God Will Not Be Removed

This Sunday, we saw a 22 year old Irish golfer win the US Open.

Rory Mcllroy was brilliant. Not only did he win the most prestigious golf tournament in the United States, but he did it by 8 shots.

Wow!

Mind you, this is the same golfer who blew up in the Masters earlier this year, after leading early in the tournament. What a comeback for this young pro. I congratulate him, and I really believe this will not be his last win. We will surely see this young golfer blossom into a champion we can enjoy watching for years to come. Even more important, what a statement about our great country to see an Irish golfer win a tournament like this in America. What a tribute to the scores of Irish immigrants who came to this country and have contributed to our success as a nation.

Yet I was disappointed this weekend.

NBC decided to play the Pledge of Allegiance as part of a patriotic feature during the tournament. Yet for some reason, they decided to omit the words “under God” during the feature. This is not the first time we have seen this happen in our country. However, it is the first time we have seen it in such a big event. Previously, we have seen it in the school system, and also in some minor sporting events, but not something so prominent as this.

The response was something I think we should recognize. The outcry on the web – Twitter and Face book – was extraordinary. So much was the level of outrage over the omission of our Lord from this traditional pledge, that NBC was forced to issue an apology over the incident. It is apparent that more than one American was offended by the obvious attempt at removing God from the pledge, as they should be.

The lesson for us as Christians should be quite obvious. Jesus Christ will not be diminished in the hearts and minds of His followers. There is a very good reason why God is mentioned in the Pledge of Allegiance. The people who founded this country came here seeking religious freedom. However, they were not running away from God, nor were they seeking to create a country devoid of religion. They very much believed in our Creator, and they sought to honor Him, not push Him aside.

Yes, we are a country of many faiths and many religions. We should welcome any and all who choose to make this country their home. It does not matter if you are Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, or atheist. You are welcome in this country as long as you come here with good intentions. However, that does not change that this country was start by Christians, and founded on Christian values. NBC cannot change history, and an attempt to do so will not be to their benefit. Americans understand what this country stands for, and we should embrace our Christian beliefs, not seek to stifle them. Apparently, I am not the only one believes that.

With that said, part of our Christian belief is that we are inclusive, not exclusive. That means that we seek peace, and we seek to be loving and kind to all people. Christ came to save us all, even the Muslims, Buddhists, and atheists. We cannot win the hearts and minds of the world if we are isolated from them. We can cling to our beliefs, say our pledges without removing God from them, and still open our hearts to the entire world.

Why?

Because that is what Jesus told us to do.

“For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
–John 3:17

So our response should be that we will continue to open our hearts and borders to all those who seek freedom on our shores, yet also continue to defend our own faith, and the history of our country as a Judeo-Christian based nation. Recognizing our Christian background does not diminish our history, but honors it. Attempts to remove God from the equation is simply a lie, as without God, and our founders adherence to His principles, I dare say we would not have the great country we currently have today.

God Bless America.

There I said it.

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