I'm really sorry for being MIA lately. I've been unbearably swamped lately. Classes are killing me, work just won't seem to stop piling up on me, and I've been battling a pretty bad case of the flu. But, thanks to you all for your concern, your emails, phone calls, and prayers. It's more appreciated that you realize.
As it stands, I'm still not feeling all that great today, but I really needed to shift my mind away from all of that. So, in keeping up with my nature, I thought I'd share my thoughts on the significant happenings around the world.
It just so happens that the day is September 11th.
On this day, half a decade ago, the world as we know it was completely thrown off its axis. To anyone who has lived on the apparently non-existent planet called Pluto, today marks the fifth anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks. Amidst all the remembrance and reflection of this tragedy, the country has been injected with a new wave of patriotism. Incidentally, though; for many people patriotism and religion have dangerously gone hand-in-hand. Event like 9/11 provide the impetus for such a dangerous blend.
What the incidents surrounding and proceeding 9/11 have taught me is that too many “Christian” Americans find it difficult to separate their politically lives and their beliefs. This is particularly disturbing to me because many Evangelical Christians – especially those on the right – shape their politics using Old Testament Judaism rather than New Testament Christianity. The way I see it, the political and Christian arenas don’t blend well because true Christianity is based on love, serving others, tolerance, forgiveness and selflessness; concepts that are often steamrolled by the industry of politics. Religiosity and politics, on the other hand, are perfect compliments to one another; especially since there is an inherent need to compromise religion for the purpose of gaining political power. That – to me – explains why the “perversity” of homosexuality or abortion can weigh heavier on people’s minds than a dismal economy, inadequate health care, and terrorism. Because of these truths, people like Pat Robertson, John Ashcroft, and George Bush are in the very positions where they need to be. They are right where they belong…in power. Like so many others who use religion and patriotism interchangeably, people like this seek to usurp God’s authority by trying to act on His behalf; falsely spreading their hatred, intolerance, and unacceptance in the name of God. Does this seem like the way that the Jesus who ate and drank with sinners would respond?
I didn’t think so either.
Nevertheless, I still love my country. As much junk as I talk about America and its leaders, there isn’t another place on the planet where I’d rather live. I love that I don’t have to choose between eating and medicine. I love that I can blast the President without repercussion (One second guys. I think I hear somebody knocking on my door…). I still get moved seeing patriotic pictures and messages. I still give it up for the men and women our there fighting so that I don’t have to.
Even though some people have dubbed me militant, I’m very much in love with America.
Don’t get me wrong. Unlike many “God Bless Americans”, I don’t think that God has given our country more favor than all the other places in the world. Likewise, I’ll never believe that the way things are done here need to be the way things are done around the world. Furthermore, I don’t believe that America can truly be defined by the bigoted, intolerant, and delusional leaders in D.C. (though over half the country voted for them. But, I digress…) or by what is voted on by a bunch of old, white men inside of older, not-so-white buildings.
I don’t really know where I’m going with this particular post. But, all I can say is – for good or for bad – God has really blessed this country. But, He hasn’t blessed us so much that we should feel qualified to take His job.
God Bless America, indeed.
All of it.