God Bless America
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
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)
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:
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.