An Argument For The Separation Of Church And State

, , | Richardson, TX, USA | Friendly | February 21, 2017

This took place a few years ago when the Fourth of July, the day the United States celebrates its founding, fell on a Sunday. Every year our church hosts a different young minister from England as a staff intern for several months, and on this particular Sunday the new minister and his wife have just arrived and are introduced from the pulpit. And right after their introduction? The congregation stood and sang “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.” Most everyone seemed oblivious, but to me it was a bit awkward that our guests were being “treated” to their own national anthem, “God Save the Queen,” with American lyrics.

I quickly scanned the worship service bulletin, hoping that was the end of the awkwardness. It was not. I was mortified to see that the church organist had selected a patriotic march to play at the end of the service: John Philip Sousa’s “Liberty Bell March.” Yes, our British visitors’ first American church service ended with the theme to “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”!

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