Why we’re not a Christian nation (and don’t want to be)August 13, 2008 — Deacon Duncan
Via a blog named “Exposing Liberal Lies” comes this charming commentary on Tyson Foods and their decision to give their employees both Labor Day and a Muslim feast day as paid holidays:
This is America, a Judeo-Christian nation. Why should any employer accommodate the religious preferences of Muslims? Where is the call for separation of church and state in this situation? If these Muslims are not content with the American holidays that their employers offer, they are free to go back to whatever Muslim nation they came from. And you know what, we won’t miss them or their whining for Islamic religious rights or all their lawsuits.
If you were wondering why it’s important to stand up against Christian Supremacists and to fight for our First Amendment freedoms, this is why. All this nonsense about “respecting America’s historical heritage” and such, is just a smoke screen. The real, practical intent of making America a “Christian nation” is so that the power of government can be used to discriminate against those deemed to be non-Christians. Like Muslims, for instance. Or gays.
The problem with this sort of Christian nation is that it turns democracy into a kind of mob rule, and if you belong to a minority, then brother, it sucks to be you. Except that we’re all members of some minority or other. There are more non-Catholics than Catholics, more non-Baptists than Baptists, more non-charismatics than charismatics. Ultimately, every individual is a minority of one.
Besides, if the government is really going to promote Christian supremacy over other religions, it must first decide what Christianity is so that it knows what to promote. Do conservatives really want the Christian faith to be defined for them by Congress? By Ted Kennedy and Barney Frank?
Christians have been toying with spiritualizing their government for 2,000 years, and in 2,000 years the attempt has never succeeded in improving the spirituality of the state and never failed to corrupt and secularize the religion behind the effort. According to the Pentateuch, it took the Israelites 40 years to catch on to God’s will well enough that they were fit to enter the Promised Land and become His chosen nation. Those ancient Jews were downright prodigies compared to those who still haven’t caught on, despite 2,000 years experience of God refusing to bless the mingling of church and state.
Our founding fathers did catch on, fortunately, which is why the very first amendment to the Constitution is an amendment telling the government to make no law either for or against religion. America has a pretty spotty track record as far as actually respecting that prohibition (as witness the motto on our currency and the theistic interpolation into the Pledge). But that commitment to liberty and to religious neutrality, even though only partially enforced, has enabled us to benefit from the talent and hard work of people from all cultures, faiths, and ethnic backgrounds, and thus to become a great nation.
Sadly, that neutrality has been seriously eroded lately, and we’re paying the price. But we can recover, provided we speak up and stand up to oppose the Christian Supremacy movement wherever it rears its ugly head. State-sponsored (and thus state-defined) religion is a great detriment to any nation, and even believers ought to be eager to keep themselves unstained by it.