Nationalism in Church

And so it begins, school is ‘finally’ back. I put finally in quotes because I don’t think it stopped over the so-called summer that I had. But that is less of an issue and more of an inconvenience that I am milking. In all honesty, I am truly blessed and excited to be back in school.

Over the past few months since my last blog post I have learned a lot about myself. Theologically speaking, I have had more than a few long conversations between myself and God to try to decipher incidents that have occurred along the way. Although a lot of these conversations are private, I will share something interesting that I have been recently thinking about.

I am co-leading the Marsh Sunday Morning Book Study. This past class we had a wonderful discussion on the politics and its ‘relation’ to the church –the book is about 5 major christian traditions; however, it can include other religions too. One of the topics we discussed is whether there should be flags supporting a country within the confines of a church. To be honest, I have never really given thought to this issue.

Some background into my upbringing: I want to a small Catholic Elementary school from kindergarten to 5th grade. The church was connected to the school that I attended. At the beginning of the school day we would say a prayer and immediately follow that with the pledge of allegiance. In front of the church there was a massive flag pole that would always have the American Flag flying. And to be quite frank, the services are at some time very nationalistic. I remember sermons about how we should be supporting the war effort and the country because it is our duty.

The discussion we had in class really got me thinking about the relation between devotion to my faith and my country. The line seems to be jaded at certain points. I can honestly say that I have not yet formulated my opinion on the issue. With that being said, I do see how over nationalism in the church setting can lead to issues. A church is supposed to be a place of worship where people can go and have a safe place. If the service is overly nationalistic it could be hard for people who are not from that specific nationality. In a very overgeneralized example, it is like a Yankees fan coming to a Red Sox v. Orioles game. Yes this is a baseball game and the Yankees fan is a baseball fan; but, they may not feel welcome because the team they are affiliated with is not playing. However, if that same fan went to the All-Star Game, they would be welcome because there is no one particular affiliation with a specific team.


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