Thursday, July 4, 2019

Independence Day homily: one nation under God?

That is a calendar entry in a coffee shop this morning.

I was in grammar school when "under God" was added to the Pledge of Allegiance.

I found this explanation online this morning:

In 1954, at President Dwight D. Eisenhower's urging, the Congress legislated that “under God” be added, making the pledge read: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

I thought this morning, that while God is in all religions, I know of but three that have adherents who believe their God is the only God and they are the chosen people: Judaism, Christendom, Islam. I know members of all three religions, who do not believe that and think God is in all religions.

My passage through the New Age in the 1980s and 90s introduced me to lots of people who seemed absolutely allergic to the word, God. They also did not believe Evil existed. The were sure, if they thought good thoughts and visualized getting what they want, it would happen. Some of them actually did A COURSE IN MIRACLES and learned getting their buttons punched a lot and not reacting (the internal jihad) was a big piece of growing closer to God.

Some years ago, I started thinking America was either arrogant, or naive, or both, to claim in its Pledge that it was under God. As if Americans had a lock on God. Like elements within the three religions above think they have a lock on God.

I started thinking what America had done was challenge God to put America to the test of whether it actually was under God.

Of course, in the big scheme, all nations are under God. Every person on this planet is under God. But in the elitist sense, boasting your religion or country is under God rings a fake pious tone. 

I only learned during the Democratic Party presidential candidate debate that Marianne Williamson, a new age priestess, is one of the candidates. What she said during the debate I'm sure wowed her many followers, who had made her financially secure. Yet, she seemed to me to be a bit out of touch with the bread and butter issues burning big, deep holes in Americans, and in America.

Also, I recalled not long after 9/11, in a Unity Church basement, Unity is the New Age brand of Christianity, watching a video Williamson had made and was selling. In it, she said America needed to counter attack.

I recalled three nights before 9/11, when a familiar voice asked me in my sleep, "Will you make a prayer for a Divine Intervention for all of humanity?" I woke up, wondered what that was about, made the prayer.

Three days later, I figured I knew why.

While everyone around us was crazed, my girlfriend and I were in a state of grace. Our concern was America would retaliate and it would get much worse. It never occurred to us America would start two new wars.

A year to the day later, I was asked in my sleep to make the same prayer, but that time I asked for the Divine Intervention for all of humanity in my sleep, and I ended it with, "And let it begin in me!" Oh, wow! Did that turn out to be fun.

After Barack Obama campaigned on hints the Afghanistan and Iraq wars needed to end, he instead accepted the Nobel Peace prize and continued the wars. 

After Donald Trump said the Iraq war was invented and dumb, he got elected and continued that war and the war in Afghanistan, saying the natural resources of those countries should be used to reimburse America for those wars. Today, he conducts a military parade in Washington, D.C.

The only presidential candidate, who actually seems committed to ending those two wars, is U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard, who was in the U.S. Army National Guard and did time in Iraq.

I imagine if America was not at war, every American citizen could have affordable health care if the U.S. Congress and the U.S. Attorney General reduced the military budget and cracked down on the U.S. pharmaceutical monopolists.

I imagine that would please God.

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