This question rises frequently, although more often in the form of a declaration than a query. The usual alleged culprits are liberals, their leaders, and/or the anti-religious, which many consider to be one and the same.
We again hear these assertions after the president’s recent actions on immigration. In the opinion of many, he has unpardonably sanctioned the breaking of our laws en masse, as he attempts to treat millions of people as human beings.
While this was happening, the conservative Texas State Board of Education was hitting the books again to adopt a new generation of social studies products, including 89 textbooks, workbooks and other classroom materials. This is important, because with 5 million students, the state has a big impact on the national textbook market.
Given their last revision of science books, with non-acceptance of theories like evolution and the big bang, many anxiously anticipated their latest excursion into revisionist history.
The Texas Freedom Network reported, “The next textbooks also include passages that suggest Moses influenced the writing of the Constitution and that the roots of democracy can be found in the Old Testament. Scholars from across the country have said such claims are inaccurate and mislead students about the historical record.”
Of all the great biblical figures, why did the Texans pick Moses?
Before forming an opinion on this, we might first consider what makes America, “America.” Stated another way, what are the distinguishing characteristics of this country from the world’s other nations or the world’s history?
It would probably be hard to find historians that would not admit that there has never been a country before like the United States. Our nation is truly unique in world history.
And as hard as it may be for the anti-religious to admit, our country does have a deeply-rooted Christian history and culture.
But when one says that “America is a Christian nation,” the speaker may be implying something that has never existed.
Even though well-meaning people pretend that America once had, and should resume a theocratic-type government and society, the fact is, America was never a theocracy. The First Amendment to the Constitution clearly provides for religious freedom; which is not only the freedom of religion, but freedom from religion for those who choose.
Probably the only theocracy in the history of the world was Old Testament Israel under Moses. After Moses’ death, God expected Israel to be governed by the principles established through him. Even the reign of Israel’s greatest king, David, could not be classified as a theocracy. He was also expected to adhere to the tenets and principles of Moses, since only through him did God directly govern the people.
So, if by “Christian nation” people imply that America was established as some sort of theocracy, they are gravely mistaken. It is also unfortunate that some well-meaning (at least I hope they are well-meaning) Christian people give the un-churched world the impression that they are trying to create some sort of theocracy in America today.
Some even go so far as to teach that we don’t need a Constitution or state and municipal laws, and any such laws are evil. This is an asinine philosophy, to say the least.
America’s founders did not create a theocracy, but they did have a “high veneration” for the Christian faith and sought to incorporate its principles into American government. Opinions vary as to what is the greatest detachment today between these principles and our nation.
Is the current penchant for war, embraced by many politicians and clergy, destroying our country? We wage endless wars abroad; killing hundreds of thousands of innocents with trillions of dollars of deficit spending. Add to this a burgeoning police state at home under the mantra of “we are at war.”
Worse still is the way this war fever has turned many of the nations of the world not only against America, but against Christianity. How can our missionaries be expected to take abroad the message of the Prince of Peace, when we have just bombed people back into the Stone Age?
Since 1980, the United States has invaded, occupied, or bombed 14 Islamic countries. But the pro-war politicians, and their supporters, keep telling us that the Muslims hate us only because of our freedom!
Some of us can remember when many of our nation’s best friends were Islamic states in the Middle East. A meddling, intrusive, arrogant war spirit has turned people who were once friendly to the United States into some of our most fierce adversaries. And all some can do is demand more and more war.
In the name of either fighting a “war on terror,” or “homeland security,” America is being fashioned into a giant police state.
We probably should be asking, “Is Washington, with all of us as willing participants, also fighting a war on liberty?”
As our Bill of Rights erodes, and thanks to modern technology, we could be living under an Orwellian surveillance society which Hitler and Stalin could have only dreamed about. Who are its loudest proponents?
Can it be easily argued that some of the very people who profess to love America the most, and who claim to be interested in her blessings and prosperity, are the ones who are helping to destroy her?
Jim Surber is the Darke County engineer, a graduate of Whiteoak High School, The Ohio State University, and a columnist for The Highland County Press.