THE CULT OF THE AMERICAN NATION
(The Worship of Ba'al)
CURRENT RELIGIOUS THOUGHT
Have we an American Religion?
Many think civil religion equates the status quo with God's Will.
Sociologist Robert N. Bellah in his lecture "Civil Religion in America," given to the Daedalus Conference on American religion in 1966, (published in Daedalus, Winter, 1967), made the subject popular. Bellah provided not only the vocabulary, but also the analytical tools with which to investigate civil religion.
The term "civil religion" has not been precisely defined. Laymen could not always know whether it is being advocated or criticized...The term "civil religion" usually means folk religion held by a provincially minded group. In the current discussion it is limited to the American religious scene.
Many people think that civil religion equates the status quo and the good of the country with God's will. Such a religion would amount to a patriotic assertion of the unqualified favor of God toward your own political group.
No doubt there is reason to think that this is a typical American attitude. Lecturers, clergymen, and even presidents, have conveyed this impression. Quite possibly over-enthusiasm on public occasions have produced these statements.
Some critics decry any reference to God in public utterances, and, even further, in any remarks complimentary of the American nation. Others are suspicious of any use of group symbolism to portray a sophisticated society...
Sidney M. Mead observes that "...the being of a nation with a distinct identity implies a tacitly accepted creed among its people." (American Civil Religion, Harper and Row). If this is correct then the appeal to national symbols is not in itself evil. The error creeps in when these symbols are divinized.
We must remember that the American nation struggled for identity in a period following the fragmentation of European religious life. It has no single integrating motif. Rather it had to deal with such "New Israel" expressions as "righteous Commonwealth," "Holy experiment," "religious freedom," "religious pluralism," and "manifest destiny."...
...A new perception of nationhood emerged and brought order to these varied motifs. The founding fathers tried to relate the Christian faith to the developing political order. And they used such "Enlightenment" concepts as "the Laws of Nature and Nature's God," "higher law," and "inaliable rights" in so doing.
In this process religion and politics overlapped, and this has never been obliterated. It is too much to expect the average person to appreciate either the complexity of the problem or the synthesis that has been achieved.
The tragic times through which our nation has passed, especially since 1917, have driven us to search for a set of symbols by which to reclaim our identity and our self-worth. Has this quest deified the American way of life? or "the Nation under God?"...(The resounding answer is Yes)!
ENTHUSIASM, GNOSTICISM, AMERICAN ORPHISM
"PRESIDENT George Bush, whatever other eminence awaits him, is already bound to be memorable as the American leader most deeply attached to linked emblems of our national religion: the flag and the fetus, our Cross and our Divine Child. The flag and the fetus together symbolize the American Religion, the partly concealed but scarcely repressed national faith. Defining religion is always difficult, particularly since civil religion and its pragmatic consequences are radically different when compared to historical and traditional creeds. Religion, in the ostensibly Protestant United States, is something subtly other than Christianity, though to say that we are a post-Christian country is misleading. Rather we are post-Protestant, and we live a persuasive redefinition of Christianity. It is so persuasive that we refuse to admit that we have revised the traditional religion into a faith that better fits our national temperament, aspiration, and anxieties. A blend of ancient heresies and nineteenth-century stresses, the American Religion moves toward the twenty-first century with an unrestrained triumphalism, easily convertible into our political vagaries..." The American Religion by Harold Bloom, p.45.
The rulers wanted to deceive humanity. Inasmuch as they saw that it had kinship with (what was) truly good, they took the names of the good and gave them to the non-good, to deceive humanity by the names and bind them to the non-good...for they wanted the free to be taken...(Gospel of Phillip 54.18- ).
GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH
A Letter to the Editor
About your recent editotial quotation entitled "Superpatriots." You quoted international socialist George Bernard Shaw when he wrote: "The 100 percent American is 99 percent idiot." I take it that to some in the editorial department patriotism is somehow outdated...
Patriotism is basically love of country and what it stands for symbolized by the American flag...Because of patriotism, in 1776 we fought and won freedom from British tyranny. Because of patriotism, love of country, and what it stands for, we are free people (of course, this seems true as long as we define our freedoms in terms of the unimpeded rights of producers and consumers) and enjoy freedoms envied by the rest of the world.
If patriotism did not exist in 1776 what would have happened? We would have remained a people under British military occupation much like the Irish in Northern Ireland are under military occupation today...
I quote a famous Virginian, "Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbis it, Almighty God, I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death." Arnold Moltis, The Huntington, W.Va. Dispatch.
For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error.
While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning...(2 Peter 2:18-20).
COME OUT OF HER MY PEOPLE THAT YE BE NOT PARTAKERS OF HER SINS...(Revelation, chapter 18).
He increaseth the nations and destroyeth them. He enlargeth the nations and straiteneth them again...(Job 12:23).
Behold, the nations are as a drop in the bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, He taketh up the isles as a very little things...
All nations before Him are as nothing; and are counted to Him as less than nothing, and vanity...(Isaiah 40:15-17).
Truly in vain is hope sought for among the nations...(Jeremiah 3:23). (See Isaiah 2:19-21, and Revelation 6:14-17).
Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it.
Keep therefore and do them; for this is your Wisdom and your Understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear of these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.
FOR WHAT NATION IS THERE SO GREAT, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon Him for?
AND WHAT NATION IS THERE SO GREAT, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?
Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen (such as the Roman destruction of that city and that temple made with hands in Palestine almost 2,000 years ago), and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy son's sons (for is not Moscow the Third Rome)?...
Take (therefore) heed unto thyself, lest ye forget the covenant of the Lord your God which He made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of anything, which the Lord thy God hath forbidden thee.
For the Lord thy God is a consuming Fire, even a jealous God...(Deuteronomy 4:5-24)
MORMONS GET CONSTITUTIONAL TALK
SALT LAKE CITY__Mormons must understand and follow the U.S. Constitution, church President Ezra Taft Benson said Saturday, calling the 200-year old document divinely inspired.
Benson, speaking at the church's 157th semiannual General Conference, told more than 8,000 local church leaders they must "befriend the Constitution in this critical hour and secure the blessings of liberty."
"First and foremost we must be righteous," Benson told the audience crowded into the historic Mormon Tabernacle on Salt Lake Temple Square.
Members must learn "about our divine Constitution," said Benson, who was agriculture secretary under President Eisenhower. United Press International.
For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and His fury upon all their armies...(Isaiah 34:1,2).
When the Lord thy God shall cut off nations from before thee, whither thou go to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land;
Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.
Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God: for every abomination to the Lord, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.
Whatsoever thing I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, not diminish from it...(Deuteronomy 12:28-32).
EXODUS 23:19-33; DEUTERONOMY 6:1-12; DEUT.7:1-6; JOSHUA 1:1-11;
PSALM 106; 1 CORINTHIANS, CHAPTER 10.
And when thou art come into the land (the State of Mind) which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.
There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire (of mortal combat), or that useth divination (to deceive), or an observer of times (without understanding the signs and the meaning of them), or an enchanter (who lures souls away from the precepts of God), and or a witch (who seeks to join together those things that must remain apart...such as the doctrines of Christ to the doctrines of the American nation)...
For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee...(Deut.18:9-12).
And above all things my brethren, SWEAR NOT, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, NEITHER BY ANY OTHER OATH; but let your yea, be yea, and your nay, nay, lest ye fall into condemnantion...(James 5:12; Matthew 5:33-37).
CONSTITUTIONAL TRIBUTE STIRS NATIONAL ATTENTION
TO PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Americans Celebrate "Triumph of Freedom."
PHILADELPHIA__Schoolgirls on the deck of the Kitty Hawk recited the Pledge of Allegiance yesterday alongside of construction workers in Boston. President Reagan and millions of Americans celebrating the U.S. Constitution's 200th birthday a day early.
Reagan led a nationally televised Pledge of Allegiance for "Celebrate the Constitution Day," the preamble to today's bicentennial bash.
"Its still our blueprint for freedom," Reagan said from the Capitol in Washington during the day-long civics and history lesson.
At the New York Stock Exchange, trading was halted briefly during the afternoon, and workers cheered and waved American flags on the trading floor. In Boston, workers took off their hard hats, dropped their tools and joined Reagan in the pledge...
Speaking (this time from Philadelphia in front of Independence Hall), Reagan called the signing of the world's first constitution an event "that would profoundly and forever alter not just these United States but the world." Associated Press.
Ye are they that justify yourselves, but God knoweth your hearts, for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God...(Luke 16:9-15).
For the day of the Lord is upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up...and upon all High Mountains (great nations) and upon all the Hills (smaller nations) that are lifted up...(Isaiah 2:2-22; Isaiah 30:25).
Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until that day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the Fire of my jealousy...(Zephaniah 3:8).
For thus saith the Lord of hosts; Yet once...and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land;
And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts...
And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots (read tanks and armored carriers), and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, everyone by the sword of his brother...(Haggai 2:7, 22).
Alas! for that day is so great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it...
For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of the nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and I will not leave thee altogether unpunished.
For thus saith the Lord, Thy bruise is (nearly) incurable, and thy wound is grievous...(Jeremiah 30:7-12).
The Lord shall go forth as a mighty man, he shall stir up jealousy like a man of war: he shall cry, yea, roar; he shall prevail against his enemies.
I have long time holden my peace; I have been still, and refrained myself, now will I cry Like a Travailing Woman; I will destroy and devour at once...(Isaiah 42:13, 14).
The Ways of Peace