The United States of America Is A Political Institution

Sigh. Tim Tebow, I’m trying really hard to like you. But then you go and say this:

“First and foremost is what this country was based on: one nation under God,” he said. “The more that we can get back to that.”

Yes, I read things on People.com. #noshame

1) The Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776 and the Constitution was adopted in 1787.
2) The pledge wasn’t officially adopted by Congress until 1942.
3)  The words “under God” weren’t even added until 1954 and it was part of that crazy anti-Communist hoopla. I’m not lying.

Also, the Constitution (a.k.a. the explicit ideals and standards of our country) only makes one reference to a “Lord” and only when it’s talking about the year.

…September in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and Eighty seven…

Plus, the 1st Amendment is pretty clear that this country was founded on the ideals of religious freedom… not Christianity by itself.

The Declaration of Independence does make some references to a higher power, however.

… the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them…

… that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…

…with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence…

But those bits don’t necessarily refer to Christianity because not all the founding fathers were on the same page in that regard. It’s kind of a vague all-inclusive thing. I guess you could conclude that it excludes atheists, some agnostics, and some religious/spiritual people. But for the purposes of this argument, it’s pretty clear it’s not talking about Jesus or anything specifically Christian.

Read this book. I thought it was nicely unbiased. Neither the Christians nor the atheists win.

Basically, I feel like the idea that “We’re a Christian nation and we were better back in the day when more people were Christians” is flawed. Religious diversity is what makes America great. Not Christians or Christianity.

It’s difficult for me to see past Tim Tebow’s nonsense and remember that he’s a pretty damn good guy. I’m trying. I’m trying to be more open. It’s not just Tim Tebow. It’s all evangelicals in general. A person isn’t bad just because they’re an evangelical Christian. I just disagree with the majority of their beliefs. Fundamentally on pretty much every level. But this is America. I can disagree with them, but I have to respect them. I have to work harder at the respect part.

Disclaimer: This following paragraph might sound ignorant. I’m just trying to be as transparent as possible in the hopes that someone will give me direction or an answer.

I can’t respect hate though. And there’s a lot of clandestine hate in evangelical Christianity. So, I guess I only technically have to respect the non-hateful ones. But, for example, being anti-gay is kind of the same thing as being hateful to me, so does that mean that anyone who’s anti-gay is automatically disqualified from my respect? Because that would include all evangelical Christians, right? It’s like why should I have to respect people who don’t respect the rights of others? But then you have to think about rights in terms of beliefs and it gets messy and I never reach a solid conclusion on this. Plus, I’m definitely stereotyping them right now. There’s no absolute definition of what evangelical Christianity is. I feel like I’m being as ignorant toward evangelicals as some people are towards Muslims.

I think my new morning affirmation, which will help me grow as a person, is this…

“You will disagree with people today. But you must respect them as people and also respect their right to have different beliefs even if you don’t respect the actual beliefs themselves. Look at the person as an individual, not as a member of a certain religion.”

I will recite that in my head with my other morning affirmations…  which usually happens I’m brushing my teeth.

Strangely enough, evangelicals bring me closer to reaffirming a belief in God. Because in my head, they solidify the concept of God by giving an example of something that God’s not. So, instead of previously where I was like “This is a jumbled mess and I don’t know what/who God is,” now I’m like “God definitely isn’t that. So, maybe God is this.”

They’re helping my spiritual process of elimination.

I think my super Christian dad would be happy about the slight religious reawakening I might be experiencing. I think he and Nonnie like pray their faces off for my spiritual well-being daily so maybe it’s working.

If I asked him about my question, I’m pretty sure that he would say that Jesus loves evangelical Christians even though some of their views, beliefs, and practices are objectionable so I should do the same. Jesus loved the Pharisees even though they killed him.

Hey, there’s the answer to my dilemma.

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