God does not love America

The letter was titled: How is God blessing America. It came from one of those conservative religious organizations that relies upon the compassion of good-hearted God-fearing folks. The head of this particular group, Pat Robertson, often makes references to the “messages” he’s heard from God.

Usually, those messages have something to do with some moral or legal wrangling taking place in America, like gay marriage or legalizing marijuana. Robertson seems like a decent chap. The kind of guy who’d always have a good story to tell at the family’s 4th of July picnic.

The letter – which was basically a plea for more donations – was confusing. While the title claimed it was a look at how God is blessing America, it began with the following sentence: In recent months, thousands of stunned Americans have been victims of sudden storms, deadly tornadoes, and flooding of historic proportions.

There was a time when Robertson might have claimed that such devastation was, in fact, proof that God does not love America. Consider these remarks he made when Orlando city officials agreed to fly rainbow-colored flags from the city lamposts in support of Gays Day events at Disney World: “I would warn Orlando that you’re right in the way of some serious hurricanes, and I don’t think I’d be waving those flags in God’s face if I were you. This is not a message of hate — this is a message of redemption. But a condition like this will bring about the destruction of your nation. It’ll bring about terrorist bombs; it’ll bring earthquakes, tornadoes, and possibly a meteor.”

America has already experienced its share of terrorist bombs, earthquakes, tornadoes and such. Thankfully, we’ve been spared that earth-squashing meteor, so far, but there’s always tomorrow.

But who can blame Roberston for changing his approach?  Marketing in a soft economy calls for a kinder touch than the aggressive marketing common to a robust economy. Fear doesn’t work as well with a people who are already beat-down. Like the Vietnam veterans always note the threat of being sent to Vietnam lost its power once they were already in-country. “What are they going to do to me now that I’m here?” they said and laughed.

There was good reason why generations of Americans believed God loved us best. We’ve been taught the myth that we packed up our wooden trunks, left Granny and the chickens behind, because we considered Europe morally and religiously corrupt. We were going to be a better people than they were. We were going to go all out for God. We were going to worship him in a way that was denied us in Europe. We were going to create the pure society. We’d teach the world what being sold out to God really looked like.

We’ve taught our children that we came with the intent of establishing the first true faith-based community of like-minded believers. No matter that in our pursuit of being God’s BFF, we had to slaughter folks and steal territory. For you, God, anything.

So across the seas we came, puking and dying along the way. That’s how we roll. Us Americans. We’ll die for anything. It’s the living for something we struggle with.

We Americans have long-held the belief that we are God’s BFF’s. Next to Israel, of course, because that’s the place where God watched his son being born and who can blame him for being sentimental about that? Besides God just wouldn’t be comfortable in California among all those bleeding-heart liberals and blurry-eyed beach bums.

I know it’s a hard truth to consider that as a nation, God is no more devoted to America than he is to Afghanistan or Argentina, but it’s time for America to grow up and get over her sibling rivalry.

When it comes to nation-building, God simply does not play favorites. Or if he does, it appears Robertson may be right. Maybe the reason the economies in China and India are growing, while ours is flailing is because God does play favorites and he likes our Chinese and Indian brothers and sisters better than us now.

Could it be that God doesn’t love America as much as we once misbelieved?

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  • Agree with you except the title. Yes, God loves America. He loves Saudi Arabia. He loves Ghana. He loves South Africa. He loves Romania. He loves the people therein, of course, because we all know all those people are made in His image. But he also loves the nations. His word says He establishes the nations, and the governments of those nations. He chooses who’s in charge, and commands us to pray for those leaders.
    I guess my point is, I am having a hard time seeing the connection between the title and the rest of the post, Karen.

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      Yes, guess I see that God loves the people… not the political collective mass. Of course I could have worded it: God does not love America anymore than Afghanistan, Argentina… But in sake of brevity…

  • I think I still disagree with you, though. I think God has purposes for nations, just like He does individuals. And He equips them for their mission, which IMO, is the only reason our nation has been blessed materially more than most others, because that fit His purposes for our mission, not because we are better or more deserving.
    Anyway, I’ll stop here for two reasons: (1) you’ve been disagreed with a lot this week, and it has to wear a person down; (2) we’ve had this discussion before. 😉
    Have a good weekend. Karen. And go to a 4th of July parade. The smart folks at Harvard said doing so will turn you into a Republican. 🙂

    • Karen Spears Zacharias

      I plan to do just that. You have a good 4th too!

    • Debbie

      This is what God means when He says He ‘loves’ the nations maybe:

      Psalm 149:6-9

      English Standard Version (ESV)

      6Let the high praises of God be in their throats
      and two-edged swords in their hands,
      7to execute vengeance on the nations
      and punishments on the peoples,
      8to bind their kings with chains
      and their nobles with fetters of iron,
      9to execute on them the judgment written!
      This is honor for all his godly ones.
      Praise the LORD!

  • Gretchen

    I love this post. I’ve gotten so I don’t speak politics w/my church friends, for this very reason. America is amazing, but as w/my own children, she is neither no better, nor no worse than anyone else. God didn’t simply make our country. He made the whole world.

  • Not even sure what to think about your thoughts. First, it is true we are not more special than any other country. But didn’t God choose the Jews? And maybe, just maybe since our country was founded on Christian principles (instead of say, Islamic), should we be in line for more blessings? But I HATE it when idiots like Robertson get on TV and say that some devastation is because we are immoral or whatever. Who do they think they are that they know the mind of God? It rains on the just and the unjust alike. All that to say, I don’t know. But I do know that God loves us all individually a lot. A whole lot. I think that is what we should focus on.

  • Bill

    Good post. I am in substantial agreement with you. Recent true story—I was behind a truck yesterday on the way back from work. I was detained at the red light long enough to notice on the right side was the American flag, a fish symbol, and a Jesus bumper sticker (I don’t remember the exact message). On the left side of the bumper was a sticker that said “I have never before lived in a town with so many A**holes.” I am not sure how all this relates to your post but I was both shocked and amused. True story.

  • Near as I’ve been able to determine, my German ancestors puked their guts out crossing the Atlantic to enter the Port of New Orleans, then sweltered on riverboats making their way up to Quincy, IL before heading west–not for religious freedom or the right to vote but because the land was already all locked up in their German states. Unless you were already wealthy, there wasn’t much chance to move out of poverty.

    Two wonderful pieces of work to ponder are Rob Bell’s Nooma short film “Rich” and the lyrics of Bruce Cockburn’s now vintage song “Stolen Land”. Both are better sermons re our lives on this patch of earth than anything I’ve ever heard inside a church.

  • Sue

    Karen, I strongly agree with your thoughts here! Just wish my church friends could wrap their hearts around this truth.

  • Could it be that Americans don’t love God as much as we once believed?

    (Hey, I see in your tweety thing that you are in CDA. Oh, go swimming for me! We’ll be up in checking out our new blue place… no lake, but lots of trees and mountains)


    • Debbie

      You ask a very important question in that first sentence. I don’t know about anyone else yet when I read the ‘love’ chapter and look down that list I know whenever I say I love anybody I am nothing short of lying. I can be unkind, impatient, let me look at my list of wrongs I tally against some, long suffering – give me a break! Anyway it would be cool if we loved God with the same kind of Love He is hey! I am sure the liars get tossed in the fire too so what happens when all your life you thought you loved God and Jesus when the truth is…I didn’t according to the description of what love is…I fail…yet love never does…so back where I started. Everytime I say I love someone I am lying.

      • Jeff

        Karen, 1st time visitor, referred by a friend.
        Reply to Debbie, the accurate, originally written Love chapter is Not a commandment at all ! Good News. In its’ original language, it specifically refers to God’s Love in us..He’s the one doing the work. Guess a whole lot of church folk missed that one as well.(ICor 13:5amp)for instance.