Here is an interesting juxtaposition, two completely unrelated bloggers that offer some good food for thought along similar lines. Blue Skies writes, “Please Don’t Call America a Christian Nation,” and Night Wind writes, “Godless Capitalism is No Solution Either” and “Godless Capitalism, Part Two.”
This is a veritable feast, a wide girth of information that all relates to some of our discussions about “Christian Nationalism” and politics.
The first thing I like is that we seem to have a standard, an expectation for what is good and moral. That means we must have Standard Bearer, God, in which we judge ourselves as having falling short of. Why shouldn’t we call ourselves a “Christian nation?” Because we are not doing a very good job of reflecting Christ. Why is Godless capitalism not a solution? Because it is godless, because it also does not do a very good job of reflecting Christ.
This might sound simplistic, but keep in mind that when you haven’t got a standard to fall short of, things get sketchy fast.
This is a very serious matter, but all in good humor here, humankind has always fallen short of doing a good job reflecting Christ, when we even remember to try to reflect Him at all. So while I think both of these posts are truthful and provide some pretty good insights into how off the rails we really are, I think we need to also apply some grace, some forgiveness towards our deeply flawed, broken, and supremely imperfect condition.
Much like the Bible says “it is the kindness of God that leads to repentance, ” I believe it is also the kindness of God that will lead this nation to repentance, so we can at least begin to dig the train out of the sticker bushes and try to put it back on the tracks. So beating ourselves up and wagging our finger at ourselves is not the cure. That does not mean we should not openly confront these issues. In fact, our unwillingness to confront and discuss these problems for years, is a big part of our problem.
For decades now I’ve been trying to talk to liberals about why it is that our policies always seem to make the lives of the little people so much worse. For all our alleged compassion and virtue signaling, every darn thing we do seems to just create more poverty, more mental health issues, more homelessness, more crime, and way more economic inequality.
Not all liberals are evil. Some of them actually believe they are making the country a better place, more compassionate, more progressive.
For decades now I’ve also been trying to talk to conservatives about how maybe all our rugged individualism and protestant work ethic stuff has done some harm? Like maybe screaming, “get a job” to a young guy who happens to have two jobs and is still forced to live in his truck, is not a winning strategy? Conservatives tend to equate morality with success, which is a huge roadblock when one is trying to discuss real things like crony capitalism, corruption, and white collar crime.
Not all conservatives are evil. In fact, where I live it is actually conservatives who have done the most useful and productive work in bringing in genuine affordable housing and jobs. A lot of conservatives in this neck of the woods also work in soup kitchens and food bank programs.
I don’t like the idea of reaching across the aisle and working together, especially in this neck of the woods, because there is a lot of greed, envy, corruption, perversion, hostility. Like, I don’t even trust the dog catcher around here. Ultimately however, the path forward requires the little people on the ground to build alliances among ourselves, to come together to solve problems, to find some likemindedness. We have to stop dehumanizing one another and start perceiving one another as being made in the image of God.
I honestly believe our politics, our leadership is simply a symptom of a greater disease, one that runs through the little people of this nation where we have bought into a lot of lies about all our alleged divisions and we’re now trying to one up each another with our vastly superior ideologies. That was no accident, that’s the bread and circuses that is always used to divert our attention so corruption can climb the corporate political ladder unhindered.
We have a 3.2 million dollar boondoggle here where I live, an old lead and asbestos infected building up on stilts that was barged in from Canada a number of years ago. That’s our “affordable housing,” but anyone with a half a brain cell knows what it really is is, the fruit of crony capitalism. The goal was never affordable housing, the goal was putting some taxpayer money into individual people’s pockets. A few million is nothing, that same story is playing out all across this nation in much larger ways.
Pull yourself up by the bootstraps, just work harder, sing the praises of capitalism louder, are not solutions to what currently ails us. The game is really rigged right now, and people know the playing field is not even close to level. While the little people are busy fighting over ideology and which party is to blame, our leadership is just having lunch together. A few million in profits is also a great equalizer and all those ideological divisions just fall to the wayside.
When it comes to America being a Christian nation, for me that is a no brainer. Certainly we are unworthy of such a label, but it seems to be a simple matter of, so are we going to embrace and live out the values that Christ has taught us, or not? People who do not want this to be a Christian nation need to tell me which of the ten commandments hinder freedom. Which ideals offend you? Do you wish to murder, lie, cheat, steal?Which of these things do you wish to promote and why? Often people who live in America begin to take for granted the ideals we hold and falsely assume this is just how it is everywhere, as if none of those values have anything to do with Christianity, or even our history as a country.
Nothing has changed much in the last two hundred years. The rules are still the same. “United we stand, divided we fall.” E Plurius unum, “Out of many, one.” Or as the Bible says, “preserve the unity.” We don’t force it, make it, or create it, it’s already a given, a done deal. Our job is to cling to what is good and preserve what has already been established.