Jack Simpson - God bless America

I'll be happy when Election Day has come and gone. Are you as tired as I am of all this political chatter? We have all heard so many speeches from all the candidates that we can almost tell in advance what each of them is going to say!

One thing we can depend upon is that somewhere in the speech we will hear "God Bless America." It is usually convenient to say this as a concluding remark, but don't be surprised to hear this self-serving remark anywhere in the text.

I remember back in World War II some of our Army chaplains used to hold prayer meeting before battle and say at the end, "God Bless America." It was comforting to hear these words, but it brought questions to mind.

Was some German chaplain on the other side of the front lines concluding his sermon with "God Bless Germany?" Did God really approve of war and was one side or the other receiving his special blessing? Was God going to be nicer to Americans because an American chaplain asked him to? Or, was the German soldier going to be more blessed this day in combat because his chaplain spoke more eloquently to God? Maybe God approved of the person who wrote each sermon, but didn't approve of the person delivering it.

Anyway, as a young soldier putting his life on the line every day at Anzio, the invasion of Southern France, and the battle for Germany, it always worried me to hear a chaplain say "God Bless America." I hoped God took these words to heart and followed through because I wanted to return home safely. All I can say is that I have returned safely so there must be something to politicians and chaplains asking for God's blessing.

Come to think of it, politicians have been saying "God Bless America" for many years and look at all the good things that we have. Most of us have nice homes, snazzy cars, good jobs, plenty to eat, television, movies, electric power and beauty all around us.

At least we had these nice things until recently when some of us got into economic trouble, lost our jobs and our homes, and are experiencing recession. Our markets are on the brink of collapse and we have calamities in our financial world.

Do you think some politician or other has asked God to bless us one time too many? Is he ready to turn his back on us until we get our act together?

Free elections are a way out of trouble and we are about to hold one. Perhaps our new leader will be wired at the top so when he asks for a blessing, it will be forthcoming. We need all the help we can get right now.

Jack Simpson is a former educator, veteran, author, and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each Friday.