Since the inception of our nation, churches have supported the American military in its efforts to bring and preserve freedom. Since World War I, one way this has been shown has been by placing American flags in our church auditoriums.
While I am aware that there is a larger discussion related to patriotism in the church, I am a patriotic American who is grateful for the biblically-rooted American belief of liberty. And I do believe that expressing that in church has its place.
Yet in a strange twist of logic and the devaluing of American pride, as our nation seems bent on moving as far as possible from God and Christian values, federal leaders of our military apparently feel threatened by churches’ support of the military.
Just last week, a church in Carthage, Missouri, received what amounts to a “no thanks for patriotism” message from the National Guard. In a news article posted a few days ago, reporter Todd Starnes shared a deeply concerning story. A Baptist church who chose a patriotic theme for Vacation Bible School “invited troops from the nearby armory to drop by with one of their Humvees” to honor and thank the service members.
Earlier in the week, local paramedics, the fire department, and the sheriff’s department had all come and visited with the kids. But the National Guard said they couldn’t come. And it wasn’t because they were engaged in other duties. It was because a federal regulation is protecting their freedom from religion. To quote the pastor in Starnes’ article: (more…)