Some time ago I had an interaction on Twitter with Andre Mitchell, a Black pastor in Indiana. I did not know him at the time — all I remember, really, is seeing in my Twitter feed a statement from him: “It’s on white people to fix racism in America.”
Now, that might seem controversial to some. Maybe you don’t want to acknowledge that racism in America is a thing, as it died out so long ago & the only thing holding Black Americans back is lack of initiative or spending too much money on foolish things or not having strong families — or whatever the excuse is that you use to explain away the obvious truth that in America to be born white is to be born free; all other must pay a tax, every day, for not being white. …
“America used to be a Christian nation. And we need to make it a Christian nation again.”
I hear these words, or words like them, from my Evangelical acquaintances.
I can understand their feelings, even though they are deeply misguided. Not only was America never a “Christian” nation and never was intended to be a “Christian” nation, it can never be a “Christian” nation.
It is a secular nation, to use the words of A. Lincoln from his Gettysburg Address, “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
So when Evangelicals attempt to re-create an imaginary past to make a better future, I say “No.” Christians should not make the United States into a “Christian” nation. Not now, not ever, no how, no way. …
Man, I learned something tonight.
There’s a saying in Christian circles, a line that comes from an old hymn:
My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus . . . Well, you can go listen to the hymn yourself. But something struck me as interesting in the use of the word “built.”
For a long time I took that phrase to mean that there is a foundation, settled and sure — and a building, also settled and sure. It just is, and we live in it, and that is that.
Now English is a wily beast, and words shift around in their meanings. It can be difficult to parse, even for native English speakers. And this word “built” struck me in conjunction with “hope.” …