John McCain: Theocrat?
Thanks to Bruce Prescott for this gem. McCain claims that the U.S. Constitution establishes the USA as a “Christian nation.” Hello: The Constitution forbids any religious test for political office. And, as Bruce points out, the First Amendment explicitly says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” Now, I’m very aware of the attempts by fundamentalists to say that this just prevented the establishment of a national church or denomination, but that Christianity itself was firmly established. That’s hogwash as numerous studies of the religious attitudes of the Founders have shown and also the last 50 years of Supreme Court rulings.
But, from the perspective of Christian theology, McCain’s error is even larger. There is NO SUCH THING as a Christian nation. In the Great Commission (Matt. 28), the Risen Christ commands us to make disciples from among all nations. In Revelation, the saints come from “every tribe and nation.” Nationalism of any sort is forbidden to Christians because our faith is universal. That is why I object to national flags in the sanctuaries of local churches. ALL are welcome in God’s house on EQUAL basis and we worship the Lord of all history and nations, not a tribal god. The path from this kind of “Christian nationalism” espoused by McCain (like Bush before him) to a Nazi-like worship of the nation itself is short.
I don’t know if McCain is a true theocrat or simply will say anything to get elected–but I don’t want to find out, either. U.S. citizens must insist that persons of all faiths and no particular faith are equal before the law of the land–no second class citizenship for Jews or Muslims or Buddhists, agnostics, etc. And, true Christians must insist even more strongly that a “Christian nation” is a contradiction in terms and that there is no place for national chauvenism among the followers of the Lamb.
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