July 4: A Nation Under God

July 4: A Nation Under God July 4, 2013

Some people object to the words “under God” being in the Pledge of Allegiance, but Christopher Award-winner Father Robert Barron points out that this Biblical belief is what keeps the United States a free country.

He writes, “One of the most significant contributions of the Bible to politics is the placing of kings ‘under God.’  Israelite kings were not like Egyptian Pharaohs…absolute in judgment and godlike in sovereignty.  Rather, they ruled at the pleasure of God and according to God’s purposes.  When they ran counter to the divine will, they were placed…under judgment….The prophets…excoriated Israel’s leaders for their idolatry and indifference to the suffering of the weak and the poor.”

Father Barron continues, “It is precisely this Biblical intuition that shaped the thinking of the political philosophers of the 18th century, who put in place the whole set of checks and balances to which we have become accustomed.  The bottom line is this: when the true God is marginalized, someone else or something else—the army, the press, the government, a single leader—plays the role of God.  And that is dangerous indeed.”

Put your trust in the Lord.  (Psalm 4:5)

Protect and guide this nation, Messiah.

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