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  Volume 11, No.4   Winter, 2001  

God Bless America
In the Spirit of Christ - or the Spirit of anti-Christ?

Of the many slogans displayed on motor cars, shop fronts, windows and sidewalks since America's September 11, 2001 holocaust, the following caught my attention:

God Bless America
Proud to be an American Sikh
One Nation I Love

The United States flag was prominently displayed to either side of this slogan, as was also the flag of the Sikhs, disciples of a Hindu religious sect called Sikhism. The latter, in Webster's Dictionary, is described as,

Sikhism, noun: the doctrine of a Hindu religious sect founded in northern India about 1500; belief in one god and rejection of the caste system are main principles.

What do Americans mean when they say, God Bless America?" A Homeschool parent, at the conclusion of a recent Christian Heritage Tour, asked the question, "which god?" Does the slogan preclude "proud to be an American Buddhist" or "proud to be an American Muslim?"

Hence, we would conclude that the American Sikh is invoking his god's "blessing" upon America.

None of the above false religions sanctions Christianity, the One True God of the Bible, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the God of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Son of God; the God of America's founders.

"God Bless America" originated from the hymn of that title, authored by a Jewish American, Irving Berlin, born Israel Baline in 1888, of Jewish Russian parents. At the age of four, Israel's- together with their fellow Jews' homes, in the village of Temun, Russia-were destroyed by Cossack soldiers. The family fled to America. "God Bless America" was first sung in 1938, invoking the blessing of the God of the Bible, of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; the God of the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews (as was written upon His cross), upon America. It is thus Judeo-Christian in origin.

However, what does the word "bless (blessed; blessedness; blessing)" mean? Noah Webster, author of the famed dictionary bearing his name, was himself an American Christian who prefaced his Common Version translation of The Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments, with the following:

... The Bible is the Chief moral cause of all that is good, and the best corrector of all that is evil, in human society; the best book for regulating the temporal concerns of men, and the only book that can serve as an infallible guide to future felicity.

Webster's Dictionary defines the word "bless (blessing; blessedness; blessed)" as,

Bless, verb: 1) to set apart or consecrate to holy purposes; to make and pronounce holy 2) to consecrate by prayer; to invoke a blessing upon. Synonyms given are: felicitate, endow, enrich, gladden, rejoice, cheer, thank.

Blessed, adjective: 1) hallowed; sacred; consecrated; holy; beatified 2)
enjoying great happiness; joyful; blissful.

Blessedness, noun: 1) happiness; felicity; heavenly joy 2) sanctity.

Blessing, noun: 1) a statement of Divine favor 2) an invoking of Divine favor 3) the gift of Divine favor.

"God Bless America" is thus clearly Christian in origin and meaning.

However, the question arises, in the year 2001 A.D.: Does the nation America, so blessed, favored, beloved and protected by Almighty God of the Bible, continue to display godliness-or does she promote a life-style which the God of the founding fathers condemns? To wit, homosexuality (sodomy), abortion (murder), false witness, pride, idolatry, theft, immorality, worship of mammon, worship of sports, self-sufficiency and "pride in power," the latter slogan being prominently displayed throughout the nation in recent months.

Thomas Jefferson's original hand-written Outline for His Bill for Proportioning Crimes and Punishments in America, includes Sodomy: Punishable by Castration; and Witchcraft: Punishable by Ducking and 15 Stripes.

With such a profusion of American flags displayed within and without buildings, homes, vehicles, clothes, elevators-and even Christmas trees-it behooves Americans to comprehend the origins, significance and symbolism of the Stars and Stripes, foremost symbol of the United States:

In 1776, at the birth of the United States, a commission made up of George Washington, Colonel George Ross and Robert Morris, who funded the American Revolution, visited Mrs. Betsy Ross at her home in Philadelphia. They asked her to make the first United States Flag. The flag is the symbol of a Christian nation. It was designed by George Washington, a Christian patriot, and first made by Betsy Ross, also a Christian. George Washington, Robert Morris, Colonel George Ross, and Betsy Ross, all attended Christ Church in Philadelphia. Their family pews, bearing their names, still stand in Christ Church. This church is called "the nation's church" because many of our founding fathers worshiped God there.

On September 14, 1814, another Christian patriot, Francis Scott Key, wrote a beautiful poem about the flag from an inn in Baltimore harbor. The last stanza of this poem shows clearly in whom we place our trust as Americans. ".Blest with victory and peace, may the heaven-rescued land Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation! Then conquer we must when our cause it is just, and this be our motto: 'In God is our Trust.' And the Star-Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave."

These magnificent words were put to the inspiring music of John Stafford Smith (c. 1780). United States Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney wrote that he "admired Francis Scott Key for his brilliant genius, and loved him for his many virtues." The author of the Star-Spangled Banner wrote that "the patriot who feels himself in the service of God, who acknowledges Him in all his ways, has the promise of Almighty direction, and will find His Word in his greatest darkness, 'a lantern to his feet and a lamp unto his paths.'* .He will therefore seek to establish for his country in the eyes of the world, such a character as shall make her not unworthy of the name of a Christian nation."

On March 3, 1931, the Star-Spangled Banner was made the national anthem by Act of Congress. On October 12, 1892, Francis Bellamy, a minister of the Gospel, ordained in the Baptist Church of Little Falls, New York, wrote a pledge of allegiance to America's flag -- the Star-Spangled Banner.

On February 7, 1954, United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his wife attended the Lincoln Day Observance Service at the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church. The sermon topic was, one nation "under God." So moved was President Eisenhower by these immortalized words coming from Abraham Lincoln's famed Gettysburg Address, that he had the words, one nation "under God," put into the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States flag. This took place by Act of Congress on Flag Day, June 14, 1954. 1

From the above, we can deduce that a consistent acknowledgment and honor of Almighty God of the Bible is evidenced by America's great statesmen and heroes throughout her history, from 1776 to 1954.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. Psalm 33:12.

by Catherine Millard

1 Excerpted from A Children's Companion Guide to America's History, 1993 by Catherine Millard.

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