Tuesday, December 27, 2011


Every red/white/blue bleeding, pledge chanting, flag-waving American loves this land and the liberty it represents. We love our country, and we love the Constitution that makes our country great. Despite the national debt and the on-going recession, we are still the richest country in the world. Despite the growth of government, we remain the free-est country in the world. We have the best trained and best funded military forces in the world. So it's only right that we are entitled use that might and that wealth as we see fit.


American Exceptionalism. I first heard the term from a friend about eighteen months ago. Then I read about it in a book. Then I heard politicians use the term. I suppose it means that America, and the unequaled liberty and wealth that she represents worldwide, is exceptional among all the countries in the world.

I suppose.

But I've noticed that there is a disturbing implication in the term. What it really means is that America should defend its 'interests' around the globe, despite the costs to other nations. What it really means is that while we get our panties in a wad over the United Nations being on our soil, we don't intend for national sovereignty to extend beyond our borders. What it really means is that 'collateral damage' is a small price to pay for oil that we are entitled to.

Columnist Ann Coulter once quipped, "What's wrong with a war for oil?"

Well, Ann, I suppose what's wrong is that the aforementioned oil happens be in someone else's country. And the very idea that they have to do business with us rather infuriates them. It's akin to Zimbabwe telling us that we have to sell our wheat to them...and that they're prepared to send troops if we don't.

American Exceptionalism.

When the Arab Spring was underway last year, and the world watched as Egypt's Hosni Mubarak's administration was toppled, Sean Hannity bombasted, "We have to get the right leader in there!"

Who's 'we,' Sean?
You mean America has to pick Egypt's next leader.
I'd a-thought, what with our being a constitutional republic and all, that we'd like to see other folks get to have a representative form of government as well. I'd a-thought we would respect other countries' rights to free elections, too.

American Exceptionalism.

When Hugo Chavez, our favorite South American Communist, was making idiotic comments regarding the United States, 'Christian' commentator and fruit loop extraordinaire Pat Robertson thought we should assassinate him.
Assassinate him.
As in America assassinate another head of state.
'Cause he doesn't work for us.

American Exceptionalism.

And now...what to do with Iran???
Those crazy Iranians are saying bad things about us. They might have weapons, too. And they might be pointing them at us!
So we, being the great respecters of national sovereignty that we are, would like to send in weapons inspectors--because their military is our business, I suppose. But Iran, like a difficult two-year-old, simply refuses to cooperate. I just can't understand it.
And we would like to, perhaps, take out their weapons with a pre-emptive strike.
You know...
Before they commit any act of war...
Because we can.

American Exceptionalism.
Might makes right.
This is the stuff of Arthurian legend.
And just as the Wart had to learn that 'might makes right' only served to make men animals, America should take note, too.

We installed the Shah--because that worked for us.
And the Shah set up his secret police.
And his secret police tortured and killed thousands of his own people.
No wonder the Iranians stormed our embassy.
We sold wmd's to Saddam Hussein--because that worked for us.
Hussein tortured and killed his own people.
And then we took out Hussein, not because he tortured and killed his own people
but because his regime no longer worked for us.
We took out Guatemala's Jacobo Arbenz--who, by the way, was elected by Guatemalans in a free election--in a 1954 CIA-instigated coup, and replaced him with Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas
who--you guessed it--tortured and killed his own people.

We can do that
Cause we're America, by golly.

And we're exceptional.

Ah, but are we Biblical?
Every time we interfere with another nation, innocent citizens of that nation are killed.
These are real people.
Real people with real wives and children and jobs and homes and dreams and pasts.
Real people with childhood memories and mothers-in-law and allergies and favorite colors and hobbies.
Real people with real souls.
Every time we interfere with another nation in the name of national defense--which is just horse puckey--we make widows and orphans. We increase poverty for people who never knew us or loved us or hated us or cared either way.

The Biblical jurisdiction of government is to punish wrongdoers, not to punish people who might be wrongdoers some time in the future.
Part of the Biblical jurisdiction of the Church is to take care of the poor, the orphan, the widow.
But wow.
Most American Christians fist-pump for the flag
And as long as our foreign policy works for America, we're okay with that.
Shame on you. Shame on me.

You, my evangelical Christian friend, call it 'national defense.'
I call it Widowmaker.

I wonder if God's okay with that.
I'll bet He's not.
And if He's not...
why are you?

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