Skip to comments.Opposing ‘God Bless America’: A Christian minister preaches the religion of leftism.
Posted on 06/11/2013 7:03:45 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
If you were a Christian minister who was given the opportunity to write an op-ed piece for the Washington Post, what subject would you choose? War and peace? The decline in faith among Americas young people? The increasingly empty pews in mainstream Protestant churches? The ethical decline in society? Or any of myriad other morally and religiously troubling issues?
Well, not if you were a Methodist minister named James P. Marsh Jr.
For this man of the cloth, the issue troubling him so much that he had to write about in the Washington Post was . . . people standing and singing God Bless America at Washington National baseball games.
If you want to know how far much of mainline Christianity has declined, Pastor Marshs column would be a fine place to begin. Think back to any time in American history. It is hard to imagine that a Christian minister would have any reaction to his fellow Americans standing and singing God Bless America other than unalloyed delight. But that was when mainline Christian ministers believed in Christianity, sought to bring fellow Americans to God, celebrated America, and hoped that God would bestow His blessings on this country.
Or to put it another way: That was before many mainstream Christians embraced another religion leftism, the most dynamic religion of the last hundred years. Leftism has influenced Western societies far more deeply than Christianity has since the beginning of the 20th century. And leftism has influenced far more Christians (and Jews) than Christianity (or Judaism) has influenced leftists.
It is difficult to detect a single Christian idea or belief among the reasons the minister has given for not standing for God Bless America. All his reasons are leftist boilerplate. Had he been identified as an official of the ACLU or a professor in some social-science department, no reader would have been surprised.
1. I sit to stand for my religious beliefs.
Presumably the ministers religious beliefs are Christian. But how exactly does standing to sing God Bless America violate Christian beliefs? He doesnt tell us. One would think that a Christian minister would be thoroughly delighted that tens of thousands of his fellow Americans were singing God Bless America.
2. Being pressured to stand at a baseball game for a song thats essentially a prayer seems, well, un-American. It feels like being pushed into the river for a baptism I didnt choose.
Only a true-believing leftist would label as un-American the people who stand and sing God Bless America.
3. Its an empty ritual, and one that I dont think holds much theological water.
Tens of thousands of Americans of all races and backgrounds standing and singing God Bless America is an empty ritual? And why doesnt asking God to bless America hold much theological water? What is more theologically sound than asking God to bless America (or Canada, or the U.K., or Costa Rica, or Portugal, or any other free country)?
4. Im reminded of the admonition not to pray just to be seen by others.
Who is James Marsh to judge the motivations of 30,000 people? And besides, when I stand at Los Angeles Kings hockey games as they honor a member of the armed forces, I do so in large measure precisely because I do want others, especially my son and other young people, to see me doing so.
5. When we ask for blessings to be bestowed only on us, we are in danger of seeing ourselves as set apart from the world.
Who but a leftist could read God Bless America as God Bless only America?
6. Why do we all too frequently seek to invoke rituals that undermine our common bonds?
Most of us think that this ritual strengthens our common bonds. Perhaps the pastor is unaware that the song was written by Irving Berlin, a Russian Jewish immigrant.
7. What does the good secular humanist do during this song?
The good secular humanist stands and sings God Bless America. Even most liberals stand and heartily sing this song at baseball games. You have to be not only left-wing but also foolish to protest this.
8. We have the right to sit down when everyone else stands up.
True. And the rest of us have a right express contempt for your decision and for your using Christianity to defend it.
Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His most recent book is Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph. He is the founder of Prager University.
> A Christian minister preaches the religion of leftism.
Such a person is not a Christian minister.
He’s not even a Christian.
He is a Marxist, and Christianity is his beard.
Just as it was with Jim Jones.
It has often been said that if John and Charles Wesley came back to a Methodist church today, and preached the gospel they preached back then, they would be thrown out of the church.
The song asks G-d to bless America and help her overcome her obstacles. It doesn’t say, “G-d, please do good stuff for America and to hell with all other countries and anyone who doesn’t believe in You. Amen.”
There are many who express more devotion for their favorite football team than this minister expresses for G-d.
What does the man think praying for blessings is? What’s the difference?
Protestant churches are loaded with left wingers, and left wingers always want to run the show. It’s their way or the highway. Which is why many take to the highway.
Wesley rolling in his grave again ping.
thanks, and love your tagline, it is so true!
Wesley was not overly enthusiastic about nationalism in worship....so much so that his hymn “Come, Thou Almighty King” was intentionally set to the same metre as that used for “God Save the King.”
That said, what a pity that Irving Berlin did not place a comma between “God” and “bless” in the title, so that it would read “God, bless America” reinfocing the intercession intended by the opening lines (which are too seldom heard much less sung) which conclude “as we lift our voices / in a humble prayer: God bless America....”
Without the comma it reads as though we are commanding God—rather than beseeching Him—to bless. But that is an issue beyond the pastor/columnists comprehension.
You are correct; he also used the tunes of drinking songs, I'm told, to convert these tunes to a better use for people whom he lifted up from lives of hopelessness and addiction. Methodist singing was one of the main teaching tools, and one for which I, as a right-brainer, was most grateful in times of trouble later on, when the psalm-based lyrics of those hymns would come back to me.
In posting this, it was more about the overall cynicism of the pastor who is using the name of Methodist. How far this once strongly Christian denomination has fallen...