empty church pews
Empty church pews are a threat to America's bedrock principles.

The following guest sermon was submitted by ULC minister Bradley Blaire. All ULC Ministers are invited to contribute their own sermons for consideration/publication. To submit a sermon, please email it to sermons@themonastery.org_._


A new poll out from Gallup shows that faith is down across America. Less than 50% of Americans report being members of a church. If that's not a huge warning sign, I don't know what is. 

The last year has certainly not helped the institutions of faith that built this country. Some church doors have been closed for over a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, forced to take their sermons online.

Anyone who’s ever gone to church knows what a crippling blow this was. Church is built on community.

Some people are celebrating the decline of faith and churchgoing in America. But not me. Religion, and Christianity in particular, is part of the fabric of this nation. We'd be foolish to turn away from it in this time of grave need. 

America is Built on Christianity

While America was not founded as a theocracy, it is built on Christian morality. Our founding documents use biblical language and Christian rhetoric at every turn. The Declaration of Independence, for example, states:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

The document concludes with the following:

“With a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”

These statements were not inserted haphazardly. All 56 men who signed that document knew that ‘our Creator’ means the Abrahamic God.

Indeed, while the founders did not want the establishment of a national church, they almost unanimously agreed on the value of promoting Christianity in public life. Even Thomas Jefferson, a deist, was often keen to link the United States and religion. His (rejected) design for the seal of the United States was a depiction of Moses leading the exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt.

God is everywhere in this great country - ‘In God We Trust’ is printed on our currency. ‘Under God’ is in our Pledge of Allegiance. But more importantly, the freedoms that we are lucky to enjoy are granted to us not by man – who is fallible, shortsighted, and easily corrupted – but by our Creator, who is infallible and of enduring spirit. 

The Heart of the Nation

We’ve established how important Christianity was in shaping America’s past. I believe it’s also important to shaping America’s present, and future.

You could argue that never has this country, deeply divided as we are, needed faith MORE than right now. The worst mistake we could make is to plug our ears to God's word when it matters most. 

As we rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic, we'll need strong arms around us. Church is one of our most valuable community resources, a place where neighbors become our extended family. A place of helping, healing, and spiritual growth. A place where we can anchor ourselves in Christ.

Humans are social animals. In every small town in America, there is a house of God where the community gathers each Sunday to pray and lift each other up. It is the soul of the community.

It stands to reason, then, that attacks on religion put the very soul of this nation at risk. We must not roll over when challenged by those who would seek to tear down this way of life.

Faith will endure. 

21 comments

  1. Dave J's Avatar Dave J

    If Christianity built this country, then it is a travesty. Good Christians owning slaves were the original titans of industry. And we are still weeping from that horrid application of the bible. As for "One nation, Under God" in the pledge of allegiance, that was added during the McCarthy era. That's also when "In god we trust" was added to currency. Do you really want to be reminded of that time? Or do you not read history? Do you want to be condemned to repeat it? It is not religion that this country needs for the future, it is caring individuals doing the right thing. Religion is not the sole source of morality. If it was, then which religion? I will eschew them all, thank you. I can be moral and just and kind withough having to rely on bronze age texts that tell me to kill my children if they disobey me. The evangelicals are going to be the downfall of this country.

    1. Rev Nolan's Avatar Rev Nolan

      I completely agree. I concur especially when you state: “It is not religion that this country needs for the future, it is caring individuals doing the right thing. Religion is not the sole source of morality. If it was, then which religion?”

      I lean toward non-sectarian Islam which forbids organized religion and advocates for true Sharia laws, which is a huge contrast to what we know from sectarian Islam. It’s like vegetarianism where you don’t eat meat. If you eat meat, you are not a vegetarian. If you go contrary to the Qur’ān, you are not a Muslim like all Islamic sects. If you punish people of different sexual, religious, dietary, and other walks of life, then you have no clue what true Sharia Law is.

      In my thinking, you make an excellent point in asking the question of “...then which religion.” I concur that religion is not the answer to society’s current woes and future challenges, but genuinely good, caring people doing the right thing is the answer as well as respecting all walks of life.

      Thank you for your comments.

  1. Rev. Laurie G. Cleveland RN's Avatar Rev. Laurie G. Cleveland RN

    I did Christmas service f I r kids on an adolescent unit. It was based on 3 wooden Crosses by Ray Travis. I held up my once white Rainbow Girls Bible that you get when you turn 18. It had been through a house fire. It had soot o. It, the binding was a mess. I told them that they were a lot like this Bible. But then I showed them the inside. Every page could be read. There was nothing wrong with it. You can choose to be wants on the outside or choose what is on the inside.

    1. Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson's Avatar Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson

      This Master Mason applauds your approach with those youths.

  1. John P Maher's Avatar John P Maher

    PEOPLE, GOOD PEOPLE ARE THE SOUL of THE WORLD, NOT GODS, NOT LIES, NOT FAITH in LIES, NOT GREED, NOT GOLD, BUT GOOD PEOPLE !

  1. James Pace's Avatar James Pace

    You scare me. Ever heard of a thing called separation of church and state? This country most definitely was not built on christianity.

    1. John Norris Campbell's Avatar John Norris Campbell

      You may be right that these states were not "built on Christianity"....except for the fact that EVERY person that had a hand in formulating the constituation of these states that form a union had some form of christianity....maybe not your paticular brand, but nevertheless....still ONE NATION UNDER GOD....And not the god of Odin...Moleck...Satan...or any other lesser god you can think of...So yea! worship your pretend gods....this country guarentees your freedom

      1. Alan Meunier's Avatar Alan Meunier

        The founding fathers were NOT Christian, they were diests, and a few were even (gasp!) atheists!

        1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

          Is your gasp Sir one of dismay, or pleasure.

          Many atheists I know are very pleasant and intelligent, with great morals, which cannot be said for most of the gods that many people follow. I guess there’s good and bad in most of us though.

          Thank you for your comment.

          🦁❤️

    2. CB's Avatar CB

      Actually it was. Please do some research on the Founding Fathers, and the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of 1776 and the Bill of Rights.

  1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

    What made America was slavery, not religion.

    1. Judith's Avatar Judith

      Slavery was still legal in Great Britain until 1833, almost 60 years after the United States separated from them. Slavery was NOT the reason this country was formed.

  1. Catherine Colvin's Avatar Catherine Colvin

    Religions:

    ~ established and foster organized codependency ~ nurture ignorance through brainwashing ~ develop/ed insane torture devices ~ thrive on division and manipulation ~ create needless wars and deaths of innocents ~ established convents as brothels, enslaved children and women for comfort or pleasure, concubines and geishas, the Magdalene Laundries, etcetera ~ maintain homelessness and prisons as lucrative revenue producers ~ keep potentially capable people guilt ridden and unable to accept credit for good effort or accept responsibility for transgressions

    Religion is a bully's tool.

    I would not be surprised if religions destroy more life than - with the exception of humans - all the predators in the world combined.

  1. Clifford's Avatar Clifford

    Was it “In God we Trust”? Or Religion? There is a difference..

  1. CB's Avatar CB

    Christianity (and spirituality in general) is being attacked. See: https://www.naturalnews.com/2021-04-01-big-tech-censoring-religious-content-protecting-satanism-pedophilia.html

  1. CB's Avatar CB

    See: https://www.naturalnews.com/2021-04-01-big-tech-censoring-religious-content-protecting-satanism-pedophilia.html

    1. china mayhew's Avatar china mayhew

      please, my state just issued the master list of catholic priest involved in sexual misconduct. of the 12 priests i had contact with in my first 18 years 9 were on the list. one cut a swath from ct to fla and up into ontario. he liked little boys. then there was the one we had over for dinner at least once a month, he was ever so youth involved. it was thought making him principle of the catholic high school would solve the problem. three catholic churches in the town all with multiple priests implicated in sexual misconduct. religion is an internship program for pedophiles. pedophiles flock

      1. Rev Nolan's Avatar Rev Nolan

        I disagree that “...religion is an internship program for pedophiles. pedophiles flock.” I could say the same thing about religion with regard to murderers and any other felons and those guilty of misdemeanors. Most of them in America are indeed Christian and the majority of Christians in the United States don’t even believe in the true and contextual teachings of Jesus. There are those who commit one crime and those who commit other crimes whether associated with religion or not, so that being said I would agree with you if you said instead that “... America is an internship program for criminal behavior.”

  1. Walter Eugene Curtis's Avatar Walter Eugene Curtis

    To the extent that a religion enables practice-makes-perfect for positive spiritual principles propounded by said religion, it is furthering and enabling a greater alignment with the Creator (however one chooses to name or define that). Making spirituality practical and part of everyday life is one of the best reasons for a religion to exist.

    For a nice example of this, check out "The Case for the Psalms," by N. T. Wright. https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-case-for-the-psalms-n-t-wright/1114298610?ean=9780062230515

  1. Jeanette Harlow's Avatar Jeanette Harlow

    Hi, somehow I missed the part where the following quote from this article stated "Christianity?"

    "“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

    The document concludes with the following:

    “With a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.”"

    It appears to me that they believed in a Creator/God/Goddess that didn't need religion to explain universal truths. Source Creator, in my view is not limited by religion...rather he/she/it is expanded by all our individual abilities to "take God out of the box"! Or so, that has been my mission this lifetime.

    Blessings to all who engage in and believe in their own personal connection to all that is. Rhea Summer Rain

  1. Brien's Avatar Brien

    I don't care what you believe in. I don't care how you worship. I don't care what label you self identify with. You should not care about any of those when it comes to me. This country was founded on freedom, and as most politicians are in it for themselves, so where our first politicians. They simply did not wish to keep paying royal taxes. It was about their freedom, not everyone in general, (most of them were slave owners/traders), it was just the byproduct of what they were starting. Sorry to remove the noble brainwashing, but sometimes the truth isn't as flowery as the history books. That being said, it did evolve into a country built upon freedoms, freedoms that are growing all the time. Freedom OF religion, and freedom FROM religion is the most basic of these rights. So, please, stop trying to shove the Christianity version of what this country was based upon. You truly do not have a good position on this. Those folks that you insist were Christian based were not much of a good Christian unless you think it is ok to trade in human flesh, because they did. Fortunately we as a country are trying to evolve past the whole skin color thing, which of course was brought over to this land by those that history credits for discovery, and those who decided to tell a king to take a hike, our founding fathers. There is just so much wrong with the whole based on Christianity thing. If you are going to try to give credit, make sure you point out the flaws too. As for me, freedom from Christianity is something I hold most dear. Peace

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