Friday, September 30, 2011

America the Religion

It has been asked before, “Has American Patriotism become a religion?” Initially such a question appears completely absurd, but if we take a moment to consider the possibility, we find the answer is not as clear as we may have originally assumed.

Taking the beliefs of a nation-state and making them religious is often labeled Nationalism. But what we want to know is if an average American patriot finds themselves practicing religious-like customs in regard to their country.

Every major religion has a sacred text. Does the U.S. have a sacred text? I think the answer to that would be yes. The Constitution declares certain irrevocable truths of speech and other rights. The Constitution governs the country’s administration, legislation, judicial, and individual lives.

All major religions have songs or hymns. ‘God Bless America,’ ‘This Land is your Land,’ ‘America the Beautiful,’ ‘Star Spangled Banner,’ and many others represent the religious songs of the American Cult.

Major religions have creeds and statements of faith. The United States has the Pledge of Allegiance, which affirms ones commitment to the religion.

Major religions have sacred symbols that are to be treated with honor. The U.S. has the flag which is treated with the utmost dignity and honor. The Bald Eagle is a powerful emblem of the U.S.’s strength.

Major religions have sacred days in which they celebrate. The U.S. celebrates its day of independence with care, former Presidents’ birthdays are remembered holidays, Flag Day, Memorial Day, and many others cover the calendar.

Major religions have special garb for sacred days. Red, White, and Blue, Bald Eagles, Flags, and Stars, are all worn on such special days.

Major religions have martyrs who die for the faith in hopes of spreading the power of its message. The U.S. has martyrs in hopes of spreading the influence of democracy.

I wonder what God thinks about all this. I wonder if he is concerned, angry, saddened, or indifferent to the relevance that is often given human drawn borders over the infinite borderless God? I wonder if I have taken the comparison too far. I also wonder if we as God’s people have taken our pride for country too far. I wonder if it is possible to be a citizen of two places. Can we be citizens of the Kingdom of God and citizens of the United States of America?


  1. Yes, I think we have taken it too far. While it may be possible to be a citizen of two places, your ultimate allegiance can belong to only one.

  2. well is a fine line and that line seems to be growing ever fainter.