12/16/2013 10:49:00 AM Editorial
Tis the season
Tis the season to be ... honest
Let's celebrate the Christmas season by being honest about the fact that the United States of America is not a Christian nation. There is no Christian nation, there has never been a Christian nation and there never will be a Christian nation this side of heaven.
Today, December 15, 2013 I reached the limit of my ability to listen passively to the drivel of "Conservative Christian" spokespersons blaming everything that is wrong in the world on President Obama when every single issue they raise is an issue that he inherited and is trying in his own way to address. These "Conservative Christians," like those who crucified Jesus, want to place the responsibility for solving all their problems on someone else, so they can avoid having to act like Christians themselves.
Jesus has a simple approach to the problems that plague humanity. "Love one another as I have loved you." That is the approach we, as Christians, are supposed to take in addressing other people in the world.
He demonstrated that love by being generous in dealing out forgiveness, patience, healing...
He didn't say to love those who agree with you, or those who deserve to be loved, or those of the same skin color, or those who work hard, or even those who commit no sin...
Citizens of a Christian nation would use their time, talents and resources to improve the welfare of all other nations before dedicating their time, talents and resources to building their own wealth and quality of life.
I'm proud to be an American, but that pride isn't in the false belief that America is a Christian nation or that it is somehow better than other nations.
I'm proud to be an American because our nation was founded on the principles in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, in neither of which is their any mention or even suggestion of this nation being a Christian nation.
I'm proud to be an American because of the accomplishments of Americans in building a nation of diversified people with diverse ideas, abilities and goals who have worked together attempting to make the world a better place for those who will follow.
I'm proud to be an American because of the dedicated and diverse people who served my country with me in the military, and those who served before us and after us.
I'm proud to be an American because of fellow Americans who had the courage to face the hostility of other Americans while standing up for what they believed, whether it was about a war, slavery, discrimination or secrecy...
I'm proud to be an American because it is a basic principle ever since the first European landed on our shores that people have the right to their own religious beliefs without interference from the government or other citizens.
We will never solve our nation's problems until we stop listening to the self-serving fanatics who hatefully abuse the name of Christ to turn us against each other. They pocket lots of money by getting people angry and scared of fellow Americans but bring us not one step closer to accomplishing anything positive about our problems.
The only thing that got Jesus angry was self-righteous people who used people's faith in God to line their own pockets. I have no doubt what Jesus response would be to these Americans who use their neighbors' faiths to gain money, influence and political power while generating animosity and division.
President Obama is not perfect. He is a human being who has taken on a Herculean task. I am very disappointed in some of the policies he either encourages or at least allows, such as the inordinate level of invasion of the lives of American citizens. There are other policies of which I strongly approve. He is neither the source nor the solution to our nation's problems. He is just like us.
We are a nation of imperfect people who once made a commitment to work together despite our differences to make our nation the best place possible for ourselves and our posterity to live in this world. We named our commitment the Constitution of the United States.
It is Christmas time. Let's admit that we are a nation of sinners, all guilty of failing to live our lives as Christ would have us do.
Being a Christian is an individual responsibility, not a national one. Being an American is a mutual responsibility of every citizen of the United States of America.
We must stop getting them mixed up before we fail at both.