Monday, June 11, 2007

God bless everyone

I like t-shirts that have a message. Sometimes I browse websites looking at new designs and sayings. But because I'm trying to minimize buying new clothes, I haven't purchased any. That doesn't mean I can't appreciate them, though.

I like what the above t-shirt says. Although the phrase "God bless America" seems innocuous at first, I think it contains a subtle message that can be somewhat harmful -- i.e., I only want God to bless Americans; if you're not American, I don't care if God blesses you or not. (Don't we care about innocent children suffering in Iraq or women and girls being raped and abused in Sudan??) As such, the saying is exclusionary and seems to pit "us" against "them," where "us" is Americans and "them" is anyone who's not. Instead, I suggest that lines should not be drawn based on nationality, race, gender, religion, socio-economic standing, sexual orientation, etc. Love and generosity should be all-inclusive and non-discriminatory. It's easy to care for those who look, act and talk like us. The challenge is loving and being in community with those who are radically different from us.

And for this reason, I prefer the alternative and more positive message: "God bless everyone."

- David


Sarah said...

After living in Kenya, I began to recognize the dangers of patriotism. I don't think it's wrong to be thankful for the freedoms that we have living in America. But, I do think we need to recognize when our thankfulness prevents us from "blessing" our brothers and sisters living in countries less fortunate and seeking peaceful ways to free them from the powers that continue to enslave them from clean water, equal rights, healthcare from preventable dieseases, etc.

Philip said...

I also love the "America bless God" stickers I've been seeing. As a nation, we've already been blessed by God more than we deserve.