This blog seldom if ever ventures into the shark-infested waters of political opinion. Nor do we often address temporal matters, let alone daily news events, preferring instead to remain in the undiluted stratosphere of purely spiritual topics, untainted by the annals of time. For, the mundane and the secular are mere passing accoutrements that distract from an unsullied vision of eternity.
However, one recent headline caught our attention, about certain factions that support declaring the United States a Christian nation. This is a seriously flawed idea. Any kind of religious nationalism, which by definition means the ruling political body aligns with a particular religion (and its interpretation of that religion) to the exclusion of others, then imposes that religion on all, is anathema to the very concept of egalitarianism. Religious nationalism is a form of elitism, and elitism is based on inequality, prejudice, and discrimination.
Beyond that, let’s examine the idea of Christian nationalism in light of the teachings of the man whose name the Christian religion bears. Religious nationalism is predicated on eliminating the separation of church and state. However, Jesus upheld this separation, stating, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” (Mark 12:17). The proponents of Christian nationalism often support a doctrine of exclusivity and isolation from others. Whereas Jesus taught a gospel of selfless love and unlimited liability toward one’s fellow human beings. Some Christian nationalists express vitriol toward certain races or classes of people. Whereas Jesus taught us to love one another unconditionally.
The gist of the matter is the following: what does it mean to be a Christian? Some of those professing Christian nationalism appear to espouse beliefs that profoundly contradict the teachings imparted by Jesus. It would behoove us not to even remotely confuse such regressive credos with the true message of Jesus. Those extremists who promote such positions pollute Jesus’ teachings of universal love and peace, and they superficially use Christianity to advance their own agenda of animosity and divisiveness.
For those who are enamored of establishing the United States as a Christian nation, please cease and desist. For those who claim to be Christian but who despise certain others, please leave true Christianity alone and keep your own religion of acrimony to yourselves. Even better, renounce all malice and ill-will and strive to embody the boundless love that Jesus taught. As Jackie DeShannon sang in the Sixties, “Put a little love in your heart.”