One of a Kind

Tom Sine says he's traveled the world over and never found anything quite like the American Religious Right.

Sine's piece, Divided by a Common Faith appear in the latest issue of Sojourners:

Here's the problem, says Sine:

American evangelicals tend to subscribe to a revisionist understanding of
the U.S. founding story that encourages them to view the United States as
God’s unique redemptive agent in the world. Not surprisingly, this view of
messianic nationalism makes it very easy for many American evangelicals to
support the neoconservative doctrine endorsing the pre-emptive and
redemptive use of violence to make the world a better place. Very few
evangelicals around the world support either this view of American
exceptionalism or this imperial use of pre-emptive violence to "improve"
life on this planet.

The only problem with this view, says Sine, is that it's not biblical. American Evangelicals, he says, "have allowed right-wing fears and nationalistic
dreams—rather than teachings of a biblical faith—to shape their Christian

To make this point, Sine quotes from sociologist Donald Kraybill of Messiah College:
"When public piety is surging, Christians must be
careful to distinguish between the god of American civil religion and the
God revealed in Jesus of Nazareth. The God of...Jesus sends the rain on the
just and the unjust. This God urges us to love our enemies, to bless those
who curse us.... For this God there is no east or west, no political
borders, no pet nations."


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