Looks Like Trump is Sufjan’s Choice for POTUS

Mark Tooley reports that Sufjan Stevens opposes Christian nationalism:

Musician Sufjan Stevens blogged last week about politics and faith, decrying the parochialism of American Christianity while unconsciously offering his own brand of uniquely American impatient individualism.

The blog was republished in The Washington Post online, headlined “Stop repeating the heresy of declaring the United States a ‘Christian nation.’”

“You cannot pledge allegiance to a nation state and its flag and the name of God, for God has no political boundary,” according to Stevens. “God is love, period. God is universal, nameless, faceless, and with no allegiance to anything other than love.” He added: “A ‘Christian Nation’ is absolutely heretical. Christ did not come into this world to become a modifier. Look what happened to the Holy Roman Empire.”

That’s why President Trump’s failure to use religion to sacralize national purpose must be an encouragement to all who reject arguments that make American a Christian nation. John Fea notes that POTUS may be a blessing for mainline Protestants who edit Christian Century:

Theologians have long been wary or dismissive of civil religion, noting that it often functions as a rival religion to authentic faith—it’s a brand of Christian heresy. Civil religion borrows Christian themes but celebrates the stories and martyrs of the nation rather than the church and treats the nation rather than the church as the vehicle of God’s purposes. As such, especially in times of war, American civil religion has been an invitation to hubris and self-righteousness; it can cloak mundane self-interest in religious garb.

Yet because civil religion claims a transcendent purpose for the nation, it has also offered a basis for judging the nation’s failures and spurring it to reform. Because the nation has claimed high ideals for itself, it has invited a moral critique. It was in that tradition that Martin Luther King Jr. blended biblical ethics with democratic principles to condemn racial segregation as a betrayal of the nation’s creed of equality for all. It is in that tradition that protesters took to the streets in recent weeks to insist that the United States fulfill its promise to be a beacon of freedom to refugees from all lands and religions.

Christians have no ultimate stake in the survival of American civil religion. Its demise under Trump could conceivably encourage the church to claim and assert its distinct identity apart from the rhetoric of American politics. Yet insofar as the demise of American civil religion spells the contraction of moral imagination and the loss of a horizon of moral judgment and aspiration, it is hardly a development that Christians can cheer. The collapse of a Chris­tian heresy can lead to things that are far worse.

Just like the broken clock that is right two times each day, every Christian is going to have a 2k moment sometime in her life.

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8 thoughts on “Looks Like Trump is Sufjan’s Choice for POTUS

  1. “Just like the broken clock that is right two times each day, every Christian is going to have a 2k moment sometime in her life”

    It’ll be my first ever reblog when you finally have yours Darryl 😀
    (jist kiddin…. kinda)

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  2. “Christ did not come into this world to become a modifier. Look what happened to the Holy Roman Empire.”

    It’s great that Trump does not do what he does in the name of Christ. It’s not great that presidents do what they do.

    Unless Sufjan learns to compartmentalize, he will end up saying no Christian could do what ANY president does. “No modifier” means no “hybrid” which means no “neutral” which means no “two kingdoms at the same time”

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  3. Sufjan Stevens makes some diverting and overly-hipsterized music. He also dresses funny. And has a temperament with strong whiffs of the one that led The Artist Formerly Known as Leslie Phillips to march straight out of the church. Hopefully that does not make him destined to repeat her missteps. As for God having no political boundary, I’d halfway concur, and halfway ask, what about the boundary that is the threshold of a Planned Parent abortuary? If the Dems insist on making PP or “WOmen’s Health” a political issue, than God might just have one or two boundary issues as political as a swastika tattoo.

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  4. “…And has a temperament with strong whiffs of the one that led The artist Formerly Known as Leslie Phillips to march straight out of the church. Hopefully that does not make him destined to repeat her missteps. …”
    Quite so, and many others. These groovy a-theological convictionless weirdos are just another symptom of today’s American church.

    I’d be happy to be wrong, but I bet it’s only a matter of time before it becomes known that this guy either likes boys himself or is pretty sure God has no problem with same sex sex. Strong whiffs indeed.

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  5. Colossians 2:16 God disarmed the powers and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in Him

    Hebrews 2:8 God left nothing outside of his control, at present we do not yet see everything in subjection to him

    I Cor 15:25 Christ must reign until he has put all things in subjection to him

    If we really believe that Christ’s kingdom has already come, why do we need to be so devoted to the idea of a “natural law” by which president have a right do certain reasonable things to kill our enemies? Isn’t that kind of “saving our lives” for people who have no hope that Christ died for them and that Christ will raise them from the dead?

    I Peter 2: 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps. 22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” 23 When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly.

    But for you who fear my name
    The Son of righteousness will rise
    With healing in his wings
    And you shall go forth again
    And skip about like calves
    Coming from their stalls at last

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