• FYI Laura, it’s worth noting that Woody Guthrie was so annoyed by “God Bless America” that he wrote “This Land is Your Land” (originally titled “God Blessed America for Me”) as a riposte: http://bit.ly/1JXJU2e.

  • Fran

    God blesses all persons in every nation, country, or island who work righteousness and try to follow his principles, guidelines and commands, as set forth in his Word, the Bible, thereby worshiping Him.

    He is not partial and accepts all who want to worship Him in spirit and truth.

  • Daniel Berry, NYC

    a column like this should be a no-brainer. But it isn’t. American exceptionalism is just one variety of the rubbish ghettoized Americans feed themselves. Unlike Fran, who posted above, I believe that God loves every person without regard to the religion (or none) practiced; how moral we appear to be to our neighbor or whether or not we practice the dominant religion in our community. I know enough about how love changed my very ugly life into something different to believe that being loved by God has nothing to do with how “good” we are. In fact, Jesus suggests that the more good we think we are the more work we still have to do.

  • Daniel Berry, NYC

    I didn’t know that! GREAT point to make, Mark Silk. Thanks for posting it.

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  • alison

    I don’t think Fran is contradicting what you just said, because she uses the words “blessing” and “accepts” and you use the word “love.” I am sure she agrees with that.

  • Loren Haas

    I seem to remember something Jesus said and was recorded in Matthew about God making the rain fall on the evil and the good.

  • Greg1

    Yes Loren, our duty is to “be children of [the] Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matt 5:47). But some might dispute that with the interaction between Abraham and God in Genesis 18:22-33, where Sodom and Gomorrah had fallen into a condition not unlike America today, and He ultimately destroyed those cities by fire. So God will do what God does. On the contrary, when Mary appeared in Fatima Portugal, she told Lucia that the Faith would always be preserved there. So that is one modern instance of heaven blessing a country.

  • Eric

    But some might dispute that with the interaction between Abraham and God in Genesis 18:22-33, where Sodom and Gomorrah had fallen into a condition not unlike America today, and He ultimately destroyed those cities by fire. So God will do what God does.”

    Sure, some might so dispute. Like so-called Christians who have made America into an idol, for example. But not Christians with a basic understanding of the atonement. They know better, and they certainly know that if the false god American evangelicals worship didn’t curse the nation for genocide and slavery, He certainly won’t over same-sex marriage.

  • Greg1

    Eric, if you only could get a glimpse into eternity, you’d see that each one of us becomes so puffed up here in this life; in the eternal reality, however, we are the equivalent of a body floating around space, where there is total darkness. You can claw, jump, attempt anything you wish, but you are helpless without the Holy Trinity. Oh how man gets so lost within himself. What you need to realize is that God is not a slave master, but a Loving Father, Brother, and Lover. When we make a small move towards him, He responds with a Love that is riveting. But when we thumb our noses at him, He still holds us in existence, and awaits our next opportunity to call out to him. At some point in our lives, we are the man floating in space, and when we reach out to the only Person Who is listening at that time, it is the moment God has been waiting for since the day we were born. And once we find God, we realize that his Order, is the only True Order. Life is false outside of his Order.

  • Hominid

    What’s “great” about it?

  • Hominid

    So, only those who follow the bible is blessed? How ’bout the ones that have their heads severed – are they blessed?

  • HenryC

    It should be noted that God bless is a prayer, not a statement. It doesn’t say that God blesses America, it asks him to do so.

  • ben in oakland

    God is my husband, brother, and lover? Sounds kinda gay.

    And please. don’t tell my husband.

    So much certainty as to exactly what and who god is. So much humility shown by someone who is certain he can explain the mind of god, and that god’s relationship to everyone else on the planet.

  • ben in oakland

    Actually, it is not in the form of a request, but in the form of a command.

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  • Greg1

    Yes, Ben, God is calling…

  • AttyFAM

    “Does God Bless America?”

    Just asking the question presupposes so many things:
    That there is a god;
    That this god is at all concerned with human affairs;
    That this god takes sides;
    That this god has the power to bestow blessings;
    That the concept of blessing has meaning and tangible significance;
    That this god is not only concerned with individual human affairs, but also with human affairs on a national and international level;
    That America has some claim for whatever a blessing is on a national level, as opposed to the other 154 or so nations of the world.

  • Frank Spiege

    A few thoughts on this. Isaiah 19:18-25 is interesting in its affirmation of God blessing/striking Egypt-Assyria along with Israel, and 1 Timothy 2:1-3 enjoins Christians to pray for their non-Israelite governers — for God to bless the Roman empire. And though Isaiah 1 is spoken to Israel, its theo-logic affirms that God refusing to hear and receive prayers and worship offered to him by those who wontonly practice injustice.
    It might be more fruitful to think about the much more complex influence of the wider Christian theological tradition’s approach to this question, of its own theological exegesis and political theology. Especially I think here of Augustine’s “City of God,” and its towering influence on conceptions of the church-state relationship in the West. He, of course, narrates the theo-logic of the Roman Empire’s progressive collapse in terms of its moral and litrurgical rectitude before God. Among others, Alasdair MacIntyre and Charles Taylor do interesting work on…

  • Bernardo

    The commentary by Laura Turner is moot since there is no god. Next topic!

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