This week, Lincoln City Church News Columnist Don Williams wrote a great piece about Thanksgiving. A national holiday — he points out — set in motion by deist George Washington. Dons piece did not include “Diest” — that part I added.
Deist Washington, proclaiming the “providence of God.” How does that work? It goes unnoticed for this reason: Washington was just one of many “perps” in the great American heist. America it seems has a history of lifting scripture.
In 1630 when 98 percent of Americans were Puritans, John Winthrop appropriated the phrase “A city on a hill” to describe the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Translation: “Come see America, the worlds new religious high ground.”
In 1776 comes E pluribus unum fixed at the top The Great Seal of the United States. In 1956 Congress stamped: “In God We Trust” — on our money. In 1863 Abraham Lincoln described America as “a house divided against itself.“ Google the phrase and you’ll see Abraham not Jesus is credited. Really?
A city on a hill? E pluribus Unum? In God we trust? A house divided?
From colonies to currency American history is filled with language “borrowed” from scripture and applied to itself rather than the Church. Talk about cultural appropriation.
A city on a hill? See Matt 5:14.
Out of Many one? See Galatians 3:27
In God we trust? See John 14:1
A house divided? See Matt 12:25
True, America owns the last one but as for “a city on a hill”, “out of many one” and “in God we trust”…America isn’t, isn’t and doesn’t! It simply can’t. Why?
This is the language and vocation of the Church, and it is Christ who calls his Church, not America to it. Christ is at its center. That’s why Christians don’t have a president, we have a king. America’s constitution is its bible, while our bible is… well, the Bible.
As for Washington, I’m with Don, kudos for setting aside a day to acknowledge and thank God. But for the rest, if you want to lift our language at least have the decency to cite the source.