Like I was saying....

God Bless What?

Yesterday was a really patriotic day. But at some point in the day I watched a slide show with the song “God Bless America” behind it. The pictures were all of our soldiers and military. It was a tribute to them for Veterans Day.

But I was torn as I watched. I knew I was supposed to be proud and supporting them and saying, “Go USA!” But I listened to the song asking God to Bless our country and to stand beside her and guide her and all that. But the images were of M1-Abrams tanks and AH-64 Apache helicopters and guys in full desert armor carrying M16 machine guns. And then the song is asking God to bless that.

And inside I’m torn and not sure exactly what to think or feel.

Leave a comment and tell me what you think…

7 Comments

  1. Rick

    I’m in the same vein, maybe. I appreciate what’s been done, how folks have fought for what they felt was right. But patriotism meshing with Christianity bothers me in a manifest-destiny kind of way.

  2. Angie

    I’m totally with you, Blake! I don’t think that God desires violence. He created all of us, and it seems really easy for Americans to view people who live in other countries as less human than we are or something. Instead of “God bless America”, we should be saying “God bless EVERYONE” and we should be focusing on loving our enemies instead of destroying them.

  3. Jennifer

    Hey, can I call you Donald Miller? I totally agree with what you’re saying. Drew showed me your website. I love it! Keep us posted on life.

  4. g

    Your post reminds me of a song of the 60’s which states, “Jesus don’t [sic] like killin’ no matter what the reasons for, and your flag decal won’t get you into heaven anymore.”

    I think I feel much as you do.

  5. jeremy

    its a odd one for sure… but I celebrate the fact that I live in a country that I am free to worship and express my love to Christ. After 9/11 I was very moved to patriotism… well in words, not actions so much, but I had no problem meshing my faith with my country… and I still don’t.

    I want God to bless America, but maybe not in the way that those who put together the types of videos you referenced. I want some sort of blessing to come from the pain and hurt that our soldiers have to face in their every day life. I want our politicians to be blessed with wisdom so we can trust that our Government will make right choices. I want our churches to be blessed with leaders who are not afraid to embrace the people in our country, even if those people shun them. I want our schools to be blessed so that my daughters are aided in their education (though that ultimately/biblically falls on my shoulders). I want the elderly and poor who have fallen on hard times to be blessed so they can be taken care of in state of the art hospitals.

    I want God to bless America. England. Nigeria. Ukraine. Russia. Sweeden. Norway. Spain. France. Italy. Peru. Argentina. Brazil. Isreal. Iraq. Iran. both Koreas. China. … okay maybe not France…

    But alas, i guess i’m being all ethereal. I mean what i say, but i know it sounds a bit like christianese… i completely understand the uneasiness… and you know what, dang it!… i’m going to use the coins that don’t say “In God We Trust” whether my Christian friends who keep emailing me want me to or not!

  6. Blake

    @Rick: I guess it’s almost the notion of “if you’re not waving the American flag, then you’re not a Christian” that gets to me. I like being an American. But it doesn’t mean I have to want to kill everyone who doesn’t like America…I feel that pressure sometimes.

    @Angie: Yes, totally.What happened to turning the other cheek or something? Agreed that it’s one thing to say and another thing to live out. Like if someone kicked my daughter, I’d want to strike back HARD.

    @Jenn: No, no Donald Miller here, but he’s got some pretty good things to say a lot of times. And we will keep up more…if you know what I mean.

    @g: Not familiar with that song.

  7. Steve

    Amen, brothers. I often feel like we as Americans think that God “owes” us a blessing. I know that this isn’t meant, but I ofter hear “God bless the USA” as an order a lot of times, instead of a petition. Like we’re the best and He loves us more than others. When do you ever hear our leaders saying “Thank you God for blessing us so much!”? Yet at the same time, I’m extremely thankful for those who have given their lives so that we can experience the wonderful freedom that we have. I just personally think that most of us feel entitled to God’s blessing, and I have a problem with that.

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