This is the kind of rhetoric that I remember hearing as a kid in junior high from teachers weeping about America's decline in the face of the onslaught of the Viet Cong who would soon be rowing furiously to our shores in canoes armed with pitchforks and the Communist manifesto—and is in some ways still the culture of American conservatives. I say this as a conservative, not a left wing, New York pinko waiting for the Marxist revolution to begin, but a libertarian who believes in the freedom of the individual from the potential tyranny that a growing nanny state always represents. I also believe that we should be cautious in our eagerness to replace institutions that have a track record of success, substituting what works with a "hey, why don't we give that a try" approach that is too often the modus operandi of liberals.
Maybe we should set aside the fiery language that defines much of American politics and take some time to look at the facts. Even this proves difficult, since it depends on whose facts are being examined. With both sides looking for code words that convey the true intent of the insidious forces lurking in shadows, like the sharks on shark week, sniffing out one drop of blood in a million parts of water!
First things first, there is no such thing as a Christian nation. Christianity is a relationship between God and man, not God and the state, with the nature of God being revealed in the person of Jesus Christ, who was slow to anger, filled with grace and mercy for the poorest, most wretched members of society. He had a definite dislike for state-sponsored religion and rigid legalism. In fact by the time of his birth, the Mosaic Law (the constitution for Jewish life) had become burdened by law and interpretation, all in an attempt to govern the moral limitations of man, “making every man a criminal.” Tyranny, like your average serial killer, never comes right out and says, "I’d like to have sex with your headless corpse." It is veiled with a smile, always harboring bad intentions.
Jesus believed in a “spiritual” theocracy, not a political one, without priest or prophet—with God alive at the center of a man, and the morality of God written on the heart, not carved in stone or Constitutional parchment! This is evident when he says to Pontius Pilate, “My Kingdom is not of this world.”—as Stan Lee used to say, “Nuff said!”
Jesus didn’t come to replace one set of rules with another, but believed that God's law was mercy towards the poor, the widow, the orphan and the stranger—something understood by every school child in Israel since at least a thousand years before his birth.
The Apostle Paul is, unfortunately, credited or discredited, as the case may be, with bringing a kind of rigid legalism to the words of Jesus—something that I believe is a complete misrepresentation of Paul’s writing. Jesus spoke to those most in need of salvation. Salvation not meaning escape from “Hell”, but salvation from themselves and the choices that had corrupted their lives.
To the rich and powerful, Jesus had a certain disdain, as evidenced by his numerous sayings regarding the accumulation of wealth for one’s own benefit, without concern for the poorest, most helpless members of society.
This is where Liberal’s shout, “Amen brother, preach it,” forgetting completely that Jesus never meant for government to be the solution, or what he referred to as, “a form of Godliness, without God”! Meaning that government and politicians as gods is no different than the individual as god!
Paul, in his writing, speaks to the Church—believers who represent the body of Christ. A term used as a way of understanding Jesus’ saying, “When you do unto the least of these, the poor, widow and orphan, you do for them as though you were doing it for me”! The body of Christ as the hands, eyes, ears and feet of the master searching for the lost sheep, who suffer. When Paul writes his laundry list of sins, he is referring to those who have put themselves back under the bondage of slavery by choice, after having been set free—slavery meaning the things that consume your life which have now become your master, making you indifferent to the things of God!
Conservatism has unfortunately become rife with painfully obvious symbolism, an easy way of affirming one’s solidarity with likeminded travelers. Liberalism is no better, with a President elected on the basis of slogans like, “hope and change,” an idea as bankrupt of meaning as the worst tendencies of their conservative counterparts.
There is little doubt that President Obama was elected in part, because he wasn’t George W. Bush, but that would be like voting for Dracula because he wasn’t Frankenstein. We choose our monsters and we get what we deserve!