Thursday, March 10, 2022

Would Americans Stay and Fight--Or Flee?

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As the world witnesses what is happening to Ukraine, Americans were asked what they would do if they were in the same position as Ukrainians are now. 

Quinnipiac University Poll, a reliable and respected poll, asked Americans this question last week: "If you were in the same position as Ukrainians are now, do you think that you would stay and fight or would you flee the country?"

The question was prompted by the fact that Ukrainian President Zelenskyy has publicly chosen to stay in Ukraine, refusing an offer to help him escape. 

The poll's findings are enlightening. But perhaps not surprising. Maybe predictable. Hopefully thought-provoking.

Should biblical Christians be "patriotic?"

Be informed, not misled.

The team at Quinnipiac University's poll posed an interesting question---one many Americans may not have thought about prior to the Ukraine invasion.

The choices were simple. If a foreign enemy invaded the United States, what would you do? Stay and fight to defend the homeland? Or flee for safety?

The poll at a glance.

When confronted with a terrible hypothetical that would put them in the shoes of the Ukrainians, Americans say they would stand and fight rather than seek safety in another country.

At a glance, we see a majority (55%) say they would stay and fight, while 38% say they would leave the country. Republicans say 68% to 25%  and independents say 57% to 36%  they would stay and fight, while Democrats say 52% to 40%  that they would leave the country.

However, a closer look shows us that a slim plurality of the youngest Americans say they would leave.

A closer look.

Townhall published this:

Self-identified Republicans overwhelmingly say they'd stick around for the battle (68%-25%), with a solid majority of independents saying the same (57%-36%). A clear majority of Democrats told the Q-poll they'd opt to flee America. Could part of that be attributable to the gender gap that has been a staple of our modern political environment? Women are, expectedly, less likely to want or to expected to be combatants in a war – and if you want to accuse me of sexism for saying so, just look at the poll results. Seven in ten US men say they'd stay; a majority of women say the opposite. Because men skew red and women break blue, that's one explanatory factor at play. 

One other fascinating detail not visible in the table is the sharp split between blacks and Latinos on the question. Just 38%  of African-Americans say they’d fight versus 59% who’d leave. But among Hispanics, 61% would fight compared to 33% who’d leave. I assume that’s a cultural legacy of America’s historical persecution of blacks, generating a degree of national disaffection that persists to this day. Without that same history of persecution, Hispanics’ numbers are more in line with whites’ and Republicans’. That’s another ominous data point for Democrats who are tracking Latinos’ rightward political shift.

Whites' overall responses (57%-35% ) are nearly identical to Hispanics' (61%-33%), with the latter group being slightly more likely to assert they'd take up arms to defend American turf from foreign invaders.

Associated Press noted that these numbers align pretty closely with Republicans' outlook and forecast for upcoming elections. The rightward drift of Hispanics is real.  

I found this interesting and revealing: Nearly half of Democrats say President Biden hasn't been tough enough on Putin so far (this poll was taken before Biden finally caved to bipartisan pressure on oil imports), while roughly eight in ten Americans (79%-14%) support a US military response against Russia should the Kremlin attack a NATO ally. That number includes 88% of Democrats.

It isn't addressed in this poll, but I wonder who would leave the United States, say, if China, rather than Russia attacked our homeland?

Also noteworthy is that sometimes people tell pollsters what they think they would do---or hope they would do, however in the heat of the moment, actually react differently.

Should biblical Christians be patriotic?  

Yes. But with a biblical understanding.

We cannot love our country more than we love God. Country cannot replace God in the heart of a biblical Christian.

Biblical Christians have dual citizenship. God has placed us on this earth for His purposes. We must not only be good citizens here in fulfilling His purposes but be mindful that we are first and foremost citizens of Heaven by virtue of our receiving eternal life through our acceptance of Jesus Christ as Savior.

CS Lewis, in his "The Four Loves," says the love of country "becomes a demon when it becomes a god."

Patriotism vs. Nationalism

Much confusion is created today when the so-called Christian left confuses patriotism with nationalism, then calls it patriotism. Nationalism becomes the demon Lewis is talking about when it displaces patriotism because of ignorance.

Hitler and other despots understood that reality. We must understand it as well.

Acts 17:26 outlines that God has created nations for His purposes: "And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed and the bounds of their habitation."

His purpose, we are told, is to reach people with His love and forgiveness through Christ---His only begotten Son. It's called the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who commissioned us to go into all the world and preach His gospel to every creature.

Pastor, evangelist, and professor Rev Charles Finney, in his work "The Decay of Conscience," clearly shows how God has also put His people and His Church on earth to be a moral compass and voice to the lost and confused culture. This is part of what he said: 

“If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it.” 

Today on our radio program I'll be talking more about Christians and patriotism. Please join me.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Engaged. Be Prayerful.