Arrogant America?

I don’t often comment on political events in this forum, but there’s something I’ve noticed in my recent travels that has disturbed me deeply. Admittedly my experiences overseas are limited, but I have noticed a significant shift in how America is perceived overseas, and this from believers among our closest allies. Where I used to hear warm appreciation for what America stood for and passionate support for our struggle against terrorism, I now hear the suspicion that we care only for ourselves and will walk over anyone to get what we want.

It’s almost embarrassing to travel as an American in the world these days. Our foreign policy in the last few years has conveyed an arrogance that alienates even our friends.
President Bush ran for office promising a new humility in American foreign policy. “Let us not dominate others with our power,” he said in 1999. “Let us have an American foreign policy that reflects American character — the modesty of true strength, the humility of real greatness. This will be the spirit of my administration.” During the October 200 debate he said the US was attemptiong too much abroad. “If we are an arrogant nation, they will resent us. If we’re a humble nation but strong, they’ll welcome us.”

The campaign rhetoric said he got that but his actions since have demonstrated that he does not. His policies only foster American self-interest without taking into consideration the needs and desires of other nations. Watch the language he uses to communicate with other countries. He talks down to them as a parent would scold a wayward child and in doing so only fosters resentment instead of cooperation.

When you can drop a cruise missile on a specific desk, through a specific window on a specific floor of a high-rise, you do not have to bluster your way around the world. There is no longer an evil empire to play good cop against and if we don’t walk wisely and humbly before the rest of the world we could easily become the common enemy as the last bully on the block.

Even though I receive countless emails from the latest Christian author or singer to come out the Oval Office professing how humble a man our president is, I no longer believe it. I used to chalk it up to his Texas bravado but am now convinced that our President cannot speak humbly before the world, because he really thinks our society superior, he believes our interests are the only ones that matter, and he despises those who don’t see things his way.

It appears now that President Bush’s commitment to war in Iraq was based on faulty intelligence. When we were being told to trust this administration because they knew more than they could tell us, it turns out they knew even less than they let on. Here’s where a bit of owning up would go a long way to dispel the notion of arrogance. But instead of admitting our mistake, he continues to defend it and even speaks about freeing Iraq with an evangelistic zeal, citing America’s divine mission to spread freedom throughout the world. It is scary if not also a bit oxymoronic to think of spreading freedom by military conquest. You cannot force people to embrace freedom and cannot give it to people who will not take it for themselves. The quest for freedom must rise from within a culture. When our founding fathers drafted the Declaration of Independence they put their very lives and fortunes on the line to gain what no one else could give them.

If countries in the Islamic world find freedom it’s because the progressive elements within in them will rise up and reject the tyranny of violence, brutality and control that keep them captive. They will speak out clearly and loudly even at great personal risk and only then will they know freedom from the terrorists and clerics that hold them captive. That said, we now have a great responsibility to support our troops in the most difficult of circumstances and do all we can to rebuild Iraq into a functioning society, if that is possible. We have to recognize that military power alone will never win this war if our rhetoric and policies only encourage others to take the place of those terrorists we kill or capture. For that we need the help of other nations around the world and to do that we’ll have to treat them as partners not as children.

If more Americans traveled abroad we might recognize our own arrogance better. Even as I write this I know many of my American friends will not appreciate what I’m writing (though I meet an increasing number who are uncomfortable with Bush’s language) and those overseas will. Americans are too often the loudest voices in the airports and talk to people of other nations as if we are experts on everything. We still measure temperature by Fahrenheit when everyone else uses Celsius and we are the only nation that hosts ‘World Championships’ without inviting the rest of the world to compete. We consume way too much of the world’s resources and only demonstrate greater greed for more. Even the entertainment we export glorifies our decadence in the name of profit. And sadly our culture treats the loss of American life as more tragic than the loss of any other.

In the minds of others these things are starting to outweigh our generosity that has helped suffering people the world over, our courage that has put our young men and women in harm’s way to rescue others from invasion and our creativity that has provided technology and resources for the world. If we don’t learn how to bend over backwards to play fairly alongside the other nations of the earth we cannot blame them if they join together against us as the mighty Goliath that needs to be knocked down a peg.

Humility is not weaknesses. The term is derived from the concept of controlled strength and pictures a warhorse at rest. Only the insecure and fearful have to boast and bluster. Those who are truly strong and confident can sit at ease until that strength is needed. They can act with resolve, but also compassion, earning people’s respect instead of their disdain. The war on terror will never be won by military might alone if we don’t also disarm the desperation and anger that feeds their army.

It is time for us to do some deep soul-searching in America sort out how we are being perceived in the world. If we cannot fund a more humble and gracious voice to the rest of the world we’ll find ourselves increasingly isolated. No matter what our military power can accomplish it will only succeed in further alienating our friends and inspiring further hatred in our enemies.

Share this Post!

Related post

42 Comments
  1. george May 13, 2004 at 3:34 am

    Reading my mind again! We had some people here with us recently from Europe and they said the very thing you are saying. Everytime I hear the boasting and arrogance of our leaders I tihink of God’s way:

    2Ch 7:14 If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.

    I have not seen this done at all in our country. And if we don’t soon respond in this way, I believe we will be humbled again as we were on 9-11

    Peace

  2. george May 13, 2004 at 6:34 am

    Reading my mind again! We had some people here with us recently from Europe and they said the very thing you are saying. Everytime I hear the boasting and arrogance of our leaders I tihink of God’s way:

    2Ch 7:14 If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.

    I have not seen this done at all in our country. And if we don’t soon respond in this way, I believe we will be humbled again as we were on 9-11

    Peace

  3. Jae May 13, 2004 at 9:17 am

    Wayne,

    It seems to me that the Bush admin. after 9/11 has been moved by what they fear and not what they hope.

    If we are trying to obtain humility as a viture by our own efforts and not a gift grown in our hearts by God, then crisis will reveal the truth. May God turn our hearts turn from arrogance to humilty and from fear to hope.

    Hope is in HIM!

  4. Allan (from vegas) May 13, 2004 at 9:52 am

    Hi wayne, I would be really interested in hearing your opinions about christian pacifism and how the church should interact with the state. Although I don’t have a firm opinoin on these issues, it really worries me when God’s people say "We need to support our troops." The "we" in this statement seems to be an American "we" that, to me, seems very different from a God’s people "we."

    Is not the way of church, the way of long-suffering? Is not the "American" way opposed to the way of the church? Can the church still follow after Jesus and live in his kingdom, while endorsing violent means of making people conform to laws?

    I don’t know the answers to these questions. I’m young and extremely idealistic, but I would love to hear your opinion, if you have time.

    Thanks again.

    -Allan

  5. Jae May 13, 2004 at 12:17 pm

    Wayne,

    It seems to me that the Bush admin. after 9/11 has been moved by what they fear and not what they hope.

    If we are trying to obtain humility as a viture by our own efforts and not a gift grown in our hearts by God, then crisis will reveal the truth. May God turn our hearts turn from arrogance to humilty and from fear to hope.

    Hope is in HIM!

  6. Lynette May 13, 2004 at 12:28 pm

    Thankyou for seeing and writing about this, even if it was painful to do so. I am one of those non-Americans who lives on the other side of the world and what you have written about how Americans are perceived, is very true. We have visited the USA three times and know that of course not all Americans are arrogant, but it is so sad to see the path and attitude that your government has taken. Even though we are not American, we still get sent emails in total support of your president and blindly promoting him as a saint blessed by God.

    My consolation is that even though we are in this world, we are not of it and that my brothers and sisters around this world are not "American", "Australian", "European" or any other race but we are truly "Christian" and one race in Christ no matter what earthly country we may happen to live in. We feel like aliens in this world because we ARE aliens; our King and Country (President and Nation) is not of this world "It’s Life, but not as we’ve known it… beam me up!" 🙂

    May our Father’s Life and His characteristics be increasingly seen through us all,

    Lynette

  7. Allan (from vegas) May 13, 2004 at 12:52 pm

    Hi wayne, I would be really interested in hearing your opinions about christian pacifism and how the church should interact with the state. Although I don’t have a firm opinoin on these issues, it really worries me when God’s people say "We need to support our troops." The "we" in this statement seems to be an American "we" that, to me, seems very different from a God’s people "we."

    Is not the way of church, the way of long-suffering? Is not the "American" way opposed to the way of the church? Can the church still follow after Jesus and live in his kingdom, while endorsing violent means of making people conform to laws?

    I don’t know the answers to these questions. I’m young and extremely idealistic, but I would love to hear your opinion, if you have time.

    Thanks again.

    -Allan

  8. Lynette May 13, 2004 at 3:28 pm

    Thankyou for seeing and writing about this, even if it was painful to do so. I am one of those non-Americans who lives on the other side of the world and what you have written about how Americans are perceived, is very true. We have visited the USA three times and know that of course not all Americans are arrogant, but it is so sad to see the path and attitude that your government has taken. Even though we are not American, we still get sent emails in total support of your president and blindly promoting him as a saint blessed by God.

    My consolation is that even though we are in this world, we are not of it and that my brothers and sisters around this world are not "American", "Australian", "European" or any other race but we are truly "Christian" and one race in Christ no matter what earthly country we may happen to live in. We feel like aliens in this world because we ARE aliens; our King and Country (President and Nation) is not of this world "It’s Life, but not as we’ve known it… beam me up!" 🙂

    May our Father’s Life and His characteristics be increasingly seen through us all,

    Lynette

  9. Dave A May 14, 2004 at 8:00 pm

    Sad but well said, Wayne.

    I was at a minor league baseball game this past week with my wife and son. During the 5th or 6th inning we were all asked to stand to sing together "America the Beautiful." I couldn’t sing the words… just seemed so hypocritical.

    I’m involved in Boy Scouts with my son and at every weekly meeting we open with the pledge to the flag. That too has been hard for me to do lately.

    I know this is not our home and perhaps – we act like it is and spend way too much time trying to make it comfortable for ourselves.

    Lord help us to keep our minds and hearts fixed on You alone.

    Dave

  10. Dave A May 14, 2004 at 11:00 pm

    Sad but well said, Wayne.

    I was at a minor league baseball game this past week with my wife and son. During the 5th or 6th inning we were all asked to stand to sing together "America the Beautiful." I couldn’t sing the words… just seemed so hypocritical.

    I’m involved in Boy Scouts with my son and at every weekly meeting we open with the pledge to the flag. That too has been hard for me to do lately.

    I know this is not our home and perhaps – we act like it is and spend way too much time trying to make it comfortable for ourselves.

    Lord help us to keep our minds and hearts fixed on You alone.

    Dave

  11. Jennifer, Ireland May 18, 2004 at 8:44 am

    Dear Wayne – excellent article, and given the fact that you don’t get involved in such issues very much, you obviously feel strongly about this one! Also being non-American, I do agree that there is a very negative view of Americans in Europe, particularly since George Bush took power. However, I have to defend you all before you get totally depressed!!!…. I think that almost all Americans that I have met or are friends with through the years are absolutely lovely people. I know Christians and non-Christians alike from The States, and it seems to me that the "individual" American is as lovely or annoying as any other nationality, but your "bad press" lies mainly with two culprits: (1) your present leadership and foreign policy, and (2) rather a lot of American media/tv programs come across as very shallow/superficial and selfish. That’s all – George Bush will have a lot to answer for. I’m boggled that so many naive Christians believe him to be born-again because he says he is, and because he has attended Christian meetings. Shouldn’t we judge by fruit and not by words. Anyway, that’s all – Americans, you’re as good or bad as the rest of us – it’s the above two factors that incriminate you falsely, okay?

  12. Jennifer, Ireland May 18, 2004 at 11:44 am

    Dear Wayne – excellent article, and given the fact that you don’t get involved in such issues very much, you obviously feel strongly about this one! Also being non-American, I do agree that there is a very negative view of Americans in Europe, particularly since George Bush took power. However, I have to defend you all before you get totally depressed!!!…. I think that almost all Americans that I have met or are friends with through the years are absolutely lovely people. I know Christians and non-Christians alike from The States, and it seems to me that the "individual" American is as lovely or annoying as any other nationality, but your "bad press" lies mainly with two culprits: (1) your present leadership and foreign policy, and (2) rather a lot of American media/tv programs come across as very shallow/superficial and selfish. That’s all – George Bush will have a lot to answer for. I’m boggled that so many naive Christians believe him to be born-again because he says he is, and because he has attended Christian meetings. Shouldn’t we judge by fruit and not by words. Anyway, that’s all – Americans, you’re as good or bad as the rest of us – it’s the above two factors that incriminate you falsely, okay?

  13. Mike Morrell May 18, 2004 at 7:58 pm

    I am in total agreement with you, brother!

  14. Mike Morrell May 18, 2004 at 10:58 pm

    I am in total agreement with you, brother!

  15. Pat May 20, 2004 at 12:38 am

    Wayne

    Found your website at ORU’s website. I attended ORU when you and your wife were there.

    Glad we live in America where we can voice opinions such as yours. This is what makes our country so great.

    But would God want us to stick our head in a hole & hide? Not helping those in need?

    It is our responsibilty as a Christian nation to help those countries in need. No, I do not like to see our military personnel killed/hurt for ANY REASON, but

    Go ye into all the nations………………

    Many service personnel have come back here talking about how much in need the people of Iraq are. The people of Iraq have suffered enough.

    We are not there to evangelize them to Christianity, but to show them what a Christian nation believes. And we are acting upon those beliefs.

    Our actions speak louder than words.

    Jesus was not accepted in His lifetime by the world. The reason the world does not accept the U.S. is because

    Satan would have it this way.

    All of this is as simple as good vs. evil.

    And yes, I do know and believe Pres. Bush does seek our heavenly Father’s wisdom daily. For me, that is extremely comforting to know that our President does pray.

    Just a side note………. you stated in your message "Even though I receive countless emails from the latest Christian author or singer to come out the Oval Office professing how humble a man our president is, I no longer believe it."

    Wayne how I interpret that remark is that these people are either stupid or easily duped.

    That is arrogant Wayne.

  16. eddie May 20, 2004 at 2:07 am

    Pat said:

    All of this is as simple as good vs. evil

    I think you summed it up the root of this whole problem, and why Bush has made such a mess of this war. We are not to live by good and evil any longer, but by the Tree of Life – Jesus Christ. We are not to weigh good and evil, but we are called to live in Jesus and by His Life. He annihilated the tree of knowledge of good and evil for those in Christ, but sadly too many of us still eat from it.

    This is the same Life that taught his disciples to resist evil non-violently, to turn the other cheek and to repay evil with love. Living by the Tree of Life will not cause us to throw bombs on people and justify it with ‘we are helping them.’ Neither America, nor any other country has a mandate to free people from the tyranny of evil in the Name of Christ. We are simply to tell the world of His story and teach people how to live loved. That message will always come at a price for us, and we cannot force Christianity down people’s throats in the name of ‘A Christian Nation.’ The question is what type of Christian nation America is becoming and what brand of Christianity are we feeding people. We all know that there Christianity of men, and the pure Gospel of Grace from Jesus Christ.

    As Major Ian Thomas writes:

    The Lord Jesus Christ refused to be committed to the parochial needs of His own day and generation; He was not committed to the political situation in Palestine or to the emancipation of the Jewish nation from the Roman yoke. He was not committed to the pressing social problems of His time or to one faction as opposed to another, any more than today He is committed to the West against the East or to the Republicans against the Democrats (as though either were less wicked than the other!). Christ was not even committed to the needs of a perishing world; He was neither unmindful nor unmoved by all these other issues. But as perfect man He was committed to His Father, and for that only to which His Father was committed in Him – exclusively!

    Then Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and I do nothing on my own initiative, but I speak just what the Father taught me. And the one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do those things that please him.” 1 John 8.28-29

    I still have respect for George Bush as brother in Christ, albeit that I think he is a little misguided. His presidency proved to me once and for all that Christianity and politics doesn’t mix; because sooner or later one will have to compromise your morals and ethics to play the Washington game. The president is a tiny portion of the big machine called government, and his influence is really very limited when all is said and done.

    Fortunately I have come to know so many precious Americans, and I know that they are not what are portrayed in the media. The thing that breaks my heart the most in America is the culture war between Christians and secularists. Both sides use the same tactics of fear and manipulation, and I can honestly not see the love of Christ in this internal war from my fellow brothers. I think Christians have far better spiritual weapons to disarm this war, but they are unfortunately often mobilized by the wrong voices supposedly speaking on behalf of Christ and our Father.

    I do think it’s arrogant to assume that the rest of the world wants either American democracy or American Christianity. The point is to leave people to decide their own destiny towards the Fathers home. We cannot force our religion or politics down people’s throats, because not even God does that. Godly love is always free to choose.

    So Amen, let’s go into all the nations, but not with bombs, but the love of Christ Jesus that compelled him to die on the Cross for all mankind. It’s time for a revolution of a different kind. And allow me to let you in on a secret: It’s not going to come from either political party or from any Christian politician – but when Christ is ALL to His people again and when they subject themselves to his Lordship and Kingdom. There is no other way – Christ is the Way.

    With much love and care in the Lord

    Peace!

  17. george May 20, 2004 at 3:28 am

    Pat wrote:

    We are not there to evangelize them to Christianity, but to show them what a Christian nation believes.

    Pat,

    So how I missed that press conference when G.W.B. announced we were there to show them what a "Christian Nation" believes.

    Sorry to inform this but, America is NOT a "Christian Nation" And if it is no wonder the world is hostile to "Christianity"! As I listen to my brothers and sisters talk about "christian america" It almost sounds like some of them think the Crusades were a good thing. May Father have mercy on us all.

    Peace

  18. Pat May 20, 2004 at 3:38 am

    Wayne

    Found your website at ORU’s website. I attended ORU when you and your wife were there.

    Glad we live in America where we can voice opinions such as yours. This is what makes our country so great.

    But would God want us to stick our head in a hole & hide? Not helping those in need?

    It is our responsibilty as a Christian nation to help those countries in need. No, I do not like to see our military personnel killed/hurt for ANY REASON, but

    Go ye into all the nations………………

    Many service personnel have come back here talking about how much in need the people of Iraq are. The people of Iraq have suffered enough.

    We are not there to evangelize them to Christianity, but to show them what a Christian nation believes. And we are acting upon those beliefs.

    Our actions speak louder than words.

    Jesus was not accepted in His lifetime by the world. The reason the world does not accept the U.S. is because

    Satan would have it this way.

    All of this is as simple as good vs. evil.

    And yes, I do know and believe Pres. Bush does seek our heavenly Father’s wisdom daily. For me, that is extremely comforting to know that our President does pray.

    Just a side note………. you stated in your message "Even though I receive countless emails from the latest Christian author or singer to come out the Oval Office professing how humble a man our president is, I no longer believe it."

    Wayne how I interpret that remark is that these people are either stupid or easily duped.

    That is arrogant Wayne.

  19. eddie May 20, 2004 at 5:07 am

    Pat said:

    All of this is as simple as good vs. evil

    I think you summed it up the root of this whole problem, and why Bush has made such a mess of this war. We are not to live by good and evil any longer, but by the Tree of Life – Jesus Christ. We are not to weigh good and evil, but we are called to live in Jesus and by His Life. He annihilated the tree of knowledge of good and evil for those in Christ, but sadly too many of us still eat from it.

    This is the same Life that taught his disciples to resist evil non-violently, to turn the other cheek and to repay evil with love. Living by the Tree of Life will not cause us to throw bombs on people and justify it with ‘we are helping them.’ Neither America, nor any other country has a mandate to free people from the tyranny of evil in the Name of Christ. We are simply to tell the world of His story and teach people how to live loved. That message will always come at a price for us, and we cannot force Christianity down people’s throats in the name of ‘A Christian Nation.’ The question is what type of Christian nation America is becoming and what brand of Christianity are we feeding people. We all know that there Christianity of men, and the pure Gospel of Grace from Jesus Christ.

    As Major Ian Thomas writes:

    The Lord Jesus Christ refused to be committed to the parochial needs of His own day and generation; He was not committed to the political situation in Palestine or to the emancipation of the Jewish nation from the Roman yoke. He was not committed to the pressing social problems of His time or to one faction as opposed to another, any more than today He is committed to the West against the East or to the Republicans against the Democrats (as though either were less wicked than the other!). Christ was not even committed to the needs of a perishing world; He was neither unmindful nor unmoved by all these other issues. But as perfect man He was committed to His Father, and for that only to which His Father was committed in Him – exclusively!

    Then Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and I do nothing on my own initiative, but I speak just what the Father taught me. And the one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do those things that please him.” 1 John 8.28-29

    I still have respect for George Bush as brother in Christ, albeit that I think he is a little misguided. His presidency proved to me once and for all that Christianity and politics doesn’t mix; because sooner or later one will have to compromise your morals and ethics to play the Washington game. The president is a tiny portion of the big machine called government, and his influence is really very limited when all is said and done.

    Fortunately I have come to know so many precious Americans, and I know that they are not what are portrayed in the media. The thing that breaks my heart the most in America is the culture war between Christians and secularists. Both sides use the same tactics of fear and manipulation, and I can honestly not see the love of Christ in this internal war from my fellow brothers. I think Christians have far better spiritual weapons to disarm this war, but they are unfortunately often mobilized by the wrong voices supposedly speaking on behalf of Christ and our Father.

    I do think it’s arrogant to assume that the rest of the world wants either American democracy or American Christianity. The point is to leave people to decide their own destiny towards the Fathers home. We cannot force our religion or politics down people’s throats, because not even God does that. Godly love is always free to choose.

    So Amen, let’s go into all the nations, but not with bombs, but the love of Christ Jesus that compelled him to die on the Cross for all mankind. It’s time for a revolution of a different kind. And allow me to let you in on a secret: It’s not going to come from either political party or from any Christian politician – but when Christ is ALL to His people again and when they subject themselves to his Lordship and Kingdom. There is no other way – Christ is the Way.

    With much love and care in the Lord

    Peace!

  20. george May 20, 2004 at 6:28 am

    Pat wrote:

    We are not there to evangelize them to Christianity, but to show them what a Christian nation believes.

    Pat,

    So how I missed that press conference when G.W.B. announced we were there to show them what a "Christian Nation" believes.

    Sorry to inform this but, America is NOT a "Christian Nation" And if it is no wonder the world is hostile to "Christianity"! As I listen to my brothers and sisters talk about "christian america" It almost sounds like some of them think the Crusades were a good thing. May Father have mercy on us all.

    Peace

  21. Tom May 20, 2004 at 11:09 am

    Hello Wayne:

    This is my first time on your WEB site. Some friends of mine from Kirksville have been encouraging a visit to the site, so here I am. Your article was provocative for me–one of a long line of very conservative Americans. In my family, America was next to Catholicism as that which is most important in life. Upon becoming a Christian I realized that both of these circumstances of life were more cultural than religious or manifest destiny. Yes, I see in Bush that sort of American pride that will not allow humility for the sake of maintaining a strong facade. Strength has been seen as a sort of moral good in the culture that arose from the early to mid 20th century, but Jesus told us that to be strong we had to become week.

    I will continue to pray for President Bush, and I will not question his salvation experience as some have in their responses to your article, but I stand largely on the same side of the arrogance issue as do you. Please forgive me if it is naivete that prompts me to give the President a little more benefit of the doubt than do you or your readers. After all, I am not President of the U.S., and I do not know what those responsibilities require of him. I am not privy to his knowledge, and, therefore, cannot make quite as severe a judgement as you have.

    I know that there is only one way to the Father, and that’s in the Son, not in the U.S. Thank you for your willingness to give people like me your perspective on the issues facing us.

    In Christ

  22. Tom May 20, 2004 at 2:09 pm

    Hello Wayne:

    This is my first time on your WEB site. Some friends of mine from Kirksville have been encouraging a visit to the site, so here I am. Your article was provocative for me–one of a long line of very conservative Americans. In my family, America was next to Catholicism as that which is most important in life. Upon becoming a Christian I realized that both of these circumstances of life were more cultural than religious or manifest destiny. Yes, I see in Bush that sort of American pride that will not allow humility for the sake of maintaining a strong facade. Strength has been seen as a sort of moral good in the culture that arose from the early to mid 20th century, but Jesus told us that to be strong we had to become week.

    I will continue to pray for President Bush, and I will not question his salvation experience as some have in their responses to your article, but I stand largely on the same side of the arrogance issue as do you. Please forgive me if it is naivete that prompts me to give the President a little more benefit of the doubt than do you or your readers. After all, I am not President of the U.S., and I do not know what those responsibilities require of him. I am not privy to his knowledge, and, therefore, cannot make quite as severe a judgement as you have.

    I know that there is only one way to the Father, and that’s in the Son, not in the U.S. Thank you for your willingness to give people like me your perspective on the issues facing us.

    In Christ

  23. Carl May 21, 2004 at 4:05 pm

    Disappointed in the judgement I read. How does one who teaches that God desires relationship even in our failures not extend grace?

    I too abhor many of the things done and know that power is a strong temptation. Let us pray for our president that these difficulties will bring him to a closer relationship with the Father. And that the Father will provide Him better counselors.

    You have much good to teach on behalf of God but I don’t think politics is not where that is happening.

    thank you for being used of God to minister.

  24. Carl May 21, 2004 at 7:05 pm

    Disappointed in the judgement I read. How does one who teaches that God desires relationship even in our failures not extend grace?

    I too abhor many of the things done and know that power is a strong temptation. Let us pray for our president that these difficulties will bring him to a closer relationship with the Father. And that the Father will provide Him better counselors.

    You have much good to teach on behalf of God but I don’t think politics is not where that is happening.

    thank you for being used of God to minister.

  25. Wayne May 22, 2004 at 3:52 pm

    Some of you seem only to prove my point the harder you tried to rebut it. Thinking we are superior to the rest of the world is what undermines moral credibility. The reason I put a question mark after ‘Arrogant America’ is because I don’t want it to be true. Not all perceptions are, you know, but we ignore the perceptions of others to our own peril.

    Differences of opinion don’t threaten me. I like a healthy exchange because it will help us all understand the issues better. I just hope people can do so without mixing opinions with accusations and religious double-talk that others see through so easily.

    I’ve loved hearing from international readers on this and underscoring the issues involved. I appreciate hearing from so many others who have questions about the same issues. I wish more of my fellow contryman would at least consider the possibility. If arrogance didn’t play so well in our press, perhaps even our politicians would abandon it.

    Wouldn’t that be the day?

  26. Wayne May 22, 2004 at 6:52 pm

    Some of you seem only to prove my point the harder you tried to rebut it. Thinking we are superior to the rest of the world is what undermines moral credibility. The reason I put a question mark after ‘Arrogant America’ is because I don’t want it to be true. Not all perceptions are, you know, but we ignore the perceptions of others to our own peril.

    Differences of opinion don’t threaten me. I like a healthy exchange because it will help us all understand the issues better. I just hope people can do so without mixing opinions with accusations and religious double-talk that others see through so easily.

    I’ve loved hearing from international readers on this and underscoring the issues involved. I appreciate hearing from so many others who have questions about the same issues. I wish more of my fellow contryman would at least consider the possibility. If arrogance didn’t play so well in our press, perhaps even our politicians would abandon it.

    Wouldn’t that be the day?

  27. David from Rio Rancho, NM May 23, 2004 at 9:44 am

    Wayne,

    Great article! I have observed over the last several years that the US and Israel share a common problem.

    Biblical history of Israel shows time and again when the nation or it’s leaders became proud or evil, God allowed her neighbors to rise up against her as enemies.

    The same is true today (same God in charge?). You see Israel surrounded by her enemies, and the US becoming more hated in the world because of the evil here and the arrogance of our leaders….

    Repentance and humbling ourselves to trust in God is our only source of deliverance (this is my opinion), as a nation, and as the Ekklessia.

    Born a Jew, Living in Christ

    David H

  28. David from Rio Rancho, NM May 23, 2004 at 12:44 pm

    Wayne,

    Great article! I have observed over the last several years that the US and Israel share a common problem.

    Biblical history of Israel shows time and again when the nation or it’s leaders became proud or evil, God allowed her neighbors to rise up against her as enemies.

    The same is true today (same God in charge?). You see Israel surrounded by her enemies, and the US becoming more hated in the world because of the evil here and the arrogance of our leaders….

    Repentance and humbling ourselves to trust in God is our only source of deliverance (this is my opinion), as a nation, and as the Ekklessia.

    Born a Jew, Living in Christ

    David H

  29. Philip Wilson May 23, 2004 at 4:31 pm

    Wayne

    I have for many years being concerned that American Christians are too heavily influenced by a dispensational premillenial understanding of the second coming. I believe that this has led many to conclude that America is somehow God’s chosen instrument in the ‘last days’ progamme of events. I have a ‘gut feeling’ that George W Bush and his advisors are caught up with this thinking.

    I do not think Americans as individuals are any more arrogant or less arrogant than other persons. It is the ‘group mentality’ of America that comes across to the rest of the world as arrogant.

    Philip

  30. Philip Wilson May 23, 2004 at 7:31 pm

    Wayne

    I have for many years being concerned that American Christians are too heavily influenced by a dispensational premillenial understanding of the second coming. I believe that this has led many to conclude that America is somehow God’s chosen instrument in the ‘last days’ progamme of events. I have a ‘gut feeling’ that George W Bush and his advisors are caught up with this thinking.

    I do not think Americans as individuals are any more arrogant or less arrogant than other persons. It is the ‘group mentality’ of America that comes across to the rest of the world as arrogant.

    Philip

  31. David -Wales U.K. May 24, 2004 at 3:20 pm

    Hi Wayne Thanks for helping me to realise I’m not the only one to be drawn to similar conclusions but not just from an American observation but also from a British setting as well. Back in March 2003 I read Brennan Manning.The Wisdom of Tenderness

    I found this comment very applicable -P165..Another issue bewitching God’s people these days is the tendency to gratuitously give a monopoly on evil to a single person (such as Osama bin Laden), a single nation (such as Afghanistan), or a single institution (be it Islam, Judaism, the Mormon Church or the Catholic Church). When one person, nation or institution is declared to be Satan, logic rules: eliminate this source of all evil and everything will be alright; when Satan is localised in a finite reality, the end of evil doing is just around the corner. And yet…. When we kill our particular ‘Satan’ evil doesn’t disappear from the face of the earth. In fact, it may reappear in the place we least expect: ourselves.

  32. David -Wales U.K. May 24, 2004 at 6:20 pm

    Hi Wayne Thanks for helping me to realise I’m not the only one to be drawn to similar conclusions but not just from an American observation but also from a British setting as well. Back in March 2003 I read Brennan Manning.The Wisdom of Tenderness

    I found this comment very applicable -P165..Another issue bewitching God’s people these days is the tendency to gratuitously give a monopoly on evil to a single person (such as Osama bin Laden), a single nation (such as Afghanistan), or a single institution (be it Islam, Judaism, the Mormon Church or the Catholic Church). When one person, nation or institution is declared to be Satan, logic rules: eliminate this source of all evil and everything will be alright; when Satan is localised in a finite reality, the end of evil doing is just around the corner. And yet…. When we kill our particular ‘Satan’ evil doesn’t disappear from the face of the earth. In fact, it may reappear in the place we least expect: ourselves.

  33. Glen June 26, 2004 at 6:01 pm

    I have to admit to the "arrogant America." It started almost immediately after 911 with the flags with "God Bless America." Maybe it is just me, but the inflection I heard in that was and is a demand not a plea.

    I have also heard many speculations as to whether President Bush is born-again. Who among us was born full grown? Are none of those we left behind in our institutional churches who do not yet know their left from their right born-again? Or are they simply carnal and infants as we once were? I am not convinced that any one of us can ever discern whether a carnal or infant professing Christian is truly born again. If we could, then why would Jesus have given us the parable of the wheat and tares?

    But, what does it matter? Yes, it is comforting that Bush prays, and if he does not have a seed of Christ planted in him then he is a better actor than his speaking ability would imply. However, in the final analysis "the heart of the king is in the hands of the Lord" and God did not have the least problem moving the heart of pagan kings like Nebuchanezer, Cyrus and Darius to benefit His people. The leader is an instrument of the Lord, regardless.

    What is missing in America is the power of humble prayer from God’s people? Perhaps I underestimate this, because we have been given a remarkable time to come to repentance, but just as we can resist the law of gravity for a time, everything lifted up will eventually fall to earth. God’s spiritual laws are just as irresistible. "God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble." We may lift ourselves up for a time, but as surely as gravity pulls us to earth our pride will also fall in His time.

    From personal experience, most of us, I would think should need little convincing of that.

  34. Glen June 26, 2004 at 9:01 pm

    I have to admit to the "arrogant America." It started almost immediately after 911 with the flags with "God Bless America." Maybe it is just me, but the inflection I heard in that was and is a demand not a plea.

    I have also heard many speculations as to whether President Bush is born-again. Who among us was born full grown? Are none of those we left behind in our institutional churches who do not yet know their left from their right born-again? Or are they simply carnal and infants as we once were? I am not convinced that any one of us can ever discern whether a carnal or infant professing Christian is truly born again. If we could, then why would Jesus have given us the parable of the wheat and tares?

    But, what does it matter? Yes, it is comforting that Bush prays, and if he does not have a seed of Christ planted in him then he is a better actor than his speaking ability would imply. However, in the final analysis "the heart of the king is in the hands of the Lord" and God did not have the least problem moving the heart of pagan kings like Nebuchanezer, Cyrus and Darius to benefit His people. The leader is an instrument of the Lord, regardless.

    What is missing in America is the power of humble prayer from God’s people? Perhaps I underestimate this, because we have been given a remarkable time to come to repentance, but just as we can resist the law of gravity for a time, everything lifted up will eventually fall to earth. God’s spiritual laws are just as irresistible. "God opposes the proud and gives grace to the humble." We may lift ourselves up for a time, but as surely as gravity pulls us to earth our pride will also fall in His time.

    From personal experience, most of us, I would think should need little convincing of that.

  35. Stephan September 21, 2004 at 9:15 pm

    Hello, I am truthfully not a Christian (please hear me out), although I used to be and know quite a bit about Christian theology and church history, I still even go to church occaisionally.

    If you read the works of the Puritans who first came to America, they would describe America, or rather their dream of America as a shinning example, a beacon if you will, of the ideal society built upon Christian ideals.

    This concept is still alive and well in America. Many Americans I speak to voice this belief and I even heard Bush make this comparision recently (I do not wish to initiate a political debate seeing as I am a guest). This is the arrogance that foreigners see in America. I do not think America is the best place on earth. Democracy exists in most of the western world and Americans were certainly not the first to come up with the concept.

    I wish to make it clear that I do feel a loyalty to America as long as I am here. Because I live here I have a civic duty to support my nation, yet I believe that it is very important that America considers its foreign relations for I do not believe we are creating a positive image that our neighbors might accept.

    By the way. I believe this patriotic arrogance is universal in other nations as well. Everyone is a bit arrogant no matter where you go. However we are the only people that consider ourselves an example to others, this is pretentious and yes, arrogant. However our arrogance comes out as ignorance rather than hostility. In this our sheer hubris is mostly disguised from ourselves.

  36. Stephan September 22, 2004 at 12:15 am

    Hello, I am truthfully not a Christian (please hear me out), although I used to be and know quite a bit about Christian theology and church history, I still even go to church occaisionally.

    If you read the works of the Puritans who first came to America, they would describe America, or rather their dream of America as a shinning example, a beacon if you will, of the ideal society built upon Christian ideals.

    This concept is still alive and well in America. Many Americans I speak to voice this belief and I even heard Bush make this comparision recently (I do not wish to initiate a political debate seeing as I am a guest). This is the arrogance that foreigners see in America. I do not think America is the best place on earth. Democracy exists in most of the western world and Americans were certainly not the first to come up with the concept.

    I wish to make it clear that I do feel a loyalty to America as long as I am here. Because I live here I have a civic duty to support my nation, yet I believe that it is very important that America considers its foreign relations for I do not believe we are creating a positive image that our neighbors might accept.

    By the way. I believe this patriotic arrogance is universal in other nations as well. Everyone is a bit arrogant no matter where you go. However we are the only people that consider ourselves an example to others, this is pretentious and yes, arrogant. However our arrogance comes out as ignorance rather than hostility. In this our sheer hubris is mostly disguised from ourselves.

  37. Richard February 27, 2005 at 10:04 pm

    Sorry, I’m franch guy who is living in Middle East (Gulf region – Dubai) and all what i can say that people here their hatred is increasing daily toward Americans becuase of USA Gov. and for their incoming war plans on other nations.

    well, according to my expericne most of american are arroganst even the americans who is living in Middle East.

  38. Richard February 28, 2005 at 1:04 am

    Sorry, I’m franch guy who is living in Middle East (Gulf region – Dubai) and all what i can say that people here their hatred is increasing daily toward Americans becuase of USA Gov. and for their incoming war plans on other nations.

    well, according to my expericne most of american are arroganst even the americans who is living in Middle East.

  39. Brett May 3, 2005 at 5:38 pm

    You are killing me. I have travelled the world and could live anywhere I want. I live in America because quite frankly, its the best place to live. And don’t believe for a minute that your Muslim brothers wouldn’t slit your throat. I’m tired of hearing that not all muslims are terrorists and that they would like to live in peace and harmony with us. Really? Since when? When have these idiots lived with anybody in peace!?! Name the time an place.

    Yes, I am an arrogant American. I served for 25 years in the Navy and retired as one on those guys who defends America’s values. I am one of those taxpayers who seem to foot all of our "allies" bills.

    If all of the halfwit nations that whine about how arrogant we are would forfeit the money we send (and pay it back with interest) then maybe I would care what they thought. When America pays your bills it can be arrogant!

    So if your country has ever accepted aid or comfort or freedom of oppression….SHUT-UP!

    Kind Regards,

    Brett

    of oppression or

  40. Brett May 3, 2005 at 8:38 pm

    You are killing me. I have travelled the world and could live anywhere I want. I live in America because quite frankly, its the best place to live. And don’t believe for a minute that your Muslim brothers wouldn’t slit your throat. I’m tired of hearing that not all muslims are terrorists and that they would like to live in peace and harmony with us. Really? Since when? When have these idiots lived with anybody in peace!?! Name the time an place.

    Yes, I am an arrogant American. I served for 25 years in the Navy and retired as one on those guys who defends America’s values. I am one of those taxpayers who seem to foot all of our "allies" bills.

    If all of the halfwit nations that whine about how arrogant we are would forfeit the money we send (and pay it back with interest) then maybe I would care what they thought. When America pays your bills it can be arrogant!

    So if your country has ever accepted aid or comfort or freedom of oppression….SHUT-UP!

    Kind Regards,

    Brett

    of oppression or

  41. suhaa July 30, 2006 at 3:11 am

    First, I’d like to introduce myself. I am a Muslimah. I love Islam and what the true essence of it really is. Ironically, I am American too, by birth, and by the location of my life..all my life so far. Unlike you I have not done much travelling. However, I try to educate myself of the world affairs and do not take it all from the biased CNN. Media itself chooses what to portray and what to hide from the public eye. Freedom is just a concept in this country, its not for real when it comes to expression. Just yesterday on Al-Jazeera they showed Condelezza Rice talking her talk about peace and safetly bla bla bla..while pictures of babies and women being killed and wounded. Just yesterday they showed Lebanese neighborhood after neighborhood destroyed by this so called Free nation called USA. The American people in general are ignorant to the reality of American policies. I know I blow people away when I speak and they realize I dont have an accent, especially by my appearance of my long black loose dress and long head cover. But this does not bother me, what gets to me is that people are not even willing for the most part, to challenge their ill-represented thoughts..But this isnt about me.

    People need to know before they take a stance on issues..and people are ignornant not because they dont know..but for the most part its becasue they dont even care to know..and this is viewed as being Arrogant! Why is that concept so hard to get for some people?

    And for the comment made above by BRETT, Islam is a religion of peace and it was Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who declared the rights of Jews, Christians, ..and forbid Muslims to harm them unless in self-defense, AND also forbid the killing of a tree, the harm of the elderly, women and children. Unlike your buddy Iraelis who occupy a land by kicking a nation to the curb and claiming they are victims. When are you going to get off yourself and see the truth? Oh, that’s right you won’t….you’re TOO ARROGANT…i forgot. SO before you challenge and say “name the time and the place”..read for yourself and you will see, I wont embarrass you and tell you..the many times and many places.

    Also, BRETT..you need to wake up, because all the money in the world , all the resources on the face of this earth, and all the “power” does not belong to USA..it belongs to GOD and He distributes those “tax” dollars you say belongs to you to whom HE wills. ANything good coming out of this country comes from GOD, and anything corrupt and indecnet..(and this is an endless list) comes from the wrongdoings of people following their lusts and desires of Satan’s persuasions.

    The US govt. oppresses people..and its people like you who make Americans in general hated by many if not most nations on the face of this earth.

    Am I proud to be an American? No, I am just grateful that GOD has given me a home where I can practice my religion, my way of life…as is stated in the Quran “There is no compulsion..”
    USA the govt, not the people, is an ally to terrorism..and the people for the most part are just clueless to that.

  42. suhaa July 30, 2006 at 6:11 am

    First, I’d like to introduce myself. I am a Muslimah. I love Islam and what the true essence of it really is. Ironically, I am American too, by birth, and by the location of my life..all my life so far. Unlike you I have not done much travelling. However, I try to educate myself of the world affairs and do not take it all from the biased CNN. Media itself chooses what to portray and what to hide from the public eye. Freedom is just a concept in this country, its not for real when it comes to expression. Just yesterday on Al-Jazeera they showed Condelezza Rice talking her talk about peace and safetly bla bla bla..while pictures of babies and women being killed and wounded. Just yesterday they showed Lebanese neighborhood after neighborhood destroyed by this so called Free nation called USA. The American people in general are ignorant to the reality of American policies. I know I blow people away when I speak and they realize I dont have an accent, especially by my appearance of my long black loose dress and long head cover. But this does not bother me, what gets to me is that people are not even willing for the most part, to challenge their ill-represented thoughts..But this isnt about me.

    People need to know before they take a stance on issues..and people are ignornant not because they dont know..but for the most part its becasue they dont even care to know..and this is viewed as being Arrogant! Why is that concept so hard to get for some people?

    And for the comment made above by BRETT, Islam is a religion of peace and it was Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who declared the rights of Jews, Christians, ..and forbid Muslims to harm them unless in self-defense, AND also forbid the killing of a tree, the harm of the elderly, women and children. Unlike your buddy Iraelis who occupy a land by kicking a nation to the curb and claiming they are victims. When are you going to get off yourself and see the truth? Oh, that’s right you won’t….you’re TOO ARROGANT…i forgot. SO before you challenge and say “name the time and the place”..read for yourself and you will see, I wont embarrass you and tell you..the many times and many places.

    Also, BRETT..you need to wake up, because all the money in the world , all the resources on the face of this earth, and all the “power” does not belong to USA..it belongs to GOD and He distributes those “tax” dollars you say belongs to you to whom HE wills. ANything good coming out of this country comes from GOD, and anything corrupt and indecnet..(and this is an endless list) comes from the wrongdoings of people following their lusts and desires of Satan’s persuasions.

    The US govt. oppresses people..and its people like you who make Americans in general hated by many if not most nations on the face of this earth.

    Am I proud to be an American? No, I am just grateful that GOD has given me a home where I can practice my religion, my way of life…as is stated in the Quran “There is no compulsion..”
    USA the govt, not the people, is an ally to terrorism..and the people for the most part are just clueless to that.

Comments are closed.