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Idol Worship in Modern America

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It would be OK, perhaps, if we sang the last verse:

O, thus be it ever when freemen shall stand,
Between their lov’d homes and the war’s desolation;
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the Pow’r that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

I wrote an essay on this, “Should everyone put their hand on their chest, stand, and sing the national anthem while facing the flag at the sporting events of Christian schools?” An excerpt:

We Protestants feel very self-satisfied about images. Foolish Roman Catholics fall into idolatry, and the Jews were so foolish that the Bible had to give more attention to idolatry than to any other sin, but we are too modern for that to be a danger. We advanced Christians can go on to worry about “idols” like wealth and pride.

But what if a Martian came to Earth and attended a Protestant school’s basketball game? Before the game, he would see a leader saying a short prayer to Jesus Christ. The people would bow their heads as they sat, and they would listen respectfully. Then the Martian would see the people stand up instead of just sitting. They would turn to face a big piece of cloth with stripes on it on the wall high above them. They would put their hands on their hearts at that point— not for the prayer— and a beautiful young priestess would lead them in a song. Most of the participants would be too embarassed to sing, but they would do everything else and they’d try to look worshipful. If the Martian could look into their hearts, he’d see many of them radiating sincere love towards the piece of cloth— many more, in fact, than were radiating love towards anywhere at all during the prayer. The song would last somewhat longer than the prayer, and then the people would sit down and watch the game.

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