Hyphenated No More


If a kingdom is divided against itself, it cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself, it cannot stand. Mark 3:24-25


RAMBLINGS from Evan’s dad – Evan just got back from attending a week of “Georgia Boy’s State”. This is sponsored by The American Legion and focuses on “God and Country”. It is a week where the “Boy’s State” mimic’s exactly how a real state operates. Before they go, they are schooled on every level of government and how they function.  The first two days are spent campaigning and running for office, and the rest of the week is spent actually working in your elected position.  Evan learned a great deal and walked away from it with a whole new respect for government, the political process, and our legal system.

I asked him what was his big take away from the week. The first thing he mentioned was how he noticed labels almost immediately divide. His “county” of 84 boys got together and arbitrarily they were either picked to be Federalists or Nationalists. He was picked to be a Federalist and later elected as a county commissioner. They elected two other boys who happened to be in the other party. They instantly were against each other.  If he was for it, they weren’t.  He was shocked at how natural it was to be that way.

He said it reminded him of one of his video games where they labeled half of the group red and the other blue. Immediately the polarization started, and eventually they were shooting at each other.

It made me think about the present state of our country. We have so many labels. We are either pro-this, or anti-that. Our country has become a hyphenated group of self-absorbed narcissists. We are no longer just Americans.  We all seem to be some form of “________-Americans”.

As a whole, are we Christians any better? We have broken our faith into so many subgroups that in some towns there are seven or eight protestant churches on one street with First This, Second That, Holy This, and Redeemed That, all battling for parking spots on “Church Street”.

What made our country great in the first place?  Well, for one thing, I don’t believe there were any hyphenated Americans. Many of the colonists had a common denominator of religious freedom, and over the years immigrants could not wait to be American. That quickly led to a new country who’s founding fathers wrote a Declaration of Independence and a Constitution that were laced with Christian ideas and principles. You didn’t have to be a Christian, but you needed to accept the principles born from those beliefs and convictions.

Today our hyphenated citizens are now fighting some of those principles because it falls outside their “hyphen”.

Imagine how different things might be if we went back to the beginning and all just became “Americans”.

Imagine what our neighbors and co-workers would see if all us Christians stopped hyphenating our faith and just tried to imitate Jesus……