You learn something new everyday, and sometimes you learn something deeply symbolic. Such was the case for me yesterday when I was reading the Washington Post and a story they had about the first nuclear bomb test. How many of us know that the code name for this test was “Trinity”? How unsettling is that? How deeply revolting that should be to any Christian. How idolatrous that the Name we take as God’s deepest revelation of His character should have been used as the name for a weapon of such enormous power to destroy.
I can’t leave this subject without drawing out a further point. Often times in discussions with conservative Christian friends I feel such a profound disconnect because of their sense that the Christian character of America is under some sort of new, profound threat. Some might place that threat as coming from the cultural upheavals of the 1960s, others might point to the Roe v. Wade decision in 1972, still others will see the current Obama Administration as taking America on a decidedly post-Christian path. When I engage in these conversations, as I have often over the last thirty years, I feel such frustration at the historical amnesia reflected in these concerns. And so I ask “What kind of a ‘Christian America’ produces a mindset in which a nuclear bomb could be named Trinity? What kind of a Christian America is worth defending that could so willingly coexist with idolatry of that level? At what point do Christians in America ever face the reality that we live in a nation as rooted in sin and alienation from God as any other nation and that our call is not to prop up the Christian identity of any nation, but rather to live as salt and light in whatever nation it is that we live in?”