Please Don’t Say or Think This: “Let’s Take Back America”

While watching a political documentary I shall not name, one Christian said that if enough evangelicals would register and vote, we could “take back the nation.” I started expostulating so loudly to my wife that my dog Sunny went over to her and climbed into her lap. He was even shaking. 

Now, I wasn’t angry at my wife or at my dog. I was angry with the rank idiocy of this statement. Here’s why:

First, evangelicals are not in agreement on the significance of issues or on who best represents their views. For example, black, Hispanic, and white evangelicals tend to vote differently. 

Second, this is America, not a theocracy. If you are a Christian and a citizen of the United States, you have the religious liberty (for now) to organize, contribute, and vote your conscience under God and before man. But so do other religious believers and those of no religious beliefs. So, we don’t “take back” the country from anyone. We never had it to begin with, despite the Christian influence on the country. If we mean that we want Judeo-Christian values to have more influence, then good. But skip the “take back” language, please. 

Third, the language of “taking back America” may concern non-Christians who think that Christians who get their way politically will put others in jeopardy in one way or another. But if we support the Constitution and the rule of law, that will not happen.

Fourth, there is a lot more to reforming and renewing America than winning political battles. In many races, both major candidates are debauched and it turns out (again) to be the lesser of two evils, which is also the evil of two lessers. Further, even good laws only go so far to improve society. Much must be done in the pre-political or non-political realms. As a Washington insider once told me, “There are a lot of dead bodies floating downstream by the time they get to Washington, DC.” He meant elected officials!

There is nothing wrong with educating and mobilizing Christians in politics. There is plenty wrong with “taking back America.”

5 thoughts on “Please Don’t Say or Think This: “Let’s Take Back America”

  1. Really good clarifications Doug. Thank you. I’ll be forwarding this to all the folks in my community group, and maybe a few others.

  2. It would be good if Christians stopped and thought what Jesus meant when he said my kingdom is not of this world. Also Christians are now aliens in this world. Our home is in Jesus as is our citizenship and we abide in him until he returns to set up his new kingdom on earth. Our peace is found in him, too cf. John 16:33. So why make waves? The most important job is to
    save people not rule politically but Christians allowed the popes to mix us up in politics since earliest times when Jesus specifically told his disciples not to lord it over anyone.

  3. Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton stated that their purpose is to transform America. Obama even declared – after several political, judicial and policy victories – that the transformation had been accomplished! Hillary had declared that the Democratic Party intended to “redefine what it means to be a human being.” So it is not out of place for a pastor to declare the need to take the country back by stating an in-kind purpose that corresponds to the stated purpose of the Democrats, BLM and prominent liberal and progressive politicians. That these same individuals and groups will accuse the pastor of advocating for a theocracy is nothing more than another move to maintain control. And the fact that some evangelicals support a political ideology that has the stated purpose of displacing a society that had been directly informed by traditional and biblical values is nothing more than the blind leading the blind.

  4. I am forwarding this to as many people as I can. My only fear is that a man I greatly admire thinks in a way similar to me.

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