One Nation Under God: Yeah, Right!
America often prides itself by calling itself, “one nation under God.”
Other slogans include, “In God We Trust” and “God Bless America.”
But as Ralph Douglas West of The Church Without Walls in Houston paraphrased in so many words, “yeah right.”
If America truly trusts God and considers itself under God’s care or watch, then America would not treat other people, especially from different races and religions, with such heartlessness and carelessness because those two qualities do not represent the God that I serve.
America must serve another god named money, greed, power, racism, sexism, Islamophobia, Christian-phobia and elitism and not my Heavenly Father.
If those aforementioned qualities represent America’s god, then I do not want anything to do with that little god with a little “g.”
And in order for America to truly represent what it is supposed to stand for like “liberty and justice for all,” then America needs to truly do some research on the real God, the one they want to bless America.
The 2018 midterm elections disintegrated into one of the most divisive and hateful episodes in American history since the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s.
Campaign rhetoric sounded like the racist rhetoric of politicians and leaders who did not want to let go of the Jim Crow way of life a half century ago.
Leaders who should set an example for the rest of the country have instead purposefully divided the country, which has possibly led to some hate crimes, just because the divisiveness would benefit them at the polls.
Some leaders show more interest in staying in power, even if it becomes permanently detrimental to the country.
And those leaders have whipped the public into such a frenzy that political rallies look like the lynch mobs students saw in the history books as children.
Public officials have encouraged their supporters to punch dissenters in the face.
Political leaders have encouraged people to shoot at migrants who throw rocks.
One candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives even told the Houston Chronicle that victims of the Holocaust, which resulted in the deaths of an exorbitant amount of Jews, should not have been welcomed as refugees in America.
That candidate went on to say that Jewish refugees from the Holocaust should have been handled by the United Nations, even though the United Nations did not come into existence until after World War II under the direction of former President Harry S. Truman.
If certain politicians cannot empathize with people who survived one of the world’s greatest travesties, how can they empathize with Central American migrants escaping a horrible life of oppression and crime?
Sure, some of the migrants might be bad people, but the people running this country consist of a lot of bad people too, therefore they should look out for “their kind.”
And if political candidates do not care about Holocaust survivors, why would any sane person think they would care about their constituents that look different or think differently than them.
But as West said, there is always hope if America truly starts to follow God as opposed to just quoting clichés and slogans.
That hope might not come down from our elected leaders, but one does not have to hold a political position to become a leader.
The Bible says that Christians should respect our leaders.
However, the Bible does not say we have to agree with our leaders.
The Bible does not even say that Christians have to follow the example set by our leaders in politics.
Christians are supposed to be different and stand out.
Christians are supposed to set the example, not follow bad examples.
And like former First Lady Michelle Obama famously said, when they go low, we go high.
When our leaders spew hate, we should return that hate with love.
When our leaders try to divide us by race and religion, we should reach out to people of different races and faith and become their friends.
However, Christians should remain vigilant against any forms of racism, intolerance and hatred.
Christians should be meek, but that does not mean weak.
Christian comedian, actor and radio personality Rickey Smiley told VladTV that he does not believe that turning the other cheek has ever accomplished anything for African-Americans.
But one only has to look back to the Civil Rights Movement to see that turning the other cheek got us to where we are as a people, with equal rights under the law, the right to vote even though voter suppression is very real, and eventually the first African-American president in former President Barack Obama.
While America will remain racist until the end of time, Christian values like turning the other cheek has led to some of our biggest gains as far as equal rights.
But acting violently and ignorantly makes us no better than the leaders we disagree with.
Like the old folks would say, when you wrestle with pigs, you get dirty too.
While those who truly care about our country should still fight fire with fire, they should do so with class and intelligence and not stoop to the level of the uneducated or poorly educated.
Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”
Too many of our leaders are only concerned with those who look like them, think like them and come from the same places they come from.
But true leadership, which King stood for, cares for everyone.
Altruism is the unselfish concern for the welfare of others.
And if our leaders do not care about all of their people, then we must look to others around us to be our leaders and use them as examples of what true leadership looks like.
God can use anyone to lead, not just elected officials.
But in order to lead, one has to stand out in the crowd and not behave like the crowd.
Maybe our elected officials will take our lead one day and stand out against hate, racism, sexism and division.