11/30/2010—Just as there is no I in team, there is no god in America. I received an email from Mark Tooley of the Institute on Religion and Democracy insisting on America’s divine calling. Here is an excerpt:
“Many left-leaning and often anti-American preachers and theologians are distressed by American ‘exceptionalism,’ the idea that our nation has a unique providential purpose. A recent poll showed most Americans believe God has a “special role” for America in history. White evangelicals are the most inclined to believe it, but minority Christians also strongly believe it, followed by fewer but still a majority of Mainline Protestants and Catholics. Read my commentary in the American Spectator.”
What kind of Christian theology is this? America is an empire, not much different from Rome. And of course it behaves like one, as the Bible would foretell. The American people are like other people—we are not going to sacrifice our standard of living in order to protect the climate or do anything else unless we are forced to do so. We are no worse than any other people, but no better.
This would come as no news to Reinhold Niebuhr, but apparently conservative Christians have now become idolaters, worshiping the nation. Just to remind everyone, the Hebrew slaves were faithless in the desert, wanting nothing more than to return to Egypt. And they were the chosen people. Why should Americans be regarded as any better?
What we see here is the worst kind of modernism—the kind that pretends to be conservative and to be upholding traditional values. Sure Tooley does that when it comes to gays. But when it comes to something of self-critique, he wants reassuring ease, not the Gospel.