“City Upon a Hill”

In A Model of Christian Charity, Winthrop directs his sermon towards the importance of obeying God and prioritizing him as they construct their colonial life. The basis of religion having an impact in government should seem long gone since our current political system reiterates a society where church and state should be separate but are they? While the message has been altered for a personal agenda of the person quoting “city upon a hill” the comparisons being made cannot be ignored. The City in which discussed from a president-elect perspective refers to the United States and how we choose to go about that information, being put on a Pedestal or Hill, can result in either thriving in society or suffering, because automatically we’re to believe there is no other option. Winthrop not only reiterated the importance of God but also what makes someone a “true Christian”. He states, “First of all, true Christians are of one body in Christ (1 Cor. 12). Ye are the body of Christ and members of their part. All the parts of this body being thus united are made so contiguous in a special relation as they must needs partake of each other’s strength and infirmity; joy and sorrow, weal and woe. If one member suffers, all suffer with it, if one be in honor, all rejoice with it” (5). We can also say that when used in politics rather than it being “true Christians” what is meant is “true Americans”, the message should be that we should be equal and when one member suffers so will everyone else but does it happen that way? When people in society are thriving and others are struggling we have become a political system in which being left behind in support, literally and figuratively, is evident. When Obama, for instance, used this sermon as an anti-Trump slogan he predicted an outcome where the strive to being a “true American” will be taken out of context and when done so will result in many people getting left behind, suffering.

Winthrop’s intention as I perceive through this sermon was optimism for the colonized land; to lead a group of people whom aspire to be “true Christians” such as he was. The lingering threat that someone will strive away from being a “true Christian” is met with an ultimatum; if you stay behind we all crumble since you’re going against God. What has evolved overtime within our political system is that when someone stays behind then they will suffer while everyone else will go on being a “true American” along with their current leader, would we also say that this leader is being displayed as a “God”? Is there a possibility that Winthrop’s sermon has been twisted into making a society such as the United States believe that their leader is equivalent to a God, in a way that we should not question nor differ from their philosophy?

-Kristy Frausto

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2 thoughts on ““City Upon a Hill”

  1. So the main idea is clearly questioning the context of Winthrop’s speech. I feel, however, that your evidence is lacking focusing on Winthrop when you could add information about others who have used the term before him.

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  2. I think the most original part of this post is its claim that optimism was what winthrop was claiming in his sermon. I think as an improvement I think you could tie in the concept of “Manifest Destiny”

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