The Scoop @ MSCO

I Spell God With Stars And Stripes

1286127_flagWhen I was a boy, my parents introduced me to organized religion. It didn’t go well. From the start, it became clear that I wasn’t big on anything “organized.”

Through the years however, I searched for the great value religion brings: something grander and greater than yourself to believe in. I always believed in God, but never in the flawed men and women who stood at the lectern and pretended to be His messenger.

I wasn’t proud of this nor did it make me feel right or wrong. It left me with a hole others could fill by putting on a suit and spending an hour at a house of worship once a week. I had no such rock to cling to.

But then, out of nowhere, in an oddly divine way, it came to me: America is my religion. Its  freedom, its  beauty, its exceptionalism, all come together in something I put my faith in, my heart in, my pride in.

Yes, I am more than an American. I am an “American-ist.” I am devoted to this nation, proud to be its defender, eager to crush its detractors. In its roots, it is freedom of religion, free enterprise–a big-hearted land of unlimited opportunity, soaring mountains, wild ambitions, powerful resolve and a potent ability to change course and correct its malfunctions (as it will soon do once again).

I know America is not and was never perfect but that is not the test. It is gorgeous and kind, strong and magnificent, inventive and immaculate. It is what I belive in. It is what I know was founded by leaders who knew they were engaging in a grand experiment. An experiment that thousands have given their lives for. An experiment that gave us a constitution, that produces
food for the world, that imagined Hollywood, that is still the bedrock of global finance, that conjures up dreams of success in destitute villages across the globe, that gave birth to automobiles, polio vaccines, Lincoln, Hemingway, motion pictures, lightbulbs, Google and Apple.

America is not just another country. It is a magnificent creation, imagined and defended by its people, yes, but more so, by a force greater than even its most passionate believers.

It is my religion. I spell God with stars and stripes.


Mark Stevens
MSCO | The Art and Science of Growing Businesses


  1. Elena Patrice ∣ September 21st / 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Powerful, moving … I’m humbled by every single thing you write. You’re the only writer and gentleman on the web who can make me so proud, move me so much and make me cry. I thank you for that … you give me hope in this crazy world.

    Much kindness,


  2. Really? ∣ September 21st / 2011 at 10:47 pm

    Perhaps you are overstating the case to make a point, but I find this post to be quite sad. I love my country too, but the level of devotion you express here seems quite out of place. To use religious language which you dislike, this sentiment seems to rise to the sin of idolatry. You might want to consider the well known Shelley poem, Ozymandias. Nothing in this world will last, so don’t lean too heavily on it.
    Cheers –

  3. Maggie ∣ September 25th / 2011 at 12:25 pm

    This is a great nation, because God made it so. The God behind the stars and stripes is my religion. I like your blog.

  4. Millard ∣ November 28th / 2012 at 1:11 am

    Hi! I’ve been reading your web site for some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Humble Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the great work!

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