Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Threat of Christian Nationalism

Another of my columns from the Murphy Report.


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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