What a dilemma we find ourselves in, living in a nation that seems stuck in the myth that it was birthed out of something that was pleasing to God that in turn secured his seal of approval on this nation above all others. What will it take for us to face this misnomer so we can begin afresh with a clearer view of Jesus and his message of reconciliation grounded in Jesus not the Americanized version of Jesus that has been so perverted by the blending of the cross and the flag?
Ever since the counter cultural nature of the gospel message has been co-opted by hierarchical institutions, the Way the Truth and the Life has been more difficult to find. It's the nature of the malforming effects of religion. It has a blinding effect because it is often using enough of the right language to keep us fooled but it is still religion non the less. Jesus came to set us free and the human activity of creating systems (which all function as hierarchies) can't survive within an atmosphere of such freedom because they function by fear based conformity, but the religious version is just a "tougher-to-recognize" manifestation of law.
Religion just exacerbates the dilemma humanity is caught in by taking the only liberating message that has been given to us to show us the door into freedom, that has been opened up for us by the work of Jesus, and instead deepens the malformation caused by sin and shame by subverting that liberating message into a list of dos and don'ts. The whole mess seems to create a people that seem less compassionate than a lot of the people that claim they don't even believe in God the creator. That alone should tell us something. My heart's cry is that the tide is turning in America and civil religion will continue to see her malforming influence on society dwindle away.