Exploring the Social Imagination

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

God and Country

God and Country
There is much discussion today about whether or not religion should be part of a sense of nationhood...  nationalism- sense of being a member of a nation/country; and, whether or not God and country go together as the best practice. For a long time, people in this country thought so. There is much argument that any religion which includes the belief in 'God' (the maker of heaven and earth) is not important when it comes to a nation 'sense of country'.  Ironic is that we do practice civil religion. What is that? Emile Durkheim observed it as the mixing of 'scared beliefs' with that concept of 'state'. What does civil religion look like in the US... it is recognized in our social doctrines 'documents' i.e. Declaration of Independence and the Constitution including the Bill of Rights. We find in those documents and in our practice of social capital our idea of the individual who is a kind of underdog, an overcomer of the world. Where does this idea come from? It comes from Christianity. Max Weber recognized this a long time ago when he made observations/studies of different religions and their world views.  The Judeo-Christian religion has as its sacred the 'hero/savior'... in that anyone can be a hero - self sacrificing for the one (as revealed in many mass media productions i.e. Saving Private Ryan) and at the same time understood as simultaneously helping sustain the common good.
Has that civil religion been good for America? Americans would think so. Is God necessary for a positive functioning society/ a country? I would answer that depends on who is running the country. If we are talking about a republic then I would say yes, the belief in the same God is necessary since we are talking about government for the people and by the people. The belief in the Christian God is best for this kind of social entity. Why? Because, whether we have an organized church (as many perceive religion to be) or not does not matter as long as we as a country/nation recognize that where there are two/three gathered in His name, we have church. This idea,in my opinion, is the very foundation of a democratic republic as it suggests that 'we the people' gather together and we are able to as we recognize in each other the same creator/motivator/purpose/goal.  It also recognizes and accepts that out of a small group (grass roots collective) there can arise a hero/savior.

1 comment :

  1. Amazing that the liberals and atheists want to remove the very thing that will ensure their success and introduce those things that will guarantee their failure.. What fools!!!