So I recently went on a road trip to Kentucky (not my idea, trust me) and began thinking about a few things. One thing I repeatedly saw down there was crucifixes hung side by side with American flags (or even Confederate flags) on the front of houses. And I have a few questions...
1. I know religionites are by definition delusional, but there are a few I have come across who are otherwise very intelligent people. I was wondering if anyone has heard a reasoned or intelligent argument for the US being a "Christian nation". Besides the "founding fathers were Christian" crap, I mean. :)
2. I'm confused as to how God-o-philes can reconcile the Confederate flag - a classic symbol of hatred - with their supposed 'loving' religion. i.e. the houses I passed with Confederate paraphernalia hanging next to a crucifix. And I know the easy answer is "well, they're just ignorant and delusional" but they're has to be more to it than that. Doesn't there? Maybe I'm trying to find sense where there is none, but the existence of these two apparent contradictions baffles my mind.
3. Another question I had is in regards to the nature of patriotism. Isn't patriotism the same as religion? I know that I should be glad to live in the US, and I am - don't get me wrong - but that's not the same as *patriotism*. I'm really just wondering more about the nature of "American arrogance/patriotism". An example of this I encountered down in KY was a family of 5 wearing matching t-shirts with "God bless America" on the front and a picture of two crossed rifles on the back. You can probably tell I'm struggling to define exactly what it is I'm asking about, but I guess the easiest way to put it is 'bumper-sticker patriotism'. It bothers me, and I don't know why people buy into it.
1. No. I've never heard a "reasoned" out or even reasonable argument for the US being a Christian nation, nor have I heard a good reason why it should remain one (if it ever was). The same people who insist this is a "Christian nation" are the ones who so despise "illegals", insist that everyone here speak English (even if their handle on it is lacking) and just don't understand the whole lure of living in America is that it's a melting pot of cultures; people are welcome to come here, work hard and earn an honest living, and maintain their identity (which would include their religion or lack thereof). Or, I thought so anyway. I thought it was a no-brainer that people hailing from other parts of the world would contribute more than their local cuisine. If this is an Enligh-only speaking nation, then it should be an English-only food genre, too!!!
2. As unaware of this fact as many "religionists" are, their culture is chalk-full of contradictions and absurdities. Most are not too concerned with analyzing such silly matters as when the sun was created in relation to when light was created (it doesn't bother them light was created first); it doesn't matter that the royal lineage from which Jesus was supposed to have been born of came down through Joseph. You know, the guy who wasn't his father? They're not concerned with details, just making their own desires somehow fit within the context of the Bible.
3. This one baffles me, too. I'm pretty sure there's no verse in the Bible that even remotely prophesies a sovereign nation that will be "Under God". For the most part, the heroes in the Bible are at odds with their governments. Kings and those who were rich were generally distrusted by Jesus and his progeny. Riches and power has never, ever been something Christianity endorsed... not in the Bible anyway. Often, patriotism was at odds with religious devotion! Christians are supposed to be persecuted, not be the ruling class! I don't care what anyone says, either: Jesus was a Socialist. He was all about providing for the poor and leaving all earthly possessions behind (not what the GOP stands for); he said to give to Caesar what was Caesars (in the way of taxes); he never called for his disciples to create their own nation! Ever! Like I said, Christians are supposed to be the outcasts...
If I were you, I'd stop trying to find logic in their thought process. There isn't any. I've had to learn the hard way with my mother... and even some friends. If you keep trying, you may end up giving yourself a brain aneurysm.
1. This is sort of what I expected to hear haha. I would have been surprised if you had heard a good argument for this. But it was worth a try anyway. And I completely agree with your point on immigrants. People who don't realize this are *undesirable*. ;) And I hope this country never becomes one with English-only food. That would really suck.
2. So their religion really does boil down to just a bunch of contradictions? I was sort of hoping for more. But as I said, I'm probably just trying to make sense where there is none. And I've never even thought about that 'royal lineage' aspect before. I like it; it totally discredits a major aspect of their holy novel. Which spends entire chapters tracing a big family tree. Only to have it end with Joseph. This is awesome, may I use it?
3. That's exactly what I meant. The 'bumper-sticker' patriotism you see all the time. "God Bless America", "Support Our Troops", "Kick their ass, take their gas", etc. It bothers me on a really basic level and it's hard to put into words why. But I think you touched on it. And I'm glad to see I'm not the only one confused by it; this is a good thing.
Thanks again for the reply Cara. Apparently I don't have quite as much experience with this as you; my parents are really liberal about religion even though they put me in Catholic high school, so I've never really had to 'learn the hard way' about this kind of stuff, fortunately. I'm beginning to think this hunt for logic among religious people is a wild goose chase. But I *hopefully* won't have a brain aneurysm because of it. Pray for me! :)
The following source lists the reasons believers feel America is a 'Christian nation', but none hold kool aid. How could they? America isn't a Christian nation. It's an empire that creates perpetual war for profit. Then again, the god of the bible seems to be down with death and destruction for profit--so in that sense, I guess you'd have to give it to the Christians. America is a Christian nation.
1. If you are speaking of demographics then the US is by majority a Christian nation but that's about it. There is more Montesquieu than Moses in our founding documents.
2.They equate the Confederate battle flag with states rights. It's a symbol and as such is interpreted in different ways. To me it means "We got our asses handed to us and we're going to be proud about it."
3.Patriotism is a love of your country and it can be a good thing. I consider anyone who does what they do and sacrifices of their time and energy to do what is best in their heart for their nation a patriot. However Nationalism is another issue. Nationalism is an arrogance about your nation and a mindset that it must dominate all others.
"Here's another slogan you run into all the time, "God Bless America".
Once again, respectfully, I say to myself "What the Fuck Does that Mean?"
"God Bless America?" Is that a request? Is tht a demand? Is that a suggestion? Politicians say it at the end of every speech, as if it was some sort of verbal tick that they can't get rid of.
I guess they figure if they leave it out someone is going to think they're "bad Americans". Let me tell you something folks, God Does not give a flying fuck about America, ok? He doesn't care. He never cared about this country. He never has. He never will. He doesn't care about this country any more than he cares about Mongolia, Transylvania, Pittsburgh, the Suez Canal or the North Pole. He simply doesn't care, ok.
Listen, there are 200 countries in the world, do these people honestly think God is sitting around picking out his favorites?
Why would he do that?
Why would God have a favorite country? And why would it be America of all the countries? Because we have the most money? Because he likes our national anthem? Maybe it's because he heard we have 18 delicious flavours of classic Rice-O-Ronie?
It's Delusional Thinking.
If these people believe in God, they must have heard that God Loves Everyone, and he loves them equally. So why would these people ask God to do something that goes against his own teaching? Maybe they ought to check with that Jesus fella. They're always talking about "What would Jesus do"?
They don't want to know so they can do it, they just want to know so they can tell other people to do it."
As I read this, it began to seem eerily familiar.
Then I noticed it was George Carlin. Great quote.
As to the Confederate flag, I think it runs deeper than just 'states rights'. It's more widely known as a symbol of hatred, and I perceive it as that and nothing more. I don't think people who are pro-state's rights would wave this flag unless they had some other message, too. But I don't know any of them personally, so I may be entirely wrong...
For the record, beyond a so-called "Christian Nation," I am utterly confused by the Confederate Flag. I know it was a war about several things, but the Civil War was also about freedom for the slaves. Not only does flying a Confederate Flag say to me, "I'm proud to be a loser!" but also, "I hate African Americans!" Why would you want to advertise either of those things?
America has never been, nor will it ever will be a christian nation. Our founding fathers left England for a reason. one of those reasons was that they did not agree with Catholicism being shoved down their throats. They were mostly deists, not christian theists.
also, to say that Christians are the most patriotic is ridiculous. Atheist's lives support the bill of rights. We fight for what we believe in. While Christians are fighting over power in the white house, atheists are putting our country first.