Skip to comments.The Cross and the Flag: Reflecting on the Fourth of July
Posted on 07/05/2007 7:43:32 AM PDT by Mr. Silverback
Quick, what famous event do we commemorate on the Fourth of July?
Not sure? A little rusty on your sixth-grade civics? Well, you're in good company. One Gallup poll revealed that one out of every four Americans doesn't know that July Fourth commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
It's a poor patriotism that doesn't even know our national history and traditions. This Fourth of July, lets ask what it means, in the light of Scripture, to be an American citizen.
Patriotism used to be a simple matter. Most of America's traditions were rooted in a Christian heritage. To be a good Christian seemed to be synonymous with being a good American.
And no wonder. Through most of our history as a nation, Christianity was the dominant religion. At independence, the Founding Fathers declared a national day of prayer and thanksgivinga holiday we still celebrate.
From that time on, many states required the Christian religion to be taught in colleges, prisons, and orphanages. Up to the 1960s, many states required Bible reading and prayers in the public schools. Almost all Americans agreed that our law was rooted, as John Adams said, in a common moral and religious tradition stretching back to Moses on Mount Sinai.
In a culture like this, it was easy for a Christian to be a patriot. Maybe too easy. Vibrant biblical faith often degenerated into mere civil religion. The well-being of the country was often equated with the expansion of God's Kingdom.
In the United States, Christians have all too often vacillated between two extremesthe God-and-country, wrap-the-flag-around-the-cross mentality or on the other hand, the simply passing-through mindset.
The former was illustrated a century ago by the president of Amherst College. He said that the nation had achieved the true American union, that sort of union which makes every patriot a Christian and every Christian a patriot. This form of civil religion is supported by politicians who welcome it as a prop for the state, and by Christians who see it as enshrining the fulfillment of the vision of the early pilgrims.
The passing-through mindset is represented by those who believe they are simply sojourners with loyalties only in the Kingdom beyond. They believe that faith is an entirely private matter, and that they are under no obligation to the community or country in which God has placed them.
Where along this range is true Christian patriotism?
The Christian position is beautifully balanced. On one hand, we don't deify our country. Our ultimate citizenship is in heaven, and that's where our ultimate allegiance is.
But the only place for expressing that allegiance is in the concrete loyalties God calls us to here on earthincluding loyalty to country. We can't love mankind in the abstract; we can only really love people in the particular, concrete relationships God has placed us inour family, our church, our community, our nation. I deal with this in a chapter in my new book, God and Government.
So brush up on your civics, dust off your U.S. history books, and celebrate this July Fourth by thanking God that He has not only called us into His kingdom but that He's also allowed us to live inand yes, lovethis land of liberty.
It has nothing to do with the actions themselves. Is it unpatriotic then to stand up to something you feel the government should not be involved in or doing?
Although I will say I thought of illegal aliens as soon as I read it (and I know you’re going for a quip), the sad part is that we have somewhere between 12 and 20 million illegals and a population of around 300 million. That means that even if illegals were in this sample, there are about 55-63 million Americans who’ve come out of our school systems without basic historical knowledge. I’m betting almost every one of the folks in this survey who screwed this question up was a product of the public schools.
By doing something about the injustices perpetrated on America by London, the signers of the Declaration of Independence were certainly good patriots by your definition.
Have you ever considered who made the first act of aggression in both those wars? Have you ever considered how the list of British abuses against the colonists compares to the list of grievances listed by the South?
I’d say the first act of aggression was caused in the Revolution by the British, and in the WBTS by the U.S. Case in point, Fort Sumter was sovereign Confederate territory, and once we had declared it as such, there was a responsibility on the part of the central government, to evacuate that fort.
The federal attempt to resupply the fort constituted an affront to the sovereignty of the C.S.A. and that should honestly be counted as the first “shot” of the war.
You are confusing the Revolutionary war and the Civil War.
Pardon me...I read it wrong.
As for Carroll, he was a Catholic wasn't he? Of course the anger from him has to be tempered somewhat by the longstanding feud between Catholicism and Protestantism, going on at least since Good Queen Bess
Adams on the other hand was quite clear as early as 1768 his reasoning for joining the cause.
Americans are taught that taxation without representation was the reason America separated from Great Britain; yet taxation without representation was only reason number seventeen out of the twenty-seven reasons given in the Declaration of Independence - it was not even in the top half, yet it's all that most ever hear
And yet 5 of the top 7 deal in some fashion with representation before the King.
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