While riding home from a play in Ballard with my good friend and brother Andy Zook, we saw a bumper sticker on a car that read, “G-d Bless All Nations”. Underneath it, 15 different religious symbols stood all in a row. A cross, a star of David, a crescent moon and star, a yin-yang, and a grip of other eastern religious symbols that I did not recognize lined the sticker. Needless to say, it made me sick to my stomach. What I find consistently baffling in the West is how religious relativists pair tolerance with ignorance and call it respect. This bumper sticker takes it to a whole new level.
First, the obvious (and I am trying to maintain intellectual integrity by not using obscene language) incongruity comes in the sheer stupidity of the sticker. Of all those religious signs, as far as I am aware, not a single one is representative of a nation-state. Perhaps there are Islamic or Christian states, but currently, no nation is a theistic nation. If the bumper sticker said, “G-d Bless All People” or “All Religions” (a statement that probably would be somewhat offensive to the atheist religions) then I would not be upset. Instead, it said “Nations”. Nevertheless, the symbols of nations, flags, were nowhere to be found.
The ridiculous logic of this bumper sticker overtly demonstrates people’s inability to separate faith from national status. It buys right into the beliefs of the Religious Right who claim the U.S. is a Christian nation. Furthermore, it destroys the credibility of those of us who do want to be respectful of the religious traditions of others by making us look ignorant and arrogant. Please, before you go spouting off about how you love all people of all faith, learn something about other faith. Moreover, learn something about your own faith. Know why you believe what you believe. Otherwise, you will go around thinking Jesus, Mohamed, Shakyamuni, Lao Tzu, Confucius, and all those other religious leaders made countries rather than ways of faith, and we should love the people in those countries. Please, just do it.