• Josh Phillips

Why such contempt for America?

Does our inability to recognize our own faults give rise to unreasonable judgements about our beloved country?


The contempt and antipathy for America has been a long-standing position of many foreign nations and their citizens. This of course is of no shock or surprise to anyone. What has become shocking today however is seeing America’s own citizens sharing this view.


Supporters of these views identify critical mistakes that were made and then enact vengeance as a form of perceived justice.

Schools are teaching a perspective of history that isolates and draws attention to the flaws and warts of America’s past. Movements like the 1619 Project seek to “reframe” America’s history through an ideological lens rooted in past mistakes. Politicians are running on platforms seeking to tear apart the current system of government in order to right the wrongs of America’s history. Supporters of these views identify critical mistakes that were made and then enact vengeance as a form of perceived justice.


There is no doubt that America’s history has an extensive record of wrongs. Arguably the most heinous and shameful atrocities committed have been in the name of devaluing and dehumanizing human beings based on the color of their skin. There is no excuse or justification for the harm that was done. Some have used their political power and authority to abuse those they swore to lead and care for while others have been fueled by greed to exploit their fellow citizens. These atrocities are well documented but what is the standard to determine how to respond to them?


We can ask that very same question about our own lives and our own mistakes we have made. The Bible says in Romans 3:10-12 says “...as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” The Bible is clear that we have all messed up. We can make all of the excuses and self-justifications we want. We can compare ourselves to other people who have done far worse in our eyes or simply say that we are nothing compared to the likes of Hitler, Stalin, or Mao Zedong. It’s inescapable, however, to dispute the evidence in our own lives that we are just as guilty as the next person. Despite the evidence, there is a real resistance to recognizing and acknowledging this flawed record of wrongs we all possess. Why not when it’s just easier to ignore it and draw the attention away from ourselves and on to others?


Could this be why so many are looking to dismantle America and demonize it over past mistakes?

Perhaps there is a connection here. If we refuse to accept our own mistakes and sinful nature, then how will we view the mistakes of others? What seems to be the common response is to point out the flaws of others in order to cover up our own. Our mistakes don’t seem so harsh and destructive if we can concentrate on the afflictions of others. Could this be why so many are looking to dismantle America and demonize it over past mistakes? They don’t fully recognize the gravity of their own wrongs therefore the wrongs of others deserve merciless judgement.


We need to have humility and realize that we are as broken as the next person. In submitting our life to Jesus we say that we are broken and fractured. We are in desperate need of forgiveness and reconciliation that only the death of Jesus on the cross can satisfy. Within this relationship with Christ we can view the wrongs of others from a totally different perspective. We can now forgive because we are ultimately forgiven.




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