By Hos"When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and holding a cross". Attributed to Sinclair Lewis
Recording artist Lee Greenwood has an interview on the CNN in which he proclaims America to be a christian nation. He does it in a rather smarmy way; he starts by telling us that the majority of the population are Christians (has anyone ever doubted that?). He would be skeptical of any poll showing the majority not being chrisitans (have you ever seen any?). He goes on to add that immigrants coming here should expect to be among Christians, just as when he goes to the middle east he expects to be Muslims, or when he goes to Japan he expects to be among Buddhists (wrong, Mr Greenwood: Japan is one of the most secular nations in the world, and anyway, Shinto is not the exact same thing as Buddhism.) There are a few interesting omissions: for instance, that 16% of the population have no religious affiliation, and that among the youth, lack of faith is rising really, really fast.
As such, what ultimately may one day threaten the majority status of Christianity is not immigration; it is disaffiliation among the youth.
But who is Lee Greenwood? Well, he is best know for this song. (Which he also sang at a rally for Sarah Palin.)
What an emotional crowd. But did you see a black face among them? Me neither. And if I were to guess, I wouldn't expect there to be many Jews among them, either.
But all the bluster does remind me of another song that I once heard. What song was it? Oh, I remember now.
The main reason for comparing the two is that in each case we have an ideology claiming ownership of a nation. In doing so, the ideology turns everyone else into a second class citizen. And I think it is a shame that media outlets cover the statements of someone like Greenwood with no critical analysis or counterpoint.
As an aside, there are ways to be patriotic other than flag waving and bluster: protecting our environment, providing equal educational opportunities to minorities and other inner city residents, fighting racial inequality, stopping the states from laying off teachers and emergency responders through stimulus spending...but I doubt any of this would be on Mr Greenwood's radar.