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While Liberals, perhaps, disagree, many Christians entertain the strong belief that the United States of America is ‘God’s Own Country’.

Stated belief is true in the sense that, consistent with prophecy in Revelation 12:15–17, it was departure from, or deportation of Christians from Western Europe to the United States that was succor for persecution of Protestants by the Papal Church, in course of the Reformation that commenced in the 16th Century.

Importantly, if the Papal Church had listened to the admonition of one of its foremost theologians, Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), who had written that matters of faith had to be treated as matters of reasoning and conscience, with outcome practice and beliefs of faith are personal, not institutional, the Papal Church would have eschewed the course of persecution of fellow Christians.

In the opportunity to depart for the USA, or in their deportation to the USA, many Protestants found opportunity, not only for worship of God as they best deemed fit, but for building of new economic lives.

Life in that version of the United States was not easy, but unless corporations were mistreating migrants by cheating them out of their land for building of railways, it was life that was free.

But, does the fact that a Country has served God’s purposes in the past, imply that it remains in good graces of God? Well then, let us hear from God Himself in words spoken in Jeremiah 18:5–10.

Then the word of the Lord came to me. “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter has done? says the Lord. Behold, like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. If at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, and if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will repent of the evil that I intended to do to it (Jeremiah 18:5–8, RSV).

And if at any time I declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, and it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will repent of the good, which I intended to do it (Jeremiah 18:9–10, RSV).

The evidence from God is unequivocal. If a country delights in evil, it receives evil from God as fruit of the seed that is sown.

What then are things that God characterizes as evil? Well, with God, evil consists majorly in three things: first, delight in mistreatment of others; second, civil laws that empower mistreatment of others; and third, regardless of the evidence, refusal to acknowledge, in the mind, evidence that the brain recognizes as supportive of existence of God.

The evidence is clear cut; if Christians truly desire, in a spiritual, as opposed to some persecution sense, that the USA have character of ‘God’s Own Country’, it is actions of Christians, and adoption of similar actions by non-Christians — absent acknowledging of Jesus as Lord and Savior, this is possible ( I am not aware of any religious tenet that promotes mistreatment of the other, or civil codes that empower mistreatment of others, but then many a times, the spirit and the letter of religion can be at odds with one another) — that will characterize the USA as ‘God’s Own Country’.

First, the three countries that fiercely persecuted Protestants — Spain, France, and Italy — lag behind the United Kingdom, which while it also initially persecuted Protestants, would change course in course of the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Second, the Nordic Countries, most of whom aided by the British Navy, helped protect Protestants from persecution, all fare better today than either of the United Kingdom, or any of Spain, France, or Italy. The United Kingdom fares worse, because while it did come to the aid of the Nordic Countries against the Spanish Armada, simultaneously Protestants experienced persecution in England (William Tyndale (1492–1536), an Englishman was burned at the stake for translating the Bible). On the contrary, contemporaneous men, such as Erasmus, born 1516, who also translated the Bible, and Zwingli (1484–1531) who exposited the Bible extensively, thrived in context of residence in the Nordic Countries.

On same note, while the United Kingdom and the Nordic Countries still are regarded as bastions of innovative industrial activity, none of Spain, France, or Italy, countries that, at different times dominated the then known world, retain character of bastions of innovative industrial activity. Call it chance, or call it outcome of God’s response to actions that are evil, that is, mistreatment of others merely because they believe differently, the evidence raises cause for exercise of caution. Plus, Jesus and His Father expressly command that Christians love their enemies (Matthew 5:43–44), meaning a Christian never is able to justify persecution of others, merely because they choose to believe differently.

In aggregate, the evidence is consistent with punishments from God for mistreatment of fellow men (the 30-years war, First and Second World Wars etc. and plagues, such as the ‘bubonic’ plague, all of which commenced in succession in Western Europe about 1563 AD, timing at which, persecution of Protestants became official policy of the Papacy and the three kingdoms, France, Italy, and Spain), and God’s command that Christians only love their neighbors. If you have a different interpretation, it must be internally consistent and explain retrogression experienced by three previously great kingdoms — France, Spain, and Italy. Remember, wars (Revelation 6:3–4) and plagues (Deuteronomy 28:58-63) are part of God’s chosen punishments for those who do evil to neighbors.

Subsequent to defeat and execution of his co-emperor who was persecuting Christians about 321 AD, Constantine the Great passed a law stipulating no one was to experience persecution, because now that he, the Emperor had become Christian, a person refuses to become a Christian. People were to be judged on basis of their actions, not on basis of their beliefs.

Given Roman Senators would not abandon their pantheon of gods for acknowledging of Jesus and His Father alone as God, Constantine the Great practiced faith in Jesus by avoiding conflict with the senators, by choosing to raise an entirely new kingdom — the Eastern Roman Empire, also to be known as the Christian Byzantine Empire — in the Eastern regions of the Roman Empire, capital headquartered in Constantinople. Though Emperor, Constantine chose peace, reasoning, and efforts for taking care of his people, not demonstration of power in relation to Roman Senators as evidence for his new found faith in Jesus Christ.

By 475 AD, Roman Senators had lost their power, there was not any longer any Western Roman Empire, and the Emperor of the Western Roman Empire had been deposed by Barbarian Visigoths. The Christian Byzantine Empire would remain strong and be the only beacon for civilization in the then known world up until it was militarily undermined by fellow Christians about 1201 AD.

The chink in the armor that led to demise of the Christian Byzantine Empire? While peasants were protected in the sense that, conditional on provision of soldiers to the king (typically, one male of fighting age per family), they owned their lands and kept all of their produce, commencing about 1059 AD, the empire began to adopt the feudal system that operated in Western Europe, a system in context of which peasants served Lords or Barons who kept most of the produce that came out of labors of the peasants.

Turns out God rather would have peasants free, than tied to apron strings of feudal lords. By 1071 AD, a kingdom that never had lost a war since 325 AD would suffer its first stinging military defeat. After about 800 years of civil laws that protected against mistreatment, the kingdom lost its way and protections afforded by God.

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Educator and Researcher, Believer in Spirituality, Life is serious business, but we all are pilgrims so I write about important stuff with empathy and ethos

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