religion & nation

James Carroll responds in today’s Globe to John McCain’s recent assertion that America was established as a “Christian nation,” as well as the firestorm it began. Here’s a nice snippet:

But a warning must be sounded in the name of a better Christian religion, too. What’s bad for the state can be worse for the church. Jews, Muslims, Hindus, and all religious minorities are assaulted by even implicit claims of a “Christian nation,” but so are Christians. A government that blesses itself in the name of Jesus Christ, while waging war and advancing empire, must first demolish the meaning of who that man was – three centuries before Constantine.

Scholars know very little about this Galilean rabbi (nothing, for example, about his attitude toward homosexuality), but there are two things that can be said with certainty. Jesus lived and died in resistance to the Roman empire. And Jesus rejected violence. If there are two notes of identity that go to the heart of what America has become, they are violence and empire. A Christianity that makes its peace with those, as has so often happened, is an apostate religion. John McCain, and the objects of his appeal, betray the nation – and the faith.

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Came across this quote from Dorothy L. Sayers this week. Tell me what you think:

The Church’s approach to an intelligent carpenter is usually confined to exhorting him not to be drunk and disorderly in his leisure hours, and to come to church on Sundays. What the Church should be telling him is this: that the very first demand that his religion makes upon him is that he should make good tables. Church by all means, and decent forms of amusement, certainly—but what use is all that if in the very center of his life and occupation he is insulting God with bad carpentry? No crooked table legs or ill-fitting drawers ever came out of the carpenter’s shop at Nazareth. Nor, if they did, could anyone believe that they were made by the same hand that made Heaven and earth.

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Be a Good Daughter on November 11, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    Hello your post is delightful.
    I will definitely read your diary..
    See ya

    Reply

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