Loyalty to God and country

Over at The Jury Talks Back, Not Rhetorical asked an interesting question:

“I’m a Christian first and an American second.” If you heard someone say that, would you consider it divided loyalty? What if a soldier said it?

I responded that I would not be surprised at all, because if anyone claims to believe in God but doesn’t place him as the primary influence in his life then that person does not really believe in God. It doesn’t matter which god – the God of Israel, Allah, Zeus, you name it – if God exists, then your entire existence is shaped by that fact. Anything else you do must be in the context of what that all-powerful God wished you to do or to be. I think the US Armed Forces understand this, given that they’ve allowed soldiers whose faith prevents them from fighting to serve other roles so as not to force a showdown between God and country.

This quote, however, comes from Nidal Hasan, the Ft. Hood shooter. He apparently made it public knowledge that he considered himself a Muslim first and an American second – a fact which is being played up as another sign of his blind devotion and barbarism. This should surprise no one. No political entity can match the sheer clout of a deity. The fact that he considered his religion to be the primary motivator in his life is a perfectly rational response to his beliefs, and using this point as evidence of his insanity is at best intellectually dishonest and at worst outright anti-religious propaganda. Continue reading Loyalty to God and country