As with a majority of my posts, this post is in response to something that, in the moment I had no response to. Here is the story. We are at a church meeting that is brought about over the idea that we are all Samaritans. So, two of the 10 or so people there, posited that very query, “What is wrong with ‘Make America Great Again?'” At the time, I had no witty retort. In fact, I had no response. I sat there, rather dumbfounded. What is the Christian response to, “What’s wrong with ‘Make America Great Again’?”All I knew was that it didn’t feel good and it is used to justify all manner of bs. So, I sat on it. I pondered it. I read the Bible. I prayed. I made it the intention of my yoga practice yesterday. And, you know what? There is a lot that is wrong with that deceptively delicious phrase. It a cyanide laced brownie that doesn’t kill the eater but leaves him weak, easy prey.
So, get on with it..If I am a Christian, what is wrong with “Make America Great Again?”
- Again: That one word causes me so much hassle – My question for all these white older folks asking this question, is when? When was America so star spangled awesome that we want to go back? I want a specific period in our, American history. Because, I can tell you that if you pick any period up until this very moment a group that is not white and/or Christian and/or hetero-normative was being abused, terribly. Do not hear me, for one second, as saying that all is well now and there is no discrimination. Lately, it is worse than ever. However, we are a hell ways away from slavery or even segregation. When I went to high school, my experience with the LGBT community news was of Matthew Shepard . So, first response ought to have been to request exactly what date in history they thought was the great time they so desperately want to return to.
- Patriotism vs. Nationalism: Somehow, this hat…this slogan, cannot be taken out of context. We are not #1 on any marker of world greatness. In fact, we trail most of Europe and many other industrialized nations on everything good: health care, income inequality, quality of education, heck…happiness. So, when you say, make America great again, what you are saying isn’t “We love America” which would be closer to patriotism. What you are saying is that we want to be above the other countries. We want the countries that are currently #1, #2, and so on to take a step down the ladder so we can be ahead of them. In Christianity Today, it says, “Nationalism…takes that love of country and expands it to mean love of country at the expense of other nations. It’s when someone believes they are better because they come from a particular place, or that someone else is less valuable because of the country that issued their passport. In the United States, it’s often given the innocuous sounding title ‘American exceptionalism’ To God, we are no more exceptional than anyone else.
- Means: How are you going to effectuate this retaking of American greatness? Do the unholy ends of American greatness justify the means of hurting millions of God’s children? We need to build a wall so some of God’s children can’t get in. I guess they make America less great. Then we have to cease letting refugees come to our country. I suppose assisting the most needy makes America less great. The means of making a great America seem to be the exact same things that now, we as a Christian community must triage. The means have created scared and hurting people. And…in the name of what? Making America Great Again?
So, the next time I am put in this position where someone, especially a Christian, asks me “What is wrong with ‘Make American Great Again’?” I will have these lovely niblits at my fingertips.