2) The State
Oh boy. This one might ruffle a few feathers. What is the biggest, most powerful “god” in America? It is the state. No question about it. The state is immensely powerful. It possesses a fiercely devoted following (millions upon millions), a hymnody (God Bless America, Star Spangled Banner, Battle Hymn of the Republic, etc.), a canonized sainthood (Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, Roosevelt, etc.), scripture (The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, Bill of Rights, etc.), its own icons /symbols (American Flag, Liberty Bell, Eagle, etc.), temples (Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, the Pentagon, etc.), requires mandatory tithing and indulgences (as much as 1/3 of your income, fines, etc.), oaths (The Pledge of Allegiance, military officer oath, politicians oath, etc.) and more. Who do people often petition rather than God when they have big problems? Who do people run to for protection? Who do people expect to provide for their needs, give them good health, educate their kids, and create jobs for them? The state. Look at this picture of a “church service.” Notice what you see going on.
How did this stuff get into the sacred space of our Lord Jesus Christ? The answer is simple: it’s syncretism (the amalgamation of different religions, cultures, or schools of thought). Ever heard someone say that 95% of Haitians are Catholic and 100% are Voodoo? That is what is going on here. Many Americans (like the Haitians) practice two full-on religions — Christianity and the religion of the American state.
But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. – 1 Samuel 8:6-8