Today, I found myself in the middle of some serious, if not heated discussions via text message and facebook and twitter (what’s new?) about the Dodge “God Made A Farmer” ad during the Super Bowl. Apparently, asking one simple question about the commercial apparently is enough to offend some people to “unfriend” me or whatever. I care not. Here’s what I do care about. First things first, if you enjoyed the ad, no I don’t think you’re racist or whatever. More power to you. Second, if a multinational corporation makes a claim about God in public, as a Christian intellectual, it is my duty to ask questions. No claim about God is ever innocent or objective. None. Ever. This is coming from a Jesus-following, bible-believing, creed-affirming Christian. Just because it looks like a company is saying good things about “god” or people does not mean they are about reproach or criticism.
1st, So I ask Dodge Ram, which “god” made the farmer you are referring to in this ad? Which “god” are you talking about?
2nd, simply put, how did the farmers get their land? How did “god” provide land for these farmers? Was it perhaps the Homestead Act that Abraham Lincoln signed in 1862 so that whites could be squatters and “settlers” on First Nations Peoples’ land? Was it Manifest Destiny? The Trail of Tears? A Plantation? I want to know, just how did “god” provide land for his ELECT White American male farmer?
The 2nd question gets folks tongue-tied, cuz they don’t want to answer the question. Look, I am sick of revisionist history. I have had to deal with this BS all of my life, ever since third grade. I had to educate myself on the history of African Americans and Native Americans starting then. Social studies classes for elementary schools are sugar-coated and dishonest all in the name of nationalism.
The Super Bowl is a favorite national past-time. Football many claim is a religion. This claim, as I stated above is not an innocent truth claim. Football is part of a nationalistic religion, starting from junior high, pep rallies prepare the young to be subservient patriots not willing to criticize their country, for the good of the team! I like to watch football and the Super Bowl like everyone else, but I refuse to stay quiet when I see blatant nationalism prancing around as innocent agrarian nostalgia.