In our country today, very few children
are raised to believe that their principal destiny
is to serve their family, their country, or God.
Dr. Benjamin Spock, teacher on raising children;
he was born on this date, 1903
This is where the rubber hits the road when it comes to American culture and the Gospel. They are, in my estimation, in profound contradiction. “American culture”, as portrayed by the present political climate, does not understand nor believe in “service”. Except in one thing: service in the military. We even call it “being in the service” … as if there were no other form of service in which we would find heroes.
But this popular misconception of “service” simply points up the huge gulf between American culture and the Gospel. A great deal of America has appropriated the Gospel (and God) to mean that the Gospel and American “manifest destiny” are one. In my opinion, utter nonsense. The contradiction is vividly apparent every time someone says, “Our military fight to protect and preserve our Freedom”. Not in my view: militarism exists primarily to perpetuate our enslavement … because it supports a way of life that imprisons us, a way of life that alienates us from the God of Compassion and from the Kingdom of Peace - and from most of our fellow human beings. This is especially true now that militarism has become one of the prime bases of a functioning economy.
Think what it would mean if our children were raised to believe that their “principle destiny” is to serve their family, their country, or God. “Family” has come to mean abandonment and hurt and abuse for so many children. “Country” has come to mean a mean-spirited place that does not care for its people: the poor, the excluded, the children, the elderly, the sick. “God” has come to be a weapon wielded by the righteous “haves” against the “have nots” … and statistics prove that more and more Americans are rejecting such a “God” and the institutional religion that supports this God.
Sad. How can we change this?