Monday, May 25, 2009

#83 Memorial Day


Memorial Day doesn't have anything to do with Jesus, but Christian culture sure does get behind it.

30 comments:

andy said...

Yes, but don't forget, christian culture often confuses Jesus and flag as being one and the same thing. Therefore, serving country = serving Jesus.

The Thief said...

You've sure got this one right on the money.

sigh.

Paul said...

Andy-- I think that you are correct, and would add that serving Jesus does not always equal serving your country.

stephy said...

A previous entry

Magnus said...

Nature of imperialism, I am afraid. Same as how Victorians confused technological superiority with moral and spiritual authority.

Kierk said...

Just found this blog. Your blog has got to be one of the funniest things I've read in a long time. Fantastic!

Nat said...

"nothing to do with Jesus"? How about honoring the lives of those who died that we may be free? I think Jesus did that.

stephy said...

haha Nat! I know, I think Christian culture really thinks Jesus personally endorsed honoring the lives of those who died so America may be free. It's hilarious, and yet sad.

Nat said...

As an adult convert from Seattle, I didn't grow up in stereotypical "Christian culture," so I don't know enough to disagree with you. But that's not what your post said. It said Memorial Day "doesn't have anything to do with Jesus." I don't see why it is a problem to honor sacrificial behavior as being Christ-like.

mme. bookling said...

How do you pick these! I have been so pissed about this for years.

You may not know, but I attended a Fundie Baptist School in Pensacola (PCC), and every July, the entire sanctuary looked like Uncle Sam threw up in there. Tell me, how the HELL is playing the star-spangled banner in church worship?

mme. bookling said...

p.s.
Nat,
Memorial Day DOESN'T really have to do with Jesus, but with Christian culture...that's her whole point. This isn't a blog attacking jesus in any way, it's not even attacking christians...it's asking us all to reflect on the ways christians live that may or may not have anything to do with real spiritual living.

of course, if you are true to your spiritual nature, you will find humility in appreciating others, no matter their sacrifice or cause.

if these entries make us react, then they make us think. this is more what jesus wanted than anything, i truly believe...

Still Breathing said...

Here in the UK we have Armistice Sunday on the nearest Sunday to the 11 November and I have often wondered whether it had anything to do with Christianity. I agree that we should remember those who died in war but, as Christians, we must be careful to include all who died whichever side they were on. God loves them as much as he loves the British / American fallen; in fact as much as he loves every person reading this blog. Patriotic hymns (I Vow to Thee My Country etc) and national flags are not, in my opinion, part of worshiping God. Crying over the waste of war is.

stephy said...

Hi Nat, I see now that you weren't kidding with what you first said. I can appreciate your point especially in context with your journey. Mme. Bookling and Still Breathing just explained my thoughts quite well so I'll leave it there. :)

jeremy said...

I don't think I've ever met a Christian who was unpatriotic. Now the ones you have to keep an eye on are those who say America is God's Country ("C" intentionally capitalized), particularly with regards to any mention of Israel.

Steve said...

I agree with Mme. Bookling on "The Star-Spangled Banner" in worship. My church has done that in the past, and I have refused to sing along. I don't think it belongs in a church service. I'd also like to see the flags taken out--they don't belong, either.

Kynn said...

Nat, I don't really think American soldiers go to war in order to give their lives to save their enemies.

Jesus, like, didn't have an M-16.

Magnus said...

I wen t to a Bible College in Canada (Briercrest) and the would roll out "Battle Hymn of the Republic" every so often. That was one I never understood.

Bebe said...

In Christ there is no Greek or Jew..., so, naturally, no U.S. national anthem or other anthems.

Yes, Christian culture does equate Jesus with honor on the battlefield (both sides pray God will send victory). It's sad when we should pray for more peacemakers who will be blessed.

Twilightriver said...

As someone who was immersed in Christian culture and took it very seriously as a teen and young adult, I mostly enjoy this blog as a reminder why I stopped doing that and to laugh at the fact that I ever did. Usually, your posts make sense.

This post assumes that everyone gets it without any supporting information.

Most of the time, I get the jokes on your blog, even about the things that have changed since I left Christian culture, because you give enough supporting information for me to see how it relates specifically to the Christian culture I remember. This time, I just don't have the context for the satire.

Memorial Day is observed in many churches simply because it is a day to remember the dead, who are being cared for by God, according to Christian belief. It's a day to comfort the living, many who still suffer the pain of the loss of their loved ones and comrades in arms.

In that way, it has everything to do with Jesus who taught about feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and healing the sick. Healing the sick includes those who are wounded and sick in spirit, as are those who have lost people they care about to war. That has everything to do with Jesus.

I know that this post has a point, but I've missed it because I don't know what Christian culture does in response to Memorial Day that makes it laughable because it is different than what most churches do.

Bennett said...

Ha ha. I haven't been around for a while. I've migrated over to the Stuff Christian's Like because it does a better job of stroking my own sensibilities. Still, I decided to come back and get stabbed in the face from time to time because my dad taught me that it was good for me.

Memorial Day isn't the biggest offender here. It is Independence Day. I went to one service where they only mentioned God while reciting the pledge of allegiance. I thought they were going to announce that the offering was going to go directly to the US Treasury, but then I've never heard of a Christian or non-Christian who loved paying taxes.

And to make up for missing some posts:

- I'm also confused why there isn't a middle or third position on the whole "green revolution" thing. Either you are driving a scooter that runs on wheat grass juice that only produces rose scented dew drop exhaust, or you believe Al Gore should be strapped to a coal-burning smokestack. Can't you care about trees and the Gospel?

-Coffee. I never saw a coffee hut till I moved to the Northwest. You can't blame this on CC. It's just white culture.

-Plugged in. Good one. You could do a follow-up post about "unplugged". Apparently, we've done so much plugging in that now we need to start unplugging. I'm sure upon searching you will find lots of pictures of either stressed out mommys or businessmen scampering through blue-skied meadows.

Love all yall

Amy said...

Twilightriver, thank you.
I was thinking of how to sum up why this entry misses the mark, and it's exactly what you wrote.

While I do think we (Americans) have a tendency to over-Americanize Jesus, or to think that God Blesses America above other nations (or that we deserve him to for some reason), or maybe it's the need some people feel to preserve the identity of this "Christian Nation"...
Somehow I don't think Jesus is offended when our pastors take 30 seconds and ask anyone who has lost a close friend or family member in their service to our country to stand, so that we can acknowledge their sacrifice and say a simple Thank You.

Men and women willingly laying down their lives for the freedom of others? That has nothing to do with Jesus?

If I have to choose between the churchy version- a round of applause/a moment of silence- and the secular version- an "Everything Must Go!" Sale- it's scary but I'm going to have to side with Christian Culture for once!

jackmatt said...

I see alot of overanalyzing: Christians are mindful and appreciative about those serving AND dying for their country. Its not about equating Jesus with country; its about showing respect and compassion and appreciation for our neighbors.

CC said...

Actually a true Christian would mourn the war, and the country that caused it, not respect the fallen from their own side, in wars that are generally grossly one-sided and unfair to those in countries that are poor, starving, non-Christian. Its THOSE people Jesus said to remember. To those of you who say that Memorial Day is simply respect and honor for those who died, you have a whole lot of respect and honor to show to the millions that American Christians have slaughtered. How does that make you feel about your Christianity?

i am said...

Big mistake, mixing belief with patriotism. Reason why the terrorists see Christianity as being American is your own mistake. Trying to fit in new wine in old wineskin.

ann said...

I think this is mostly an U.S. Christian culture thing... am I right in saying that this is an American blog? Anyway, I'm from Canada, and while we have our crazies like the rest of the world, the patriotic thing tied to faith is a lot less pronounced here(I'm not sure what's with that hymn at Briercrest... not usual, at least in my part of Canada). While Christians here are often patriotic, it's typically much less tied to faith and supporting the war(s).

Christian culture IS, however, tied to political party, with most espousing the Conservative party very passionately... but there's a growing number of Can. Christians who are Green Party, NDP, etc, which is refreshing...

Cassie said...

ROFL having spend the first 12 years of my life in the Baptist church I am overly familiar with this habit. Along with Mother's Day and Father's Day and Veteran's Day and the 4th of July, etc, etc, etc.

Steven Kippel said...

The difference between Armistice Day and Memorial Day, out Veterans Day (because we have two) is Armistice is a remembrance of the end of war, where the U.S. holidays commemorate active and past warrior glory, add if there is something glorifying in war.

A. Nony Mouse said...

It's a civil religion, and it annoys the hell out of me. Time to unfurl the flag from the Cross.

Stephen Kliewer said...

To Nat... defending a secular political entity cannot be equated with what Jesus did, which was sacrifice for everyone, no for or against, in or out, bad people (think the thieves) or good guys. We assume as Americans that serving America equates with serving good... does it? Really? Think Iraq, which is iffy at best. It often means serving a national delusion that our agenda is the only right agenda. It often means serving the forces of mammon (oil companies). I understand where you are coming from, but it seems to ignore many complexities. Peace

Arachnus said...

Yeah... I hate it when the U.S. is represented in church.