Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Threat of Christian Nationalism

Another of my columns from the Murphy Report.

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Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
With the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
Forward into battle see His banners go!

So go the lyrics to the first verse of Sabine Baring-Gould’s 1865 hymn “Onward Christian Solders.” Growing up as part of the United Methodist Church in Middle America, I recall singing this fairly blatant militant hymn from time to time. Of course I was always told the hymn should be interpreted as a metaphor for the struggle against Satan, sin, and our own personal demons (whatever the long dead author’s original intent). Christianity, I remember being taught, is a religion that strives for peace, understanding, forgiveness, and acceptance – despite its long history of contrary examples.

For the rest, go to my column.

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