To my friends who say that America must get back to our “Christian roots.”

2651529566_87eb235900 (2)During this election cycle, I have seen many calls for our nation to “return to God.” I believe, however, that it is dubious at best to suggest that America was founded upon Christian values.

In fact, quite the contrary.

Please consider the following Americans, all who suffered while the actions of their oppressors were protected by our constitution:

  • Africans who were kidnapped to America and subjugated into a life of slavery, their families torn apart, their women and children sold off.
  • The indigenous people who were expelled from their homes and driven with millions of others down a “trail of tears,” abused and oppressed.
  • Women who were denied the right to vote until 1920.
  • The “colored” person who suffered the humiliation of being relegated to the back of the bus and being forbidden to drink from the same water fountain as “whites.”
  • The poor white coal miner who lived a life of indentured servitude to the boss, and passed his crushing and expanding company store debt along to his children and widow when he died at 40 of black lung, completely unprotected by labor law.

Would any of these Americans believe that they were ever governed by a Christian nation? Would any of them wish to return to our “Christian values?” Would they believe that they had the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?”

Please know this: all of the above suffering was completely legal under the laws of this land. Our government – our values – supported and perpetuated all of these injustices. Every oppressor, from the slave owner to the mine boss, enjoyed the protection of the law. Yet, the preamble of the Declaration of Independence presupposes that “all men are created equal.”

I love my country, I am proud to be an American. However, I don’t believe that it is or ever was a Christian nation. I find it inconceivable, considering our past injustices, to make this claim. Our great nation has come a long way since then, we still have a ways to go, and I definitely do not want to go back to where we once were.

If we consider ourselves followers of Jesus, it is now time to stop calling for a return to the “Christian values” of America, and start working instead to bring about the Kingdom of God, to which we owe our first allegiance as its citizens and subjects – even if this means that we must lay down our rights as Americans in order to do so.

The first thing that Jesus said about his kingdom is this: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free.”

Jesus himself said that gospel is supposed to be good news for the poor. Therefore, as citizens of his kingdom, we should advocate and work for the protection and provision of those among us who are marginalized and oppressed. When we turn our hands to this work, we might be surprised to learn that we are the answer to the prayer that Jesus taught us, “Thy kingdom come!”

5 thoughts on “To my friends who say that America must get back to our “Christian roots.”

  1. James Wiegel

    Thank you, John. Like the pillar of fire and the cloud during the Exodus, God is always leading us . . .

  2. Paul McKinley

    Where do I begin? In such a short commentary you have incorporated at least three errors which have invaded Evangelical circles and main-stream Christianity: 1. Kingdom-Now theology, also known as Dominionism, Third Wave, Latter Rain, Joel’s Army and NAR; 2. Liberation Theology; 3. The Social Gospel.

    Now I don’t agree with a lot that was done in America’s past even though times were certainly different I would include the injustice done to our babies in the womb when they should be protected under the 14th amendment. However, I do not believe the call to return to our “Christian” roots is being advocated as much as a desire to reverse the course we as a nation are heading which is socialism which by the way is being propped up under the guise of Jesus’ teaching and the Social Gospel.

    Coming through the Revolutuon in our nation’s past, our forefathers wrote the greatest document at the hands of men with a desire to protect its citizens from a tyrannical government and to put in place protections that we would not return to the type of government from which they left and gained their freedom from. Many were Deists and not Christians and yet we give them credit for the establishment of the greatest nation ever there was and is.

    So as I appreciate your outcry of the injustices committed in the name of Christianity, I would encourage you along with the Church of Christ to fulfill our Lord’s commission and preach the gospel to every nation and individual, make disciples through baptising and teaching obedience to the Word of God. As long as men are depraved and separated from God he will continue commit injustices. Men are changed by the gospel and the Holy Spirit.

    Paul McKinley

  3. Mary

    Yes, America was founded on Christian principles. Plesse consult the historical facts with David Barton at Wallbuilders.

  4. Kyle

    To simplify this message, as Christians we should be more concerned about the church being the church. The government is not our salvation and the leader of the government will not bring righteousness to our land. If the church would be the church, as Jesus envisioned, this nation and any nation could become a Christian nation through and only through the power of Christ in our land. Let’s turn our attention away from the government and towards leadership in the church.

  5. John Amandola

    Hi all, I apologize for approving these comments so late! I did not see them in the list of pending comments. It is never my intention to censor people who don’t agree with me. Thank you for your responses! Best regards, John

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