-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger
Goshen College in Indiana, a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, has banned The Star Spangled Banner at all sporting events. The main value with which the college seeks to be identified with is: Christ-centered.
Although Christianity and patriotism do not appear mutually exclusive, there are inherent philosophical conflicts. Devotion to one’s god and devotion to one’s country can be opposing forces. Many Christians place devotion to God above all others, including country.
The Christian denomination, Jehovah’s Witnesses, is a group whose beliefs preclude swearing loyalty to any power other than God. Hence, they refuse to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
The first of the Ten Commandments, “you shall have no other gods before me,” is in direct conflict with the First Amendment guarantee that an individual has the right to freely express their religious beliefs. Many military chaplains, sworn to uphold the constitution, are resigning rather than support the equal protection that is manifested by the repeal of DADT.
Same-sex marriage, opposed by many Christians as being against God’s will, is in conflict with the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause. The principles that constitute this country, as enumerated in the constitution, and the principles of God’s law, as enumerated in the Bible, are often irreconcilable.
Ironically, religion and patriotism have many similarities. Both eschew reason. Both treat submission as a virtue. The Pledge of Allegiance is recited like a catechism. George Washington is often called the father of this country. Like the Bible, the Constitution is treated like a object of reverence. Like the Bible, the Constitution is cherry-picked to suit the biases of the individual reader.
Samuel Johnson famously referred to patriotism as “the last refuge of the scoundrel.” The same can be said about religion.
H/T: NBC Washington.