The America my parents grew up in is gone.
The America that I, a 31-year-old millennial, grew up in is quickly disappearing in what I’m calling the war on religion, liberty, and justice for all.
The current pledge of allegiance goes like: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
This very pledge I grew up reciting every morning at school has now become offensive to many mainly because it mentions “God” in it. But by the very nature of being offended by that one word our nation is slowly becoming The Divided States of America.
This division has been boiling under the surface for some time. But with recent global events, namely COVID-19, it has brought to the surface these issues. Many rioters are rioting now for reasons unrelated to police brutality. For example, a recent story of rioters burning bibles and an American flag made headlines: “Rioters carrying 'Black Lives Matter' signs threw Bibles into a fire in front of the federal courthouse in Portland and burned an American flag, leaving bystanders wondering what that act of arson had to do with protesting against police brutality.”
Many churches are coming under fire and being blamed for spreading COVID-19 when you can go to Walmart or The Home Depot and come into close contact with people while you use the self-checkout. For example, The New York Times published a story on July 8 and updated on July 10 stating, “The virus has infiltrated Sunday services, church meetings and youth camps. More than 650 cases have been linked to religious facilities during the pandemic.”
Albert Mohler, in an article published by The Christian Post, “noted that the piece, published on July 8 and updated on July 10, listed 650 confirmed novel coronavirus cases linked to 40 churches — 365 of those infections cited by the Times were in Union County, Oregon, many of which were reportedly linked to a church following a wedding that was attended by guests from out of town.” That would be 650 cases against a “‘confirmed 4.75 million cases of COVID-19 in the United States,’” according to the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.”
Mohler responded to such criticism in that he was “taking issue with how much attention the Times gave to the number linked to the churches with its headline and story.”
This war isn’t an attack on just the religious. I am a Christian and I can tell you it goes beyond just that. Our nation has become so politically divided that religion, liberty, and justice for all has become fair game in political agendas. It’s more about power, money, and how much control someone can have.
Do masks work? I honestly don’t know.
Will there be a tracer of some kind in a COVID-19 vaccine? Maybe. I don’t know.
What I do know though is that the very freedoms America has been known for since her founding are in jeopardy. And the 2020 election along with a global pandemic are bringing these issues to a tipping point. Social media giants, such as Facebook, have been coming under fire recently for apparently having a bias toward conservatives and censoring some of their posts. Some believe that this is just an example of tech giants trying to monitor free speech. Committee chairman Ted Harvey told FOX Business in a statement that Facebook is "determined to restrict free speech and attack those who dare to support President Trump."
Thousands are screaming for justice all across the country for people like George Floyd and others. A petition on Change.org called “Justice for George Floyd” has been signed by more than 19 million people and counting, demanding justice. As of May 29, there have been arrests made, but how many others are still awaiting arrests for justice to be held? This goes for victims of other crimes too and not just police brutality.
To say there is not a war on religion, liberty, and justice for all is to be blind to what is happening in our nation today. I’m not suggesting everything that is happening is for a just cause and is right but what I am suggesting is there is an anti-American spirit at work in our nation. A spirit to cause division and chaos. As a Bible-believing Christian I know that this war is a spiritual battle. The spirit of the antichrist is at work. The enemy of our souls thrives when a nation is running wild with wickedness and sin and strife.
I’m not going to blame a specific person or political party, but I will say there is evil in our backyard. But that’s not the endgame for this article.
I simply want to bring to mind that there is indeed a war waging on American soil. As an American pastor who values my faith, liberty, and justice for all, I want to use my voice to encourage people, mainly other Christians, to stand firm in this fight. As a Christian, I want to encourage people to be on their knees praying for our leaders and our nation. This is a war that will not be won at the election polls, online in social media battles, or in protests and riots. This is a war that can only be fought with folded hands and bent knees. We must “pray constantly” and “do everything in love.”
Aaron Joseph Hall is a husband, father, pastor, and writer. He lives in Okeechobee, Florida with his wife, Sarah, and their two boys. You can find him online at AaronJosephHall.com, where he blogs often. You can also connect with him on Instagram and Twitter: @AaronJosephHall