This guest post was written by Natalie Ringsmuth.
Every couple of months, another round of people on Facebook discover the “Can Muslims be good Americans?” diatribe, and copy and paste the reasons explaining why the answer to that question is no:
Nearly every time I have come across a posting of these “truths” along with a fearful call to war, it has been posted by a Christian. Being a Christian myself, I have challenged my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who have posted this, only to be unfriended, told to “chill out,” and warned that maybe I’ll “learn when I get raped by a Muslim one day.” My simple question back to them is: Do you know any Muslims? Answer: Silence.
A couple of years ago, I didn’t know any Muslims either. Now, I can happily say that I do! The area of the United States that I live in (Central Minnesota) has seen a boom in the number of our neighbors that are Somali, and for the most part, Muslim. I feel blessed that my children get to grow up with classmates whose parents are from a different country and who practice a different religion than them. Unfortunately, there are many of my fellow white, Christian parents that either don’t know what to think, or wish that their Somali neighbors would “go back where they came from.” I have tried to appeal to their hearts, speaking of the radical love that Jesus had for all people, and that works sometimes. But, I realize that not everyone thinks as much with their heart as I do. So, perhaps it’s time to present something that may allow people to use their heads.
Question: If Muslims can not be good Americans, for the reasons stated above, what about us Christians? Let’s break it down, just as it is done in the Facebook post above:
Hmmmm…can a “good Christian” be a “good American”? Good question. Here’s the answer:
Theologically – NO. Because his allegiance is to Christ, the God of Abraham. Not the flag or the POTUS or the Constitution.Religiously – NO. Because no other religion is accepted by God except Christianity (Exodus 20:3-5, John 14:6).
Scripturally – NO. Because his allegiance is to the Cross.
Geographically – NO. Because his allegiance is to the Kingdom of God, not of this Earth, to which he prays without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, John 17:14-15).
Socially – NO. Because his allegiance to Christ forbids him to speak anything filthy, crude, or foolish (Ephesians 5:4), angry, slanderous, or obscene (Colossians 3:8-10), crooked or devious (Proverbs 4:24). This is not very American.
Politically – NO. Because he must submit to Christ, who teaches that we are in America, not of it (John 17:14-15), furthermore, there is no American or Canadian (Galatians 3:28).
Domestically – NO. Because polygamy is apparently allowed (Exodus 21:10, Deuteronomy 17:17) and women are not given the same rights as men (1 Corinthians 14:34-35).
Intellectually – NO. Because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is the document of an institution governed by man. Whereas the Bible is the constitution of the Kingdom of God, which is the ultimate authority.
Philosophically – NO. Because Christianity and the Bible do not allow freedom of religion and expression. Christ demands full allegiance to Him. Patriotism demands allegiance to country.
Spiritually – NO. Because when we declare “one nation under God.” we lie every time. America is a nation of many religions, and no religion. The Constitution ensures the State does not dictate a religion on the people.
Perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL Christians in this country that confuse Patriotism with Faith. They obviously cannot be both “good” Christians and “good” Americans.
What say you, Christians? When you turn the mirror on yourself, your religion, and your personal faith, what do you see? Do the similarities between you and your Muslim neighbor lessen? Do you see any common areas that we may struggle with in this country in a similar way that they do? If so, for the love of God, can we ask, seek, and knock at the door Heaven for more unity, more peace, more acceptance, and more of that radical love Jesus showed while He walked this earth?
About Natalie Ringsmuth
Natalie is the Founder and Director of #unitecloud, a non-profit in Central MN working to resolve cultural, racial, and religious tensions. She is a former music teacher and worship leader, turned community activist. She is also a wife, mother of three, and member of a local school board.