Sunday, June 26, 2011

Day Forty Two: shady theology

Driving along the highway in Florida yesterday, I saw a sign in front of a large church that read:

"America has blessed God!  God has blessed America!  The tides are turning!"

My political leanings are no secret, nor are my theological understandings.  I'm pretty comfortable talking about both and pretty confident in the grounding for my opinions on both.  (Note: I could be dangerous at dinner parties.)

Even despite my clear political and religious foundations, I try really hard to remain open minded.  I really do believe that God created all sorts and conditions, that it takes all kinds of people to make the world spin properly.  I am respectful of different understandings of God and I am am completely comfortable with the fact that not everyone thinks the way that I think.  I do believe this is a good thing.


The notion that America, or any country, corporation, denomination or individual for that matter, can bless God sets my teeth on edge.  To bless something or someone is to pronounce it holy, to sanctify it.  So not only is this a complete nightmare of semantics (that the one who makes all things holy would need to be made holy??), it is also presumptuous to the point of being offensive.  And yes, I am offended by it.

We are blessed by God (I'm taking a believer's point of view, here.  Sorry, atheists.).  The simple fact of our continued existence points to this.  But to presume that there is anything that we, as small and insignificant as we are in light of the sheer incalculable magnitude that is the Divine, can do to bless God is laughable.  We can thank God, we can humble ourselves before God, we can ask for forgiveness, we can praise God.  But we can't bless God.  And don't get me started on using God to further political messages.  Ach.

Clearly this has gotten under my skin.

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