I believed in your god for many, many years, but finally came to the realization that I needed to think for myself and quit listening to men who knew less than I did and believed in myths from over 2000 years ago.
    To repeat, there is no god to bless any country.

  34. He either forgot quite a few other verses or doesn’t know them. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
    the people he chose for his inheritance. Psalm 33:12.” And how shallow of a view that he assumes that if we accept a blessing from God, it means we can’t also see other people as being just as blessed by Him as we are or that we can’t reconcile this with the greatest commandment of ‘love thy neighbor as yourself.’ Of course we are called to love everyone and view them just as worthy as ourselves. Awfully close minded to assume God is not bigger than this and can’t reconcile all of it together. Or to assume the worst of people in thinking that just because we ask God for a blessing and lift Him up as our Lord so that He will bless us that we can’t love ALL people just the same. It’s the story of adoption really,….we see that all children are worthy and beautiful and deserve a father to give them all the blessings he can (I would adopt them all if I could physically do it), but the truth is they are not fully experiencing all of those blessings a father can give them until we can truly bring them into our family, which in our case with our 9 year old boy he had to give permission for us to take him out of the country and into our family (and it was the worst kind of being on edge when they asked him that question,…because all I wanted to do was grab him up and give him every blessing of love and physical blessing I could give them,…it was wrenching waiting for his okay because he didn’t originally grasp what was being asked; and he had literally just turned 9 the day before!). If God was not ready to bless us, His word would not tell us over and over to ask for His blessings or even to test Him in them. Does that mean everyone else is not worthy of receiving the exact same blessings,….of course not. He loves everyone just the same, but not everyone chooses to love Him that way (though it never changes His love for them, nor should it change the Christian’s love for them.) It does however make it hard to physically bless them when they are running from Him and refusing to accept all He has to give them and WANTS to give them), and that’s not what His word says He will do either. “My blessings are for Gentiles, too, ‘when’ they accept the Lord; don’t let them think that I will make them second-class citizens. They can be as much mine as anyone.” Isaiah 56:3 (LB) And it wasn’t simply a blessing to the nation of Israel though we would all be blessed through Israel (to those who bless Israel or curses for those who curse Israel). Galatians 3:8
    “The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and foretold the gospel to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” So yes, God does bless nations, and no, it doesn’t simply have to be America,….but any nation who lifts God up. The only missing piece is what nations are choosing to do that (and currently I’m not sure we are anymore).

  35. Thank you, John Pavlovitz! Jeremiah Wright spoke similar words a few years ago. Very few Americans were ready and able to hear and understand his words. Hopefully, more people are ready today. And, every few years, the words will be repeated and even more will be ready to hear and understand.

  36. @Kim: When you are afraid to go places simply for being who you are …..when there are people prepared to hate and discriminate and attack you for simply being who you are….. when laws are passed to deny you civil rights enjoyed by others in your society……

    Then, YES, there are similaritites between being LGBTQIX and being a racial/ethnic minority. And LGBTQIX can’t decide “Just Be Straight”, no matter how much you may think so. They may decide to hide their true selves, at high cost to their being, to try to “get along”, but suicide and psychological trauma is often the result.

    And you may cite LGBTQIX people who became “straight”…. but are they, really?

  37. God doesn’t bless MAN! American, French, Italian, Arbic, Serbian…. All nationalities. MAN is corrupt, deviant, self serving, and the masses are suffering for the actions of the decision makers.

    I take offense in a God that allows the actions of the few have such a catastrophic effect on the masses…

  38. Honest disagreement among believers does not equal “hate”regardless of one’s opinion. Elitist attitudes on all sides have basically killed the modern church. With an humble and prayerful attitude, I ask all of you to begin being and acting as believers and God will reveal the truth. You all are beginning to “create” truth much like the evening news. I’ve read all that you have to say and frankly, y’all are what’s wrong with church/religion today. Get along and respect one another…for the sake of Christ who lived and died…and arose for all of us. It really is that simple. Some of you have behaved as though you are the source of knowledge and wisdom. If anyone responds to this…be nice!

  39. I and many others have been subjected to the bigotry that substitutes for scripture in the far right Dominion “Christianity”. Consequently I reject their heretical belief system staying true to the teachings of The Christ, the traditions handed down through history, and reason.

    BTW, I’m a middle aged white male liberal Episcopalian and disabled Vietnam Vet who has been cheated, lied to, lied about, called “worth less than a Iraqi POW”, welfare queen, lazy, lazy welfare queen and a whole slew of other slurs. Why? Because I used my earned GI Bill education benefits.

  40. Pingback: Even greater news » Blues for Levantium Lost

  41. I know my observation will surely open a firestorm of criticism, backlash, and nationalistic objection. It will really upset or anger some readers. It can be a very emotional topic. I’m referring to the use of the word “America” as our country’s name. This phenomenon has swept the U.S. in recent years, that of always referring to the United States of America as simply “America” (or now, the popular slang term, ‘Merica). In many countries around the world, particularly in most of the other countries in the Western Hemisphere, the word “America” refers to a continent, not a country. Most Canadians recognize that their nation is also part of America. Yes, there are some geographic divisions within the continent: North America, Central America, South America…but all are part of the same continent, named America. Throughout Latin America, school children in basic geography classes are taught there are FIVE continents, not seven as U.S. children are taught. The five continents recognized worldwide are: Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, and America. Consider the official Olympic flag, bearing a design of five interlinked circles…each one representing what? The five continents. Almost everywhere but in the U.S., there’s recognition of five continents…one of which is named “America.”

  42. Hi Dave,

    Combining North, Central and South America into one name “America” seems logical but what about Antarctica?

      • Antarctica is the fifth largest continent, nearly twice the size of Australia. From Wikipedia: Generally identified by convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest in size to smallest, they are: Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.

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