Historically the U.S. was created — and our Constitution’s First Amendment adopted — to protect us from any official religion. Nowadays, the Religious Right is pushing hard to make their version of Christianity into the U.S.’s official religion.
That would overturn 230 years of U.S. principled separation between Church and State. And it would hurt many people’s human rights.
But some people have said that the U.S. has — in effect — the truly dominant religion of Nationalism.
Extreme nationalism corrupts many aspects of that nation’s society in many ways. It causes people to hurt people of other nations. The U.S.’s rampant militarism — far more expensive and far reaching than other nations’ militaries — has overthrown democracies and installed dictators in many parts of the world.
Jesus said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” The U.S.’s military spending grossly dominates our federal budget, proving that our nation’s “heart” is addicted to military violence.
Our nation recruits millions of young people, trains them to kill foreigners, and these young people suffer the consequences of PTSD and other disabling injuries for the rest of their lives, but our natin pretends that they are “heroes” rather than victims.
Nationalism’s problems go on and on in many sectors of our society. Nationalism even displaces legitimate religion. Our nation worships the nation state instead of valid religion.
The Religious Right especially has been captivated by the idol of of the nation state — and it worships nationalism and military violence in several ways.
In 2018 some Church leaders who were appalled by the Religious Right’s extremism and perversion of authentic Christianity, so these Church leaders wrote a statement they called “Reclaiming Jesus: A Confession of Faith in a Time of Crisis.” You can read it at www.ReclaimingJesus.org
The document identifies six serious theological errors that the Religious Right has made that have unwittingly distorted Christianity into the opposite of what Jesus and the Early Church intended.
The document’s fifth point explicitly opposes “autocratic political leadership and authoritarian rule,” and it calls that “a theological danger that threatens democracy and the common good.” This point also calls for accountability instead of “personal recognition and gain.” Those “are not just political issues,” but also “raise deeper concerns about political idolatry, accompanied by false and unconstitutional notions of authority.
The “America first” doctrine and “American exceptionalism” and super-patriotism reveal the idolatry of this nationalism. Such idolatry violates the First Commandment. It is bad theology and bad politics.
People who want the government to overpower religious ethics cite parts of the Bible’s Romans 13 chapter, but they ignore the context. Romans 13, verses 1-2 need to be deconstructed.
I invite you to read an article about that at this link: