How to Pray for a Kingdom

Happy Fourth of July! May it be full of summer goodness and, if you’re so inclined, acts of patriotism.

I did what many do in Michigan on the 4th, went to one of our abundant lakes for a swim. The weather here is great, the water felt nice and it was good to be out. Went to one of my least favorite lakes (the good ones were “full”) that is known mainly for its boating. The water had a stench of gasoline about it; made me think of the Gulf of Mexico.

One event got me thinking about politics and religion and such. While I was taking a break from the water this father, who was camped out next to us, called his kids out of the water so they could join together and “pray for America.”

Now. I don’t have a qualm about praying for this country. At church we pray for national and world leaders, and for the wellbeing of our neighbors all the time. But today, perhaps it’s the sentiment of the holiday, my mind drifted to more sinister thoughts. Namely: theocracy.

You know what I’m talking about. Sticking monuments of the Ten Commandments in courthouses (to remind us all that worshipping Hindu gods, cheating on your wife and envying a neighbor goes against our laws.) Re-writing the curricula of Texan social studies classes to make John Calvin a founding father. Asserting that the United States has a national religion. The Moral Majority. On and on and on…

Or remember John Ashcroft’s controversial remark, “No king but Jesus?” Okay, I will be totally fair, in context he was citing an older source and wasn’t being literal; but, not everyone takes such a statement like that figuratively. The idea of centering American government on Christianity, not simply “inspired by the Gospels,” but as an infalliable rule of God through elected leaders is almost as common as it is comical.

But here’s the gapingfuckinghole in that theocratic bullshit: if you believe in your Bible then you should know that Jesus was already offered the job of kind of all nations. And you know what? He turned it down.

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