Shuck and Jive

Monday, July 07, 2008

God of All the Nations

The Layman took a shot at blogger and pastor Bill Smutz for his reflections on the phrase, "God Bless America." Here is Rev. Smutz's orginal post. I tend to agree with Rev. Smutz. I thought I would post the words of my favorite "patriotic" hymn, "This is My Song":

This is my song, O God of all the nations,
a song of peace for lands afar and mine;
this is my home, the country where my heart is;
here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine:
but other hearts in other lands are beating
with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.

My country's skies are bluer than the ocean,
and sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine;
but other lands have sunlight too, and clover,
and skies are everywhere as blue as mine:
O hear my song, thou God of all the nations,
a song of peace for their land and for mine.


  1. An excellent book (on just about every front) is Kevin Phillips' American Theocracy, which compares the rise of American empire to the rise and fall of three others: Spanish, Dutch and British. In short, each was driven by access to a new natural resource (Spain was American gold, Netherlands was the wind that filled their sails, Britain was coal, and America was oil), rapid military expansion to protect overseas economic interests, religious fervor (the Spanish Inquisition, Pietism in the Netherlands, British exceptionalism in the leadup to World War I, the rise of evangelical fundamentalism in the US), dwindling and/or irrelevance of the natural resource (other powers getting access to the Americas, sailboats becoming obsolete with the rise of steamships, coal becoming scarce in England and oil being more practical, and peak oil having been reached recently) and finally an economy that becomes entirely based not on producing goods, but on moving money around.

    His discussion of Britain in the decades before World War I is particularly eye-popping. The same talk about Britain replacing Israel as the covenant nation, the Union Jacks draped across pulpits, the militaristic hymns and the rest seems awfully familiar.

  2. I also agree that we should not use the phrase "God Bless America". I think it is a sign of arrogance and domination. I don't even remember it being used until after the twin tower attacks. Now it is everywhere as well as a pride that America is number one. I wish people would wake up and realize the true meaning of faith in God- believing in honesty, purity, justice and compassion for others, including people of other lands! Americans are hypocrites and I don't believe that we will be blessed, unless we quit going down the road of Empire building and self-destruction.