Why God Bless America?

GodI can’t figure it out, and I’ve thought about it, but why is “God bless America” a popular saying? It seems somehow, elitist, exclusionary. I mean, if we go by inference, what’s between the lines, or what remains unsaid, if God blesses America, what about the rest of the world?

Why would God bless America if he did bless it (assuming God is a he)?

I never hear anyone say, God bless France. Or, God bless the United Arab Emirates. I’ve never heard a foreigner say, God bless my particular country.

Many people over the centuries have invoked God’s name including soldiers when they conquered other countries by saying “God is with us.”

But God bless America?

This seems to be a peculiarly American wish. First of all, if God only blesses America, and doesn’t bother to bless Uruguay, then God only represents America. God is supposed to be the God of all people, believers and non.
This saying seems at odds with what every major religion on the face of the earth claims, the universality of God, in other words, my God is the God—-of all people. I never hear the Pope say the Catholic God is only God over America. If God only blesses America, he must be mostly America’s God, and not the God of Mongolia.

When you say God bless America, America only makes up about five percent of the world’s population. What about the rest? They don’t matter?

What if I made it even more exclusionary and said God bless Reno? Everybody else is left out. Now, I’m sure God could find something nice about Reno to want to bless it. It has gambling, and it has hills that turn golden in the sunset. But if you said Gold bless Reno, and reasonable people heard you say that, I’m certain most would say that sounds a little bit foolish.

They’d think you were a moron. God bless Reno?

Why should God bless America?

Why should God bless an artificial border created by men, as women had very little to do with both the Louisiana and Gadsden purchases of 1807 and 1853, that occupies a 3,000-mile swath of the North American Continent, and was created largely by purchase, or outright conquest, from its original native inhabitants, and Spaniards who had come before? A confederation of states ruled from the District of Columbia, a tiny piece of land stolen from Native American Indians, so named for the Italian explorer Columbus who mistakenly thought he was in India and thus called them Indians?

Why would God bless this area of land and the people in it? If we go back a short hundred years, it must be obvious he (God – assuming God is a man) didn’t bless everybody. How could he? Native Americans were conquered, annihilated or placed on reservations where they were sometimes starved by the government. Women were as cattle to their husbands and didn’t have the right to work or vote. Blacks were slaves. Mexicans were considered greasers by the ruling elite.

The drawn up Constitution which said “We the people,” left everybody out except white, rich land-owning founders.
Would God in his infinite wisdom bless such a land?

Right wing haters and nuts will accuse me of being against God and America, and I’m really not. It just seems that way. It’s my manner. I question things.

Maybe God blessing America is a more modern thing. He (God) has only done it since the 1930s. He ignored us before, but he blesses us now.
Originally, God Bless America was a song coined by composer Irving Berlin (born Israel Isidore Beilin), a Jewish immigrant from Russia, as he languished at an army post in the U.S. during World War 1. Its opening stanza was copied from an old Yiddish tune called When Mose Leads his Nose, and later became a popular song in the 1930s sung by Kate Smith. The saying seemed to take on special importance during the Red Scare days of the 1950s when Americans thought they were going to be wiped out by Godless heathen Russia in a nuclear war. So paranoia, some founded in reality, some not, may be behind this statement’s popularity.

But we haven’t answered the question. Why would God bless America? Why would he want to? Is it because we are better than other people? Is it because we have a higher standard of living than many other impoverished countries?

Does God consider America his best creation, his finest achievement, the cream of the crop?

For God to bestow his special favor on Americans, there has to be a reason. I realize that God bless America is essentially a request. We’re saying, God, please bless America. But why would God? And why don’t we want him to bless the people of other countries?

We seem to have many of the same problems other countries do, a higher crime rate, poverty, pollution, drugs.

Isn’t this a bit like a few of us forming an exclusive club? And to make ourselves feel better, saying to others “keep out?” This is only for us. It seems to imply ownership of God. Is it because we think better of ourselves than we do of others, many of whom are less fortunate?
Shouldn’t it be instead, God bless all good people, wherever they can be found?

9 Responses to “Why God Bless America?”

  1. Andre says:

    God doesn’t exist. An intelligent person like yourself should have figured that out by now.

  2. blobfish says:

    Yes!, finally, someone has brought this up!
    personally, i doubt there is a god (well, that perticular god anyway), but i believe that we should just live our lives. but anyway, back to the subject, maybe the rest of the world should say,”god bless all but the usa” to even things out!

  3. Ray Macek says:

    I’ve always wondered about this and today someone posted on FB, God Bless Texas. When do we get God blessing 42nd Street?

  4. Laurie says:

    If I say “God bless you to someone who sneezes”, I don’t actually mean, “God, please bless this one person AND please damn everyone else.” When a person says their prayers and asks God’s blessing for something or a specific family member, it does not mean that they are asking God NOT to bless other things or people. If I say I love you to one of my kids, it doesn’t mean I hate the other one, or even love them any less. Why do some people always look for the insult in between innocent lines? I like my country, I wish for it to do well, for it’s people to prosper, be happy, to be healthy, it doesn’t mean that I wish for the rest of the world not to have peace and prosperity as well. But, to make you all happy… Please, God bless everything.

  5. Selma Mateus says:

    Your so_called GOD doesnt exist! PERIOD! ONLY THAT LUC……IN THE STATES MAYBE.

  6. Scarlet A says:

    Let’s also look at this statement from an English grammar perspective. It is not a request, it is an imperative sentence. The speaker is not asking for a blessing; the speaker is demanding a blessing. Which seems pretty presumptuous to me. A

  7. No thanks says:

    Its mostly pride for our country. to be fair i always thought other countries had their own little sayings too :/. me personally im agonistic so i dont mind the phras
    Also any atheists please dont force atheism down his/her throat please and thank you

  8. Jean says:

    I always wondered if there is a God, why should he bless America! America you really think God would bless this country after the way thousands of Native Americans were lied to and killed to take over their land! Germany does not like to speak about the Holocaust and America never will admit our horrific beginnings. My family was not here during that time period, but still, I feel so ashamed of our history. I never learned the details in High School about the Native Americans, so I decided to study about the history on my own and I am so upset about everything that was done to them. There has always been evil toward humanity in our country since that time, with slavery, hate groups and so much we see today.

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