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A question of faith: Does God 'bless America' more than other nations

Published July 12, 2003

To be truly blessed involves being in close and right relationship with God. Gospel makes clear that such blessedness is available to the hungry, to the poor, even to those who are persecuted. None are excluded from this possibility because God's redemptive and reconciling activity seeks to embrace all persons and the entire creation. The United States has been richly blessed with natural resources and material wealth. But its people have often squandered and abused this abundance, treating gracious gift as earned right. Genuine blessedness has a reciprocal character, fulfilled through thanksgiving and resulting in lives marked by generosity, wise stewardship, and justice for all. Many persons of faith in developing countries have much to teach the United States about experiencing and living blessedness. We need to stop asking God to "bless America." Instead, let us invite God to forgive our sinful ways and to reorient our lives toward shalom.

The Rev. Karen Smith Sellers, New Brighton United Church of Christ

Does America have "most favored nation status" in God's eyes? Amidst all our weaknesses and failures, we can see God's manifold blessings on America. Many of our founding fathers recognized that God is the one true God. On our coins we read, "In God We Trust." In our pledge we say we are "one nation under God." And in our national hymn we sing (pray), "God bless America." Our Founding Fathers also created a government based on God's moral law as found in the Ten Commandments. In the Bible we read, "Righteousness exalts a nation (Proverbs 14:34)." And in Psalm 33:12 we read, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD." The principles contained in these passages are universal in their application to any individual or nation that would choose to believe in the one true God and live according to his moral absolutes. Toward this end it seems that God has blessed America perhaps more than many countries in the world.

The Rev. Todd Olson, Evangelical Free Church of Willmar, Minn.

God blesses the entire world through the sacred writings of the Baha'i faith and other major world religions. He has given a special blessing to America to be the promoter of world peace. God's blessing for America is that the American nation will evolve, through tests and trials to become a land of spiritual distinction and leadership, a champion of justice and unity among all peoples and nations, and a powerful servant of the cause of everlasting peace. The Baha'i writings make clear that peace isn't just a question of signing treaties or diplomatic protocols, but it involves a whole system of spiritual principles such as the oneness of human race, the abolition of racism, the equality of women, the elimination of extremes of wealth and poverty. World peace, oneness, and unity are God's blessing and challenge not only to America but also to the entire world.

Mark H. Rossman,Minneapolis Baha'i Community

Write Sandy Di Nanni at the Star Tribune, 425 Portland Av. S., MN 55488, or e-mail her at

©Copyright 2003, The Star Tribune (MN, USA)

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