Am I Anti-American?
This is a question that I have been asked at times. I believe it is a racist question. How can you be anti a race of people? In fact as Christians can you be ‘anti’ any individual? I mean what does ‘anti’ mean? Against? Does it involve hate? Or is it more passive, like ‘I don’t like what they stand for’? But really, I mean what a gross generalisation “THEY”. It’s like ‘all those Muslims’, how offensive is that tone!.
BUT, lets talk about US government policy, lets talk about certain individual politicians who have power in that nation and in our world, now I can be more specific! I am so over the way the US speaks of themselves with empirical language.
I am over the way certain people in the Bush administration have taken upon themselves to ‘rid the world of evil’, a task I thought God was in charge of!
Take for example General William Boykin. Back in 2003 he made a series of speeches at Christian churches. He copped some criticism for what he said and deservedly so! In fact I think he may have even been disciplined for his loose tongue!
He said America was indeed fighting a “spiritual Battle” against a “guy name Satan” who wants to “destroy us as a nation, and he wants to destroy our Christian army”. He referred to himself as a “Warrior for the kingdom of God”. (Although he was serving the CIA). He used language you may be familiar with; “We in the army of God, the Kingdom of God, the house of God, have been raised for such a time as this.” He reminded the church that “America is still a Christian nation while other nations have lost their morals, lost their values” that the president “was in the Whitehouse because God put him there”.
He asked the question that many Americans no doubt asked, “Why do they hate us? The answer to that is because we are a nation of believers.” And in describing the Muslim warlords he fought against in Somalia he said they were the “principalities of darkness” and a “Demonic presence in that city [Mogadishu] that God revealed to me as the enemy that will only be defeated in the name of Jesus”
Well as Jim Wallis [Sojourners] asked the general, does he not know that only peacemaking, not war-making, can be done “in the name of Jesus”?
Like Jim Wallis…
- I have some concerns about a subtle ‘theology of war’ that seems to be leaking into and out of our churches…it is certainly alive and well in the American government!
- I am deeply concerned by the language of ‘righteous empire’ that comes from the US.
- I have a problem with the roles of God, church, and nation that are confused by talk of an American “mission” and “Divine appointment” to “rid the world of evil”.
These kinds of things are dangerous and look to me more and more like a return to the days of Constantine and the crusades that followed for hundreds of years. (See the movie Kingdom of Heaven for a very good look at the confusion between Kingdom as ‘empire’, as ‘power’, as ‘dominance’ versus a real Kingdom of God, of conscience.)
I am not happy with the amount of back slapping that goes on between our Prime Minister and Bush. I don’t like the fact that we so often casually say “oh, we do everything the same as the US, just a few years later.” I see some of these religious ‘right’ trends already happening here in our great nation. Lets not go there people, lets not!
So – blessed are the peacemakers, the non-violent activists. These people are not just peacekeepers (sounds like a UN role to me, not even sure they do that to well to be honest! Ref. Rwanda!) Not peacekeepers, it says peacemakers…those who are active in going out of their way to make, produce, bring about PEACE.
Yes, like Jesus!