My mother forwarded yet another religious spam email. This one was titled Billy Graham’s Prayer For Our Nation and ends with a call for a return to “One Nation Under God”. According to Snopes it isn’t from Billy Graham but that doesn’t really matter much regarding the intent of the email. The general text of the email sent to me is in that Snopes article if you’re interested.
Taken on face value as simply human values what does most of these items have to do with anything written in the Bible and a supposed dictated word of God? Does that book really give an exact recipe for a Christian-only government and such things as the nuances between a government sponsored form of charity and an overly dependent welfare system that is detrimental to society? The Bible does say certain things are punishable by death (usually a stoning) so how is the killing of an abortionist contrary to the general morality of the Bible? I do believe in the wisdom and values of the forefathers of this country but they didn’t create One Nation Under God as this email implied. Kenneth Davis had a good article on CNN recently about this. One Nation is inclusive and Under God is exclusionary so this phrase never made any sense to me.
Look at this fantasy art piece I came across while searching for information about One Nation Under God. I found this to be hilarious because the artist honestly believes in Jesus as the origin of our government and the Constitution for the people even though the Constitution has zero mentions of God, Jesus, or any creator reigning over “We The People”. It is a great visual depiction of what a Christian nation would be if one existed because the Constitution would have dictated the leadership of God and Jesus over the People as central to the government with a setup for worship and fidelity to that specific structure. This contrasts to the actual setup we have of a self-governing organization of checks and balances that were an attempt to protect individual liberties and societal justice instead of defining an exact and unchanging morality dictated by a religious leadership under the direction of One Nation under One God and following the literal word of the Bible as the rule of law.
Oh well, most people get these emails and just say it sounds good and it matches with the feel-good things they think they believe. This is cotton candy for the mind that reinforces “God is good, humans are evil, and we should listen to the God-believing humans to tell us how to think and what we should do with our resources.” The same goes true for politics and I wish people wouldn’t consider themselves Republicans or Democrats even if politicians are doing it. We should actually think for ourselves without labels while expecting the same from our political leaders. If we really had One Nation Under God in practice we could have just one political party because the religious right version of the Republican Party would be the only one true party needed under God.
Instead, since we are in practice a country of E Pluribus Unum (Out of Many, One) then we really should have more choices and parties representing our political beliefs and all of the variations in the reality of humanity. It seems like we’ve been reduced down to a country of Out of Two, One with one side of that really pushing One Nation Under God to kick out the views of the other half of the two.