By Dr. Aslam Abdullah, MMNS
In one YouTube video, the once playboy Republican nominee for President called America “a Christian nation” and said emphatically that the leadership must be with those who believe in those Christian principles.
We humbly disagree with the former prisoner of war who spent his youth in the lap of numerous women after dumping his first wife who became disfigured after a tragic car accident. What kind of Christian nation he is referring to. we do not understand. Does he mean evangelical Christianity that condemns Jews as anti-Christ and described the Catholic church as a den of Satan?
Does he believe in revivalist Christianity, that describes everyone different from its beliefs as hell bound? Does he believe in white supremacist Christianity, or does he believe in Orthodox Christianity that still believes that slavery was one of the God gifted right of the earlier settlers?
Does he ignore the presence of the original inhabitants of this land, who were described by Columbus as red Indians or native Indians because Columbus could not navigate properly to locate India on the map?
Non-Christians reject these ideas because we are not Christians, yet we call ourselves proud Americans. We reject his claim because we believe that our nation is composed of some who believe in one God, some in many gods and some fail to believe in God. We disagree with him because we believe that in the formation of this nation, Muslims, Catholics, Protestants of various denominations, Unitarians, Hindus, animists, Jews, Buddhists and others all played a significant role.
The Republican Presidential aspirant asserted that the founding fathers were devout Christians and hence they used Biblical terms to create a Judeo-Christian society in America. What a joke. Judeo-Christian traditions.
America was mainly populated by Europeans who for centuries had conducted persecution of Jews throughout Europe. There was no reference of Judeo-Christian traditions in Europe. Jews were subject to all kinds of humiliation and persecution. The writings of earlier settlers are full of hatred of Jews and their religion and traditions.
Much of the nation developed its infrastructure on the basis of hard work performed by slaves whose religious beliefs were not taken into account, and many of whom were forcibly converted to Christianity.
Fortunately America was pluralistic. This character was enshrined in the constitution, that is not a Christian document.
Much of this nation’s big wonders were performed by people who were not of Christian faith. In the field of science and technology, the contributions of Muslim, Jewish and Hindu Americans cannot be ignored. In the area of building, the contribution of Muslims has to be acknowledged. In the development of railroad networking, Chinese Buddhists played a significant role.
Thus, the claim of McCain that America is a Christian nation does not hold much water. It is true that the majority of inhabitants of America are Christians. But the identity of the nation does not come from its Christian roots. It comes from a pluralism that evolved over the years as a result of interaction among people of different religions.
To run this country as a Christian nation would be against the spirit of America. It would be against the constitution that guarantees full religious freedom to everyone.
Perhaps McCain would serve the country better by studying our government and history, so as not to seem ready to carry on the legacy of modest intellectual prowess that our current president has represented since 2001.
God Bless America and her many peoples.