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America, love it or leave it?

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Jim Opionin by Jim Powers
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As the Vietnam war escalated during the 1960s, and the money and weapons we first sent into the war there turned into an ever-growing mountain of bodies of American young men, the number of very large and loud protests by the American public fed up with the pointless, and expensive sacrifice also grew. And there was escalating conflict between those who supported the war and those who opposed it.

“America, love it or leave it,” and “My country right or wrong” became the verbal cudgel war supporters aimed at the protesters. It was hard for me to understand why anyone defended a growing military-industrial complex that was growing rich off the sacrifice of young American men in a proxy war with the Soviet Union that we were not going to win.  But I was a teenager and didn’t yet understand that a spurious nationalism drove many to believe that their beliefs about our country justified accepting atrocity as a means to an end.

Many people believe that the United States was ordained by God at its creation for a special purpose. They say that the U.S. is to be a shining city on a hill, a beacon of hope and salvation for all the world. It’s an outgrowth of the idea of Manifest Destiny, a 19th century idea that the U.S. is destined by God to expand its dominion, spreading democracy and capitalism across this continent, and ultimately the world. That the U.S. was to be God’s instrument to save the world. This is a form of Religious Nationalism, justifying a lot of abuse in the name of God.

Nationalists believe that their nation is better than all others. And that belief is based on a shared experience, whether cultural, social, religious, ethnicity, language. And they also believe that their country is threatened by ideas outside these norms.

Now we have the rise of Christian Nationalism in the U.S. Many people extend that belief that God set the U.S. apart as special, to insist that the U.S. is a Christian country, which should be made up entirely of Christians, who share the same beliefs, the same social norms, and that the government should be the vehicle of enforcing conformity to those norms. That America is a nation that should be by and for Christians alone. Christian Nationalism is anti-democratic.

We see its rise being made manifest this week by the Supreme Court’s ruling on funding religious schools with tax-payer money, thus undermining the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, and by states efforts to abuse religious liberty as an excuse for discriminating against LGBTQ+, religious minorities and women. These efforts are occurring at all levels of government, and we have every reason to believe they are going to accelerate rapidly. Religions don’t have a very good track record of governing countries, though.

What will Christian Nationalism taken to its desired ends look like? What will the U.S. be when they achieve their goals? To use the force of government to impose their beliefs on everyone.

The Taliban is a modern religious nationalist movement. Do a google search. Is that what you want for this country?

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    BB · 1 years ago
    What a load of leftist crap.......comparing Christians ,who put love of country, life and liberty first, to a horrific group of killer radicals like the taliban is ludicrous. Do a Google search ?.....like your gonna an unbiased analysis from that globalist group. Puhleeeeze !
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Mr. Spiffy · 1 years ago
    Spot on, as usual!
    The American Taliban has now decided that women are second-class citizens; that embryos are humans with rights. Women, not so much.