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…It is not.  It is alive and well and in our midst.  And it isn’t even ashamed of itself.  It’s loud and proud.  And it’s hungry for more minds and hearts, and in this case votes.

Here’s a quote from a guy who is running for Congress, right here in Central PA:

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and more:

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(Source: Click here if you want to read all nine pages of this candidate’s rant.  The above quotes are taken from pg. 8 and 9 respectively.)

In case you want to know, his name is Sean Donahue.  On his website homepage he states:

The US was created for Americans who chose to worship God through Christianity. 

Source: Again, click here if you can stomach it.

As a pastor, I question what he means by Christianity and what god he is worshiping.  We can’t possibly be worshiping the same God.

Yet, working my way through the Old Testament, I can’t deny the genocide, racism, and nationalism that is ever-present and done in the name of God.

Humanity hasn’t changed that much – dehumanizing, devaluing, and separating people because of race, belief, etc.  And doing it in the name of God.

It’s right here in our backyard.

But it isn’t the end of the story.  For Christians there is more to God’s story and to God’s relationship with us.  And it is in the person of Jesus – the one who spent time with the outcasts. The one who walked through Samaria – the people the Jews hated and saw no value in.  He not only walked through Samaria, but talked with people and declared salvation to them.

Because that’s what God always does – God goes to the oppressed, to the outcast, to the outsiders and God encounters them.  God dwells with them.  God proclaims a message of hope, peace, forgiveness, and liberation.

It’s not just a message for the outcast and imprisoned.  It’s also for the oppressor.  To free them from their own bondage.  A bondage to fear, anger, hopelessness, mistrust, and more.

It’s a message for you and for me.  It’s a message for Sean also.  Our salvation doesn’t reside in the US as a nation, or the flag, or anything that the nation stands for.  Our salvation doesn’t reside in me-first and us-first mentalities.  Our salvation doesn’t reside in what gun we can tote.  Our salvation doesn’t reside in troops or armaments.  Our salvation doesn’t reside in politicians or in flawed ideology.  Our salvation doesn’t reside in our skin color or in nationalism.

Our salvation resides in Jesus – God who took on flesh and dwelt among humanity.  God who took on specific flesh in a specific place and time.  God who came as a brown-skinned Jew in what is now modern-day Israel and Palestine – not white America.  God who didn’t speak English, but rather Aramaic and Hebrew.  God who looked, thought, acted, and spoke as far different from what White Nationalist picture Jesus to be as you could get.

That is the God I worship.  That is the God I know in Christianity.  That is our hope and salvation.