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4th of July and Religion


The Thriller

Well-Known Member
I remember about 12ish years ago I was attending an LDS singles ward. I was the Sunday School president. This one Sunday we had some exchange students from Germany attend. I welcomed them and asked if they’d like to sit next to me. This was the Sunday before the 4th. One of the “hymns” sung during sacrament meeting, which is the primary meeting for LDS people, was the national anthem. The students reacted with shock. We got talking and it hit me, why were we singing the national anthem in a Christ-centered meeting? How is this inclusive to others? Christianity doesn’t recognize other nationalities, as we’re all children of god who have made mistakes. Marrying religion with politics or country (nationalism) is dangerous. This was again, 2009-2010ish?

Has anyone else had this type of experience before?
 


JazzGal

Well-Known Member
Contributor
Not so much with religion, but in the past few years I've been less comfortable with our somewhat forced patriotism. We don't need the national anthem played before every possible sporting event, when it would make more sense for international games, games on patriotic holidays, all-star games and championships. Make it special.

And making kids recite the Pledge of Allegience every day at school creeps me out. Seems so Hitler's Youth'ish. The flag is a symbol, not a thing to worship.

Sent from my SM-A426U using JazzFanz mobile app
 

JimLes

Well-Known Member
The flag and the anthem are the flag and the anthem of the state. They should be used on occasions of the state. Utah Jazz playing the Phoenix Suns seems like a very odd reason to play the anthem. Hanging a flag in front of your house also seems grossly unnecessary.

I think some of you would be shocked at the difference in this regard between Canada and the States, let alone the difference between Europe and the States.

I was in Sicily last week for a wedding. The couple getting married are close friends and they were here 6 years ago for our wedding, too. At one point, we drove down to Yellowstone and encouraged our friends to play a game my wife and I play whenever we drive south into the States. Count just how many American flags you can see. You have to say "Murica" when you see one for it to count, though. Try to see how long it takes to get to a 100. Usually a couple of hours into the trip, even through rural Montana. Of course, if we drive down through the Blackfoot reserve, it's a different story. Upside down flags don't count for the purpose of this game.

It took us all of half an hour after crossing the border to complete the game with our friends. At some point, just south of Lethbridge, there was a 9/11 memorial in the middle of nowhere next to the highway. 50 smaller US flags around a giant central US flag, forming a circle. My Sicilian friend asked what rural Montana had to do with 9/11. I couldn't answer. She asked who the memorial was targeted at. I couldn't answer that either. She was just flabbergasted by this whole experience. She kept assuming that buildings we passed in small towns with flags in front of them were post offices.

I realized what she meant when I was in Palermo. We saw one flag hanging off a balcony and it was conspicuous enough for my wife to point it out. We saw three other Italian flags. Two in front of federal government buildings and one in front of some kind of military compound that was off limits to the public.

In fact, I saw more of this graffito than I saw Italian flags, and the Sicilian independence movement is a fringe one at best.

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The wedding ceremony itself was at the Palermo Cathedral and the reception at a fancy country club in the hills above the city. Neither place had an Italian flag anywhere near them.
 

Gameface

PICKS = FLEXIBILITY
Contributor
2018 Award Winner
2020-21 Award Winner
The flag and the anthem are the flag and the anthem of the state. They should be used on occasions of the state. Utah Jazz playing the Phoenix Suns seems like a very odd reason to play the anthem. Hanging a flag in front of your house also seems grossly unnecessary.

I think some of you would be shocked at the difference in this regard between Canada and the States, let alone the difference between Europe and the States.

I was in Sicily last week for a wedding. The couple getting married are close friends and they were here 6 years ago for our wedding, too. At one point, we drove down to Yellowstone and encouraged our friends to play a game my wife and I play whenever we drive south into the States. Count just how many American flags you can see. You have to say "Murica" when you see one for it to count, though. Try to see how long it takes to get to a 100. Usually a couple of hours into the trip, even through rural Montana. Of course, if we drive down through the Blackfoot reserve, it's a different story. Upside down flags don't count for the purpose of this game.

It took us all of half an hour after crossing the border to complete the game with our friends. At some point, just south of Lethbridge, there was a 9/11 memorial in the middle of nowhere next to the highway. 50 smaller US flags around a giant central US flag, forming a circle. My Sicilian friend asked what rural Montana had to do with 9/11. I couldn't answer. She asked who the memorial was targeted at. I couldn't answer that either. She was just flabbergasted by this whole experience. She kept assuming that buildings we passed in small towns with flags in front of them were post offices.

I realized what she meant when I was in Palermo. We saw one flag hanging off a balcony and it was conspicuous enough for my wife to point it out. We saw three other Italian flags. Two in front of federal government buildings and one in front of some kind of military compound that was off limits to the public.

In fact, I saw more of this graffito than I saw Italian flags, and the Sicilian independence movement is a fringe one at best.

View attachment 12513

The wedding ceremony itself was at the Palermo Cathedral and the reception at a fancy country club in the hills above the city. Neither place had an Italian flag anywhere near them.
The U.S. tendency towards nationalism used to seem harmless and a bit charming. Nowadays it is starting to feel downright gross and dangerous.

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Gameface

PICKS = FLEXIBILITY
Contributor
2018 Award Winner
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If you were American, maybe. It's always terrified the rest of the world.
I did say it used to "seem" that way. I think I'm just seeing it for what it is more nowadays. Especially with those who've hijacked what it means to be a "real" American and redefined what patriotism means. I mean I'm a ****ing military vet who joined thinking the U.S. was special and unique and no one else had the wonderful things and the wondaful freedoms we have. Going on deployment off the west coast and visiting locations in the Pacific and Asia and the Middle East helped me gain a lot of perspective on just who we are and more importantly who we aren't. I joined the Navy 100% believing in the U.S. is the good guy myth.

I really don't understand the other people who have served overseas who come back more convinced than ever that the U.S. is this bastion of freedom and liberty. I just don't get it.
 

LogGrad98

Well-Known Member
Contributor
2020-21 Award Winner
True to form, we get another mass shooting...


The gun was a "high-powered rifle" and the attack appeared to be "random" and "intentional," Covelli said.

There have been 11 mass shootings in the first four days of July, including three on July 4 alone, in Richmond, Virginia; Chicago and Highland Park, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

The carnage punctuates an already bloody American spring and summer, including an 18-year-old's racist attack at a New York supermarket that killed 10 and another 18-year-old's shooting at a Texas school that left 19 students and two teachers dead.
 

Red

Well-Known Member
Marrying religion with politics or country (nationalism) is dangerous
It’s something that has concerned me for a long time. I recall some scholars have seen nationalism as a form of secular religion, channeling emotions and needs served by human faiths through nationalist fervor instead. And Christian nationalism has been a theme throughout the way Americans have interpreted their own history, seeing our history and existence as a nation as intended by, and favored by, the Judeo-Christian God.

Consider the entire notion of Manifest Destiny, a 19th century philosophical/faith inspired justification for our Westward movement across a continent: it was God’s intention that we fulfill God’s will that our Christian civilization should spread from coast to coast.

Interesting essay on Christian nationalism in 21st century America. It’s The NY Times, so you may run into a paywall, but you can register an account for free to read articles:


The shape of the Christian nationalist movement in the post-Roe future is coming into view, and it should terrify anyone concerned for the future of constitutional democracy.

The Supreme Court’s decision to rescind the reproductive rights that American women have enjoyed over the past half-century will not lead America’s homegrown religious authoritarians to retire from the culture wars and enjoy a sweet moment of triumph. On the contrary, movement leaders are already preparing for a new and more brutal phase of their assault on individual rights and democratic self-governance. Breaking American democracy isn’t an unintended side effect of Christian nationalism. It is the point of the project.

A good place to gauge the spirit and intentions of the movement that brought us the radical majority on the Supreme Court is the annual Road to Majority Policy Conference. At this year’s event, which took place last month in Nashville, three clear trends were in evidence. First, the rhetoric of violence among movement leaders appeared to have increased significantly from the already alarming levels I had observed in previous years. Second, the theology of dominionism — that is, the belief that “right-thinking” Christians have a biblically derived mandate to take control of all aspects of government and society — is now explicitly embraced. And third, the movement’s key strategists were giddy about the legal arsenal that the Supreme Court had laid at their feet as they anticipated the overturning of Roe v. Wade….

…..
Although metaphors of battle are common enough in political gatherings, this year’s rhetoric appeared more violent, more graphic and more tightly focused on fellow Americans, rather than on geopolitical foes.

“The greatest danger to America is not our enemies from the outside, as powerful as they may be,” said former President Donald Trump, who delivered the keynote address at the event. “The greatest danger to America is the destruction of our nation from the people from within. And you know the people I’m talking about.”

Speakers at the conference vied to outdo one another in their denigration of the people that Mr. Trump was evidently talking about. Democrats, they said, are “evil,” “tyrannical” and “the enemy within,” engaged in “a war against the truth.”

“The backlash is coming,” warned Senator Rick Scott of Florida. “Just mount up and ride to the sounds of the guns, and they are all over this country. It is time to take this country back.”
 
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Red

Well-Known Member
It’s something that has concerned me for a long time. I recall some scholars have seen nationalism as a form of secular religion, channeling emotions and needs served by human faiths through nationalist fervor instead. And Christian nationalism has been a theme throughout the way Americans have interpreted their own history, seeing our history and existence as intended by, and favored by, God.

Consider the entire notion of Manifest Destiny, a 19th century philosophical/faith inspired justification for our Westward movement across a continent: it was God’s intention that we fulfill God’s will that our Christian civilization should spread from coast to coast.

Interesting essay on Christian nationalism in 21st century America:


The shape of the Christian nationalist movement in the post-Roe future is coming into view, and it should terrify anyone concerned for the future of constitutional democracy.

The Supreme Court’s decision to rescind the reproductive rights that American women have enjoyed over the past half-century will not lead America’s homegrown religious authoritarians to retire from the culture wars and enjoy a sweet moment of triumph. On the contrary, movement leaders are already preparing for a new and more brutal phase of their assault on individual rights and democratic self-governance. Breaking American democracy isn’t an unintended side effect of Christian nationalism. It is the point of the project.

A good place to gauge the spirit and intentions of the movement that brought us the radical majority on the Supreme Court is the annual Road to Majority Policy Conference. At this year’s event, which took place last month in Nashville, three clear trends were in evidence. First, the rhetoric of violence among movement leaders appeared to have increased significantly from the already alarming levels I had observed in previous years. Second, the theology of dominionism — that is, the belief that “right-thinking” Christians have a biblically derived mandate to take control of all aspects of government and society — is now explicitly embraced. And third, the movement’s key strategists were giddy about the legal arsenal that the Supreme Court had laid at their feet as they anticipated the overturning of Roe v. Wade….

…..
Although metaphors of battle are common enough in political gatherings, this year’s rhetoric appeared more violent, more graphic and more tightly focused on fellow Americans, rather than on geopolitical foes.

“The greatest danger to America is not our enemies from the outside, as powerful as they may be,” said former President Donald Trump, who delivered the keynote address at the event. “The greatest danger to America is the destruction of our nation from the people from within. And you know the people I’m talking about.”

Speakers at the conference vied to outdo one another in their denigration of the people that Mr. Trump was evidently talking about. Democrats, they said, are “evil,” “tyrannical” and “the enemy within,” engaged in “a war against the truth.”

“The backlash is coming,” warned Senator Rick Scott of Florida. “Just mount up and ride to the sounds of the guns, and they are all over this country. It is time to take this country back.”
I confess I tend to also see the ascendency of Christian nationalism as feeding into this equally troubling development:


American fascist energies today are different from 1930s European fascism, but that doesn’t mean they’re not fascist; it means they’re not European and it’s not the 1930s. They remain organized around classic fascist tropes of nostalgic regeneration, fantasies of racial purity, celebration of an authentic folk and nullification of others, scapegoating groups for economic instability or inequality, rejecting the legitimacy of political opponents, the demonization of critics, attacks on a free press, and claims that the will of the people justifies violent imposition of military force. Vestiges of interwar fascism have been dredged up, dressed up, and repurposed for modern times. Colored shirts might not sell anymore, but colored hats are doing great.
 

Al-O-Meter

Well-Known Member
I hate that trump highjacked the flag as if its his own personal prop or piece of merchandise.
Nearly every major American politician has tried to do that exact same thing.

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Hillary.jpg


The difference with Trump and his supporter's use of the flag is that the other side has run away from the flag making it look one-sided. Playing the national anthem before a sporting event didn't used to be controversial. The other side didn't used to say things like "We should make things more inclusive by making a rule to exclude..." What used to be a symbol that despite our differences, at the end of the day we we're all in this together has been replaced by "it reminds me of the Hitler Youth program". That support of the flag is so one-sided now isn't because of Trump but because the other side dropped their flags in the dirt and walked away leaving the Trump supporters as the only ones still waving the flags.
 

Al-O-Meter

Well-Known Member
I really don't understand the other people who have served overseas who come back more convinced than ever that the U.S. is this bastion of freedom and liberty. I just don't get it.
Then our immigration issues where the United States received more legal immigrants than any country on Earth, and the number of illegal immigrants dwarfs our number of legal immigrants must really be a thing you have trouble grasping. I do not believe there is any nation on the planet getting more immigrants from the United States than they are losing to the United States. Why do you think that is?
 


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