The Deuteronomic Principle in American History * In

The Deuteronomic Principle in American History * In

The Deuteronomic Principle in American History * In 1630, John Winthrop told fellow settlers aboard the Aebella on the voyage to America that if they obeyed the covenant, God would grant them domestic peace, prosperity, victory over their enemies, and a status superior to all other nations. Continued Winthrop also warned, in the words of Deuteronomy 30, that if they turned away, they would Surely Perishe. In 1777, Nicholas Street preached about the calamities the colonists were experiencing were due to God s wrath: God has a righteous controversy with us in this land; and our

iniquities have arrived to that aggravated height, that they have called for these sore calamities that we feel! And the British nation are the rod of Gods anger to the scourge and chastise us for our sins Therefore let us be humble, kiss the rod and accept the punishment of our sinsthat God may be intreated for the land, spare his heritage, and not give it up to a reproach but restore to us our liberties as at the first, and our privileges as at the beginning. Continued During the War of 1812 in a poem by Francis Scott Key, The Star- Spangled Banner, stated the Deuteronomic principle in its third stanza, Then

conquer we must, when our cause it is just, And this be our motto: In God is our trust. During the Civil War, the conviction was that the North had won the war not because it was more powerful, but because it was on the side of divine rightness. Given this little history lesson on America, the Deuteronomic Principle states it is the popular American belief that it is the most prosperous nation on Earth because of virtue. Having God on our side, and nowone elses gives us the right to do what we please, and not feel any remorse for it. Bringing Prophetic Resources to the Experience of Defeat

The first step in accepting defeat is admitting that a change must happen, and happen without help from others, according to our prophets, writers, and artists. Our current interpretation of our crisis, like September 11, 2001, places the blame and the nave resolve that, We shall defeat terrorism everywhere in the world, and we will never make a mistake like Vietnam again. This confirms the conviction that we are the innocent in a world which the guilty must be bombed. What is required of us, both as a nation and individuals, is to repent. If we refuse to repent, we shall destroy ourselves. Same can be said about the Israelis and Muslim jihadists who seek to avert defeat by ever more terrible acts of destruction.

Continued What must be done is what Abraham Lincoln called for in his time: The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country. We, as a nation, must admit that we have not been innocent lambs in a wicked world, that our violent crusades have been misguided, and that we do not have sole access to the wisdom about what other nations should do.

If we are able to make this discovery for ourselves and our nation, we might also make the deepest meaning of our religious heritage accessible. Holiness as a Theological Issue Gods people are frequently called holy- in the sense of having been called and set apart by God for Gods purposes. In Deuteronomy 14:2, the people of Israel are told, You are a people holy to the Lord your God; it is you the Lord has chosen out of all peoples on Earth to be his people, his treasured possession. The problem that occurs here is a distinction between the ultimate loyalty that is due only to God and the honors due to the government.

An example would be a national symbol, a flag, into the realm of the holy, risks being not only a violation of the 1st and 2nd Commandments, but also of the prophetic spirit found in the Bible. Continued So in response, Sheldon Nahmod tried to establish, that under the reasoning of the Johnson dissent, government can, without violating freedom of speech, appropriate a particular patriotic symbol and convert it into a sacred one for political purposes. A majority on the Supreme Court decided to not take that step, leaving the issue still debatable and up in the air.

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