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Published on Nov 19, 2010
The width of the copy room door at my work is spanned by a poster of a USA flag with the words "GOD BLESS AMERICA" in bold font below. It's bad enough that requests for blessings are being posted in a government building like where I work, but that complaint is superseded by the bible on the bookshelf inside of the copy room. My complaint is with the phrase "God bless America" in and of itself. I find it difficult to understand why people who worship a being whom they think created the entire cosmos and designed every human who ever existed for a unique and individual purpose, really believe that God cares about one country over the other. The idea of borders and property lines are completely designed and maintained by man. Humans are the ones who decided what property belongs to whom, through diplomatic, financial, and militaristic means all around the world. Can any theist really justify thinking God would or could ever bless a single country over another one? Not only is it impractical to believe that God would favor one man-made nation over another because he appreciates one nation's religious tendencies or governmental policies more than the rest, but it's incredibly selfish to only wish a blessing upon your own country. If you feel you can sway God to bless an entire nation of people, why stop there? Why not ask God to bless the entire planet, or the entire human race? Does that seem like too big of a request for him, or does the rest of the world not seem as worthy of God's blessing as America apparently is? If God was real and I was God, I'd be frustrated by America. Its leaders have claimed to go to war with my support, even when I didn't give it to them. Its people are among the most likely to express their faith in me, but the least likely to actually read my holy text. They have pretentiously pestered me with prayers for trivial matters like promotions at work while other nations were asking for things like food and clean water. They bragged the most about their love for my alleged son, but ignored his basic teachings of generosity and selflessness the most. They have collected millions of tax exempt dollars in my name, but never given me a cent. Putting myself in the position of a God, I see no reason that America of all places deserves any variety of blessing at all- let alone more than the other countries. It is typical that nationalism would run through our American veins enough to make us vain enough to believe that God would prefer us. It's natural for humans to categorize ourselves into groups and to associate a loyal pride to that group to solidify ourselves in the advantages of group survival. From a young age we teach or children to have family, ethnic, school, religious, and of course national pride. We teach this as if the child has any choice as to what family and ethnic group they're born into, what school or religion they belong to at a young age. As if they could be proud of the decision to be born in the country they were. We teach them to behave as if those arbitrary things about their ethnic and geographic locations are accomplishments for them to gloat over. So it's understandable that children injected with false pride at a young age would grow into ignorant adults who expect some God to bless their country and only their country, just because that's the country they happen to have been born in. I prefer to reserve my pride for things that I actually had some choice in or effect on.