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Old 11-29-2001, 09:14 PM   #1
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"God Bless America" ???

The incessant use of this phrase and the accompanying song has been rubbing me wrong since they began to pop up after the events of Sept. 11. While I grew up in a Christian home, and I consider myself to be a believer (although I am going through a period of serious questioning and evaluation) I don't think that America has any call to believe they are a special nation in God's sight. Not any more than any other nation in the world. The thing that is bugging me about "God Bless America" is that in my opinion it not only sounds a tad bit arrogant (somehow we're God's favored people?), but after all the insistence that this war is not a "holy war" or a war between religions, it seems to contradict that idea entirely.

I don't know if I'm making sense, and I hope I don't offend anyone. I don't think I'm unpatriotic...I'm just wary of the connotations of nationalism. And this has been bothering me every time I turn on the television or read the news.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

-sula
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Old 11-29-2001, 09:24 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4:
I don't think that America has any call to believe they are a special nation in God's sight. Not any more than any other nation in the world.
This is actually the basis of Judaism. The idea that God made a covenant with Abraham, reaffirmed it with Moses, and established the Israelites as his chosen people.

Anyways, that had nothing to do with your question, but I just wanted to throw it out there, to show that there is a basis for this type of thinking.

Back to the topic at hand, I don't think it's appropriate for government officials of a secular country to be bringing religion into politics. Bush designating "national prayer day" and such is not really necessary, that's what religious clergy is for.
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Old 11-29-2001, 09:32 PM   #3
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Well, it bothers me because before sept 11th, everyone seemed to be turning away from God. Banning any mention of God,etc, from everywhere it seems. Actually, they seemed to be treating America the same way. It wasnt 'cool" to love America.
Now suddenly, God is "in" , and so is America. Its "cool" to love them.
Oh well, better late than never i suppose. I just honestly wish that people would actually ACT like they believe in God, which means treating others as civilly as possible. Sigh.
I, too, believe in God although I am seriously questioning whether he really does exist and all that stuff. I've been doing that for a couple years now, but more so lately i guess.

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[This message has been edited by Miss MacPhisto (edited 11-29-2001).]
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Old 11-29-2001, 09:51 PM   #4
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we've been through this a couple of times already. However, let me ask you. Don't you want God to bless your nation? If so, what's wrong with saying it?
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Old 11-30-2001, 12:19 AM   #5
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Is that "God Save The Queen" song alright for the British?
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Old 11-30-2001, 03:54 AM   #6
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God bless the world!
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Old 11-30-2001, 04:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2Bama:
Is that "God Save The Queen" song alright for the British?

It's actually the Royal Anthem of Australia, dunno why cos it was written in 1740...but getting back to the point of that, its said as a tribute to the queen, not necessarily God. Still, it's used a lot.
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Old 11-30-2001, 09:46 AM   #8
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80s, I'm aware that this has probably been discussed on this board before. I have been out of the country until rather recently so it's something I missed. So, I'm sorry for resurrecting an old discussion. I really am curious to hear your point of view because I respect what you have to say.

Do I want God's blessing? Of course. That's not the point. I want to know why we as a NATION, as a collective whole, feel we should have God's blessing. In my opinion, his "blessing" is akin to his "stamp of approval". And that brings me back to my original concern...that in the case of a war, each side always wants to feel that their side is "God's side". Of course we want to believe that. But when we're trying to maintain that we are not involved in a "holy war" it seems somewhat hypocritical to state that and then with the other breath invoke God's blessing upon our actions. The antithesis of "God is for us" would naturally be "God is against our enemies." And I guess that's what makes me uneasy.

Regarding the nation of Israel, they received specific promises from God in the Old Testament regarding their nation. It makes me uncomfortable to hear pastors quote OT scripture dealing with promises given to the nation of Israel and then apply it to America. It was written to a specific group of people in a particular point in history. Why do we feel that we can now lay claim to those promises? What gives us the right?

And yes, it bothers me that it is now trendy and hip to pray. Am I in favor of prayer? By all means, definitely! But after 22 years of being enveloped in the Christian community, I'm well aware that most of our prayers (mine included) aren't motivated by altruistic concerns but by a desire to gain something for nothing. And this is something that has caused me to distance myself from the church at this point in time. Because I see myself and I know my heart and I cannot in good conscience sing hymns with words that tell how much I love God and want his will, when I know that within my heart it is not truly the case. Hypocrisy is bad enough but in oneself it is self-deception and to me that is one of the saddest things of all. But I digress.

God isn't a force to be manipulated and coerced. I think it demeans him when we use his name as if that is the case. Asking his blessing, in my mind, brings with it some pretty heavy responsibilities. If we truly want him to be on "our side" it would follow that as a result we have a part in that agreement to be on "his side." And what will he require of us? Are we then willing to carry out our side of the bargain when it goes against our desires?

*sigh*

I guess I have a lot of questions. Again, let me reiterate that I'm not trying to be a smart-aleck, and I am by no means someone that hates our country and looks for every chance to criticize it. I am grateful to be an American, but as a citizen, I am concerned for not only its immediate welfare but its long-term direction. When the world looks at us, what will they see? We already have a reputation for being pompous and arrogant, and I think there are some pretty valid reasons for that, but can we show that we can change? Or will we reinforce the stereotypes that are already present?

I guess that's what prompted my question. Again, I appreciate your responses and opinions.

-sula
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Old 11-30-2001, 12:50 PM   #9
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So I guess you wouldn't agree with the Kiss song "God Gave Rock-n-Roll to You"

Unfortunately in today's society the word "god" is thrown around quite casually and often without much thought.
And of course people and the President saying "God is with us" and the like is a bit presumptuous, but no more presumptuous than a Muslim making a similar quote about Allah, which happens.
People want to believe the god they follow is behind them.
Other people just throw sayings around often without any religious conviction, just cause they are used to hearing and saying them ("oh my God" for example).
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Old 11-30-2001, 02:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4:
Regarding the nation of Israel, they received specific promises from God in the Old Testament regarding their nation. It makes me uncomfortable to hear pastors quote OT scripture dealing with promises given to the nation of Israel and then apply it to America. It was written to a specific group of people in a particular point in history. Why do we feel that we can now lay claim to those promises? What gives us the right?
-sula
Sula,

Read Romans 4:16, "Therefore [it is] of faith, that [it might be] by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,"

The Apostle Paul says that the promises that God made to the Jewish nation in the Old Testament apply to Christians today because of our faith. Therefore, promises like the one in 2 Chronicles that say if God's people will humble themselves and turn back to him God will heal their land, apply to us as Christians in America or Christians in any nation for that matter!

Hope that helps a little bit.
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Old 11-30-2001, 02:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by ocu2fan:
Sula,

Read Romans 4:16, "Therefore [it is] of faith, that [it might be] by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,"

The Apostle Paul says that the promises that God made to the Jewish nation in the Old Testament apply to Christians today because of our faith. Therefore, promises like the one in 2 Chronicles that say if God's people will humble themselves and turn back to him God will heal their land, apply to us as Christians in America or Christians in any nation for that matter!

Hope that helps a little bit.
Yep, I've read it. (missionary kid here ) I don't disagree that there is continuity between the OT and NT when it comes to the church as a worldwide body. But I don't think that includes America as a specific nation in the way that it did Israel in the OT. Perhaps what I'm reacting to is an idea that I have heard many times in churches and in Christian circles that America is or should be a "Christian" nation...or that it is under a special contract with God. But if we're talking about individual people and the lands they live in, yes, I can see your point. Thanks for bringing that up.

-sula
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Old 12-01-2001, 08:55 PM   #12
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"Bush designating "national prayer day" and such is not really necessary, that's what religious clergy is for."

Bush is a Republican, and of course a conservative, meaning he will slowly bring more religion into this non-secular country. i believe in God and what not, but I have issues with a lot of Christians. Ruling with religious fundamentalism is not the way to go...just look at the people in the French Revolution...this is WAY off subject, but I needed to vent a bit.

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Old 12-04-2001, 12:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by sulawesigirl4:
The incessant use of this phrase and the accompanying song has been rubbing me wrong since they began to pop up after the events of Sept. 11. While I grew up in a Christian home, and I consider myself to be a believer (although I am going through a period of serious questioning and evaluation) I don't think that America has any call to believe they are a special nation in God's sight. Not any more than any other nation in the world. The thing that is bugging me about "God Bless America" is that in my opinion it not only sounds a tad bit arrogant (somehow we're God's favored people?), but after all the insistence that this war is not a "holy war" or a war between religions, it seems to contradict that idea entirely.

I don't know if I'm making sense, and I hope I don't offend anyone. I don't think I'm unpatriotic...I'm just wary of the connotations of nationalism. And this has been bothering me every time I turn on the television or read the news.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
-sula

I like the scene in the movie "Contact" when Jodie Foster questions how can God possibly exist. Matthew Mc-????? asks, "Did you love Father?" She says, "Yes." He asks, "Why?" Or in other words, prove it.

So with that, I apologize if you wasted your time reading this because I have nothing to really add.
No facts or quotes from documents.

Just my opinion.


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GOD BLESS AMERICA!

P.S.-When I say "God Bless America", I mean just that,....."God Bless America."
Just like when I was kid and said it every morning.
There is no hidden, over-educated, or abstract meaning. Just "God Bless America."


[This message has been edited by whammy (edited 12-04-2001).]
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Old 12-05-2001, 05:57 PM   #14
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It's a case of grammar. It's not supposed to be "God blessed America" or "God, continue to bless America." It's supposed to be "God, bless America." It's more like a request than saying that we are "chosen ones" or anything like that.

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Old 12-05-2001, 07:26 PM   #15
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sula, do you know that we have a similar expression here? We are used to say "Deus é brasileiro" which means God is Brazilian. We use the expression in a different context though. Brazilians are religious people, the majority are Christians, and this is a land where there are no earthquakes, tornados, huge floods and volcanic eruptions. Concerning natural disasters, we only have some problems with draught in a specific region, the northeast of Brasil, something I believe could be solved with good will and some finance of course. Also this is really a pacific country, we donīt have a tradition on belicism and war. So usually when people here get to see on TV or read about those kind of natural tragedies or about war in other countries they say "Deus é brasileiro", thatīs the reason why that stuff does not happen here.

Kinda off topic, I know, but I thought you might find it interesting.


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