Alas! It’s come to this.
America has long prided itself on being a Christian nation founded on Christian teachings and principles. Wrong! The Founding Fathers and Mothers detested the harmful and arrogant bond between monarch and church in their former nation, Great Britain. At best, most of our nation-establishing progenitors might possibly be described as deists. They may have acknowledged some sort of creator, but, based largely on their experience of religion—its fragmentation into hostile and violent sects, its desecration of human aspiration and dignity—they decided the best route for a different, successful, and democratic society was to build a wall of separation between state and church.
That intended wall would have been the most beneficial wall ever devised by human imagination! Another alas. Religion (especially of the Christian flavors) has of late merged with one of America’s major political parties. This writer need not name that party! But, as a clue for those who might need one, its name begins with an R.
Ironically, the leader of this R party wants to build a wall, but it’s not even remotely related to the wall hoped for and established by our founders.
Now, please allow this writer to express his vehement rejection of the very notion that America is even remotely Christian.
It is reported and/or purported in the Gospel of Matthew (chapter 5, verses 3–12) that Jesus Christ described in specific language what it means to be like him.
He said: “Blest are the poor in spirit. Blest too are the sorrowing. Blest are the lowly. Blest are they who hunger and thirst for justice. Blest are they who show mercy. Blest are the single-hearted. Blest are the peacemakers. Blest are those persecuted for truth’s sake.”
This Christian spirit is totally or at the very least substantially lost in today’s America.
America’s gap of inequality of opportunity, income, and happiness is unchristian.
America’s love for guns trumps the sorrow caused by their deadly results.
America’s casting aside the poor, sick, and homeless fails the litmus test of Christ.
America’s overflowing penal system reveals its ugly underbelly of judicial favoritism for the wealthy juxtaposed with its merciless treatment of the non-wealthy.
America’s lack of mercy for the poor and struggling middle class contradicts basic Christian principles.
Meanwhile, America is casting aside democratic norms and Constitutional mandates.
America is adopting a grotesque form of government, a fascist plutocracy.
America’s top 5 percent control not only most of the nation’s wealth but even the White House, the Supreme Court majority, and one chamber of Congress.
America is devolving into a “society” inured to gun violence and numerous gun massacres in churches, schools, theaters, concerts, working places, the streets … everywhere!
America’s population, or rather a huge swath of it, remains too immature to use social media responsibly and rationally.
How does one reconcile these characteristics with Christianity? A moral person simply cannot do so in good conscience. Many citizens dilute their brand of Christianity into a weak concoction of “feel good,” even while concentrating the worst inclinations of human nature into the toxic Kool-Aid manifested daily by the abusive treatment of the immediate environment and of planet Earth; our debasement of science, truth, and basic good manners; our suffocation of human kindness and compassion; our embrace of all things macho and obscurant amplified by TV and social media; our denigration and/or hatred of our fellow human beings.
Fast forward, for those who claim allegiance to Jesus Christ, to Judgment Day. The final judgment is described in Matthew (chapter 25, verses 31–46).
Separated into two groups, “sheep” and “goats,” the Judge proceeds to embrace those who in life fed the hungry Jesus, gave drink to the thirsty Jesus, welcomed Jesus the stranger, comforted the sick Jesus, and visited the imprisoned Jesus. Bewildered, these people who did works of mercy during their lifetimes ask when they had ever done these things for Jesus. The Judge’s reply: “I assure you, as often as you did it for one of my least brothers, you did it for me.”
The other group is harshly rejected by the Judge. They ask when they failed to do good to Jesus. The reply: “I assure you, as often as you neglected to do it to one of these least ones, you neglected to do it to me.”
Another “alas!” seems appropriate here. The rejection of those Christian values that were manifested by the embraced group is the very hallmark of the current administration. Conversely, the eager embrace of the failures of the rejected group is a fundamental characteristic of the policies of this executive branch!
In reading and rereading the history of Spain under Franco, of Italy under Mussolini, and of Germany under Hitler, this writer is frequently horrified by the enthusiasm with which Christian citizens of these nations embraced El Caudillo, Il Duce, and der Führer.
If this president’s multitudes of Christian followers continue to cheer for racism and bigotry, subvert their minds by accepting an avalanche of brazen lies and subtle falsehoods, choose to be seduced by macho nationalistic rhetoric, betray their inner hearts by readily agreeing with appeals to hatred and division, destroy logic by extinguishing truth and morality in the public sphere, add sacrilege by purging (their brand of) Christianity of most moral principles … they shall need a suitable sobriquet for their new messiah!
“Lord Dictator in Perpetuity” might do the trick.