I know a man. He is a likeable, friendly 60 something. I have known him and his wife for at least a decade. Always, I smile when I chance to meet up with him. I haven’t seen his wife since she went into an Alzheimer’s care facility a few years ago. My friend is always upbeat and positive although I know the daily visits with his wife trouble him. Although he retired from the military sometime ago, I suspect he soldiers on doing his duty just as he did for more than 20 years.
Last week he had a nice lapel pin on. It was a U.S. flag, brightly colored red, white and blue, artfully draped over a gold cross. When asked about it by another friend, he said “... to him it stood for God and country”. I thought about saying something but didn’t. Whatever I said wouldn’t change anything and quite possibly would antagonize him. He is my friend and I am still glad to see him when we meet. Still, I am conscious of the pang I felt when he linked “God and country”. He is not alone of course. Most “Christians” would probably link the two if asked. But, I always wonder how citizens that are Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Wiccan, or whatever, might feel about country being joined to Jesus in some operation right out Frankenstein.
Maybe, they feel the same as I do about it.
Maybe, the same feeling is felt by the Sunni rebels in Syria towards the Assad family who belong to the Alawite sect of Shia Islam.
Or maybe it was like how the Shia majority in Iraq felt about the Sunni Saddam Hussein.
I can guess that Jews in Eastern Europe felt the same unease living in the Christian nations of Russia, Poland, and Germany.
After the Islamic Moors were kicked out of Spain (by the point of the sword) in 1492, Spanish Jews probably had a similar feeling until they too were told to leave or become Christian. They were robbed, raped and in general abused as they left.
When the Pope gave most of the new world to Spain, Native Americans in the Spanish portion automatically became Catholic – only Catholics lived in Spain and Spanish possessions – they had similar feelings no doubt.
Good things rarely happen for minorities in lands where laws are made because “god says so”. Especially if the god that is doing the saying isn’t your God.