Religion and Nation

It is quite interesting reading about how religion can hold people together, but just as well tear them apart while we are living in this time in history. Durkheim stated that social cohesion occurred through people who were similar with each other and religion being central to this similarity. Now when we bring civil religion and nationalism into the same topic, we see a pattern especially in the United States. Civil religion tells us that God has a relationship with the U.S. if we lead the country in the “right” way. Now since the beginning of this country’s history this idea led to “Manifest Destiny” which has become cause and justification for genocide against Native Americans, racism against slaves, xenophobia, etc. It’s this idea that religion and nationalism go together because God loves this country IF we run it a certain way, and I’d go far as to say, exclude some people out. This priestly civil religion states that “our kind of people” are the best and therefore, what we say goes. It’s quite interesting that Trump is running this country under this very same rhetoric. “America 1st” is not a new concept and involves putting us before anyone else because God has a special relationship with us. It’s truly disheartening because this kind of belief is not inclusive of all people. Obama heavily stressed a more prophetic civil religion view in that we have a higher calling and certain ideals to meet if we are to call ourselves great. This focused on more caring about your neighbor, and reminding us that what makes this country great is our diversity.