Regrettably, Newsweek (which I’ve subscribed to since high school – I’m a news geek) isn’t posting online its most recent edition (which I received by mail on Tuesday). If it did, I would link the most recent “Scope” article by Lisa Miller. She writes about what is motivating the Religious Right leading up to the 2012 elections (already?).
Miller suggests that what is motivating Evangelical Christians in the USA of the Religious Right stripe is not the culture-war issues as in the last general election, like abortion or gay-marriage, but what is motivating them for the upcoming election “is a vision of America as God’s own special country and a belief that free-market capitalism is crucial to its flourishing,” according to Tony Campolo.
A quote by Tony Compolo from the article:
“The marriage between evangelicalism and patriotic nationalism is so strong… that anybody who is raising questions about loyalty to the old laissez-faire capitalist system – by, say, supporting bailouts – is unpatriotic, un-American, and, by association, non-Christian.” This is a shame for the cause of Christ in the USA!”
This is a sad day for Christianity and the Cause of Christ in the United States. We reduce the enduring and life-giving Gospel of to political and/or economic ideologies that are nothing more than the creations of Man, not God! The Church and the Gospel are defamed and trivialized to the point of being nothing more than a reflection of the latest cultural trend.
With respect to the Gospel and an eternal perspective there is no such thing as “American Exceptionalism.” There may well be exceptional things that have come out of the United States during its history, but that does not mean there is such a thing as a divinely established “American Exceptionalism.” A word for those who believe such a thing may be hubris or perhaps vainglory.
We wouldn’t be what we are today if it were not for the exceptional nature of the English contribution to world history. Yet, I don’t hear of an English Exceptionalism (of course, the colonized peoples of the world would certainly make exception to such a claim).
A little humility, please, and the acknowledgment that this culture is anything but Christian – as least as Scripture and the authors of it describe this thing called the life in Christ. (All of this coming from a person, me, who truly believes that many very positive and creative things coming out of the United States have been valuable contributions to the world’s well being, reflected in such things as American ingenuity and out of the Protestant Work Ethic, and from one who tends to be more philosophically conservative – which is different than the present neo-Conservative idiocy.)
So, there you go.