The universe conspires sometimes to plant ideas in the heads of lots of its inhabitants at the same time. I believe this. Case in point. Two weeks ago when the Red Sox were playing the Yankees in New York, I was out at a bar watching the game with friends. Since 9/11, ESPN has made it a point during games played at Yankee to not break for commercial during the seventh inning stretch until they've broadcast the singing of "God Bless America." (I find this fact pretty peculiar considering that the network rarely even shows the singing of the "Star Spangled Banner" which has been sung at baseball games since 1903, before it was even officially named the national anthem, but that's a different rant.)
The bar's television had closed captioning. During baseball games and live telecasts, this often results in amusing mistakes as the stenographer tries to punch out everything the anouncer says on an abbreviated keyboard. I wasn't expecting to see one of these mistakes in the transcription of the lyrics of a well-known song. But there, in the first line of the chorus, read "Godless America." In the firestorms over stem cell research, teaching evolution in schools and activist judge, the turn of phrase seemed appropriate in sparking a much needed debate.
Less than a week later, browsing the programming schedule for This American Life, I saw the title for this past Sunday's original show: "Godless America." I can't say they saw the telecast, but I had a bit of a chuckle that Ira Glass and the rest of the crew had settled on the same phrase to introduce their debate.
I don't want to offend anyone by saying the Christian movement is wrong or stupid or any of the other names that liberals may use to belittle evangelicals. I sincerely respect and admire their choice to make God a part of their personal life (and I even extend that to the President.) But I do want to question their faith. Faith to me doesn't need homogeniety. It doesn't need only one creation story taught or one type of marriage. Indoctrinating one "true" way and prescribing it for everyone in society is not faith. After all if God had wanted us to all follow one true way, then she wouldn't have been so mysterious in saying what that way is. And she would have abolished all of these other religions herself; being all powerful, it would have been truly easy. But that's not the way it is. Christians are given choices the same way that Christ was given choices. Faith is believing in spite of incertainty. It is not about abolishing heterogeneity.
We need to recognize the dangers of establishing the one true way if only because it's exactly what we are fighting against abroad. A jihad, in the perverted way that terrorists have adopted the term, is a mission to destroy differences. And we are continually reminded how that jihad ends. I hope that someone from inside the government can be a voice of reason for this this Christian jihad before we end up footing the bill for sandblasting the words off of Lady Liberty's table in New York harbor.