God and our Money?

I'm so distressed when I am reminded that so many "bible-believing" Christians have no trouble seeing their Christian identity as either directly parallel to if not one in the same as their idenity as an American. Now, I realize that I'm perhaps a little extreme in my own distress even at seeing an American flag in a church building, and I don't expect that everyone's tension should be as strong as mine, but I do sometimes wonder how it can be so easy for people who read the Bible to ignore the tension between patriotic allegiance and Christian identity.

Some Christians act like proposals to take the word "god" off of American money is somehow an attack on Christian values or a violation of religious freedom. But if we put a little thought into it, wouldn't the God of the Bible have a problem being associated with such an idol as American currency, used to fund wars, oppression, apathetic indifference, and the vices of a corrupt culture? Wouldn't the God of the Bible take issue at being given credit for something so diametrically opposed to who God is? Indeed, is it not a man's image on the face of those coins? It money not a symbol of power and wealth? So when we print God onto American money, we are either lying about God, slanderously crediting our vicious corruption and coercive power to our trust in God, or we are speaking of a different god altogether, a god who condones and endorses the American dream of superiority and wealth.

Truth is, it's not that I have something against America. I'm grateful to live in this country. But I am far more grateful to God for God's salvation, forgiveness, goodness and love. And I am afraid that we have mixed up our allegiance. The church should be on the side of those who find themselves on the underside of the American systems and ideologies and I am afraid that, by being so aligned to the American patriotic identity, we have positioned ourselves only to perpetuate the ideals of the state even when people, however small the number, are trampled beneath them.
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Always a treat to read your thoughts. Although, isn't it always nice to read someone you agree with? Either way, you put things into words much better than I ever can.
Yep, I was one of those kids who felt uncomfortable saying The Pledge of Allegiance daily in school, and I could never put my finger on it. These days, I know it was the idolization (some might even say brainwashing).
Agent X said…
I, of course, am completely sympathetic to this post. This is exactly the stuff my soap box rantings are all about. And, of course, you know that about me already.

And to harmonize with your other commentator, it is good to see that I am not alone on this issue.

Thanks for speaking out on it.

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