Monday, March 28, 2005

Is this still America?

After a television filled Easter Sunday (regional finals, religious roundtable on Meet the Press, The Contender, along with a viewing of the wonderful Columbian film Maria Full of Grace), I decided to end the day with a review of the news on my local television Fox station (I hate 'em but go to bed before 11). Of course, The Schiavo situation dominated the newscast, marked today by more arrests, a semi-violent protestor, screaming and shoving, Randall Terry's grandstanding and a pleas for peace from Terri's brother.

The most interesting (and sad) thing I saw was a woman in her 30s (I am guessing) whom I will assume is a Christian. As she wept looking at the camera, she asked the profound question, "Is this still America?

Now, I assume she was referring to the David Barton-influenced reading of history which assumes that America was a Christian Nation until prayer and the Bible were removed from schools and "activist" judges began to roam freely in our courthouses (in those Stith-like black robes). She asked this question because she wanted to know where that America had gone and why it was replaced by this America that is not stopping a disabled woman from being starved to death.

Although she did not ask me, I felt compelled to answer (why else would I have a blog). YES, it is still that America. You know the America that oppressed and killed people of other religious beliefs in its early days, had witch trials, Genocidally reigned terror on its Native population for hundreds of years, treated blacks as property by enslaving them, turned its back while blacks were lynched (and even engaged in it themselves or covered it up), denied full rights to ethnic minorities and women, interned Japanese in POW camps, allows an unjust death penalty which kills the poor and sometimes innocent, has legally aborted children for 30 years, and says nothing when its government tortures and kills detainees and POWs in Cuba and the Middle East. You mean, that America? The one before and after they took Bibles out of school?

Actually, it is a stupid question when you look at our history. The death of one woman, while tragic, should not surprise us. Although great in many ways, this country (and no other either) has never "erred on the side of life" consistently, especially during our founding and early history (you know when it was a Christian Nation). I do not find myself angry at the US for these things. As I have stated, every country in the world has a great deal of blood on its hands (even Switzerland). This is nothing new. This is not a great slippery slide. It is a roller coaster. If it was a slide we would be doomed by our treatment of natives and Africans.

The USA and the world are not headed down a hill that cannot be corrected. This nation has corrected its course countless times and can again. Of course, it may be hard to imagine it when those saying we are on a slippery slope are hypocrites like Tom Delay (but that is for another day).


Bob Robinson said...

Again, two thumbs up (way up) for this post.

The myth of Christian America does not help our cause to get our country on a more righteous course. How can making our goal that which never existed be a good thing?

Instead of making some dreamed-up perfect American past the objective of our social and poilitical engagement, how 'bout we make the Kingdom of God our objective? That seems more biblical and more purposeful to me.

vanguardchurch-bob's blog

Anonymous said...

Hey Rick. First, let me say that I agree with your criticism (but you knew that already). You've definitely got the angry prophet thing down. That said, I'm hungry for some hope. Got any words for me along those lines? Thanks. Your tentative friend, - Mike