That is the title of an article by Mark Schlonger, the Pastor of a Mennonite Church (CNN Blogs).Â He also explained why the Mennonite’s college, Goshen (Indiana), does not play the national athem at its athletic events.
“That’s because we recognize only one Christian Nation, the church, the holy nation that is bound togather by a living faith in Jesus rather than by man-made, blood soaked borders.”
He points to the trouble his church as had with governments through its history because it refused to worship any nation’s flag or leaders.Â It holds to a clear and unambiguous commitment to separation of church and state.
I contrast that to a speech made in Fargo by James Watt, the Secretary of the Interior under President Reagan.Â He spoke of an emotional experience when attending the evangelical church of his childhood.Â The experience came as he looked on the flag and the cross side by side in the church.Â This was the America he respected, he said.
Atheists and Mennonites see this separation as patriotic.Â Most of the countries where we now haveÂ troopsÂ mix religion with government. Â If we could all see our government as something very different from our religious views, we would accomplish more and argue less.
So, when you see someone who does not stand for the pledge or sing the ritualistic songs at public events, don’t assumeÂ he isÂ not religious or isÂ unpatriotic.Â Â He might beÂ a very patriotic Mennonite.