My family is a bunch of kind-hearted, salt-of-the earth, God-fearing, middle Americans. They are solidly Republican (except for farm subsidies, when they are Democrats). Needless to say, they have not come to terms very well with my liberal Agnostic self.
Recently, they sent me one of those irritating chain mails. This one was another "OMG, Christians are being persecuted" ones. I'll quote it in its entirety:
YOU WONT HEAR THIS SONG IN A PUBLIC BROADCAST:
In March, 2005, this song was performed at a Diamond Rio concert. They received an immediate standing ovation, and continue to do so every time they perform it! Sadly, major radio stations wouldn't play it because it was considered politically incorrect. Consequently, the song was never released to the public. If this song speaks to your heart and you want to share it with friends and loved ones, please do. Then, regardless of our ethnic origin, let us cease being the silent majority and join together. Not as a particular political party, but as Americans!
March of 2005 was the first time this song was performed by Diamond Rio at a concert in Las Vegas. They received an immediate resounding standing ovation, and continue to do so every time they perform it! At the time, my thought was, "Everyone who loves America will be so thrilled to hear this song!" Although Diamond Rio has never before done a statement song, they felt compelled to record "In God We Still Trust." But guess what? Sadly, major radio stations wouldn't play it because it was considered politically incorrect. Consequently, the song was never released to the public.
So, America, see what you think. If this offering speaks to your heart and you feel to share it with friends and loved ones, please do. Many of us feel great concern with the movement of a dissident minority to eliminate God from the face of America! If they succeed, it will destroy the very principles upon which our nation was founded. Are we going to allow this to happen? What would that be like? More importantly..how would you feel?
Regardless of our ethnic origin, let us cease being the silent majority and join together. Not as a particular political party, but as Americans! Let us voice to the media and the powers that be how we feel about having God erased from everything that is sacred to us. If we don't do it, who will?
I rolled my eyes, but instead of sending straight to the trash, I decided to respond. Here's my email back to them:
Thank you for including me in your forward. It's nice to hear you extending the hand of dialogue over the internet.
As you probably know, I'm Agnostic and have completely rejected the Christian faith. The song you sent me, aside from not being my cup of musical tea, was very offensive to me as a non-Christian because it implied both that as a non-Christian I was not "truly American". It also implied that because I was not a knee-jerk nationalist I did not condemn the 9-11 attack, which is also hurtful and not true.
There were also a number of false statements and assumptions in the song that I would like to point out to you. To whit:
1) The song did not receive air time because it was too "politically incorrect". This is false: the song did receive air time, but it didn't receive widespread airtime because it was not released as a single. Snopes has further information here.
2) The song itself had many inaccurate or misleading statements, the biggest one being the idea that this is a Christian nation, or was based on Christian theology.You place your hand on His bible, when you swear to tell the truth.
This is no longer done, for obvious reasons of violation of church and state.His name is on our greatest monuments an' all our money too.
It's not on a whole list of monuments, and it wasn't on our money until the Red Scare. (Ironic, isn't it, that a faith that dictates that one "give unto Caesar’s which is Caesar’s" put god's name on Caesar’s goods).An' when we pledge allegiance, there's no doubt where we stand:
Again, that pledge was changed during the red scare.There's no separation, we're one nation under Him.
There is a separation: many Americans are different faiths or not faithful at all. This is explicitly othering non-Christian Americans.Now there are those among us,
Who wanna push Him out.
And erase his name from everything,
This country's all about.
The country is NOT based on Christian principles. A simple cross-examination of the Bill of Rights and the Ten Commandments would clearly demonstrate that. Notably, the very first commandment of "Thou shall have no other God before me" contricts the right of free exercise of religion.From the schoolhouse to the courthouse,
They're silencing His word,
An' now it's time for all believers,
To make our voices heard.
This makes it sound like Christians are being persecuted where they are not. Think of it this way: if the majority of the people in your school were Muslim and every day at school they lead the school in morning prayers you'd feel pretty marginalized. Now imagine that you went to the courthouse and ascribed above the wall was "All that oppose Allah are infidels". I'm sure you would not feel that you were going to get an unbiased court. The same applies to Christians: you do not have precedence over schools. You're faith, in the eyes of the law, is equally as valid as anyone else's.
I'm hoping to hear back from you on this subject soon.