29 May, 2011

Twilight of the Saints Ch. 1

Twilight of the saints:Effects of Civil Religion within America
            Robert D. Linder and Richard V. Pierard do an excellent job at the religious problem facing American Pop culture.  The chapter deals with defining civil religion directly with the United States.   This problem is one of pluralism.  The United States did not always have an unofficial religion of pluralism.  At one point in time the United States was a country based on the basic understanding of a supernatural entity.  Twilight of the Saints gives an account of the reason for falling down this slippery sloop of pluralism.  The authors give a defence for why Christians can save America and why it is too late.
One of the defences is the orgins of the Uniteds States.  Originally the United States was founded as a British colony.  The majority of the people populating these colonies were English Puritans.  These people held a dominant religion until the twentieth century.  “During the nineteenth century the country flourished on the principles of biblical Christanity”[1]  In the twentieth century the country underwent many changes and endured hardships.  This is due to the events like presidential assignations, Vietnam War, and two world wars to say the least.  Somewhere in all this Americans stopped practicing the civil religion which the immigrant puritans began.  The orgins of America are Christian but somewhere over the years we have strayed from the orgins.  “Upon Christian Principles as a holy experiment by people who had faith in Jesus Christ”[2]
Civil Religion is the use of consensus religious sentiments. This means when we use the national motto “In God We Trust” it is to further a certain political agenda.  The pluralism has become so bad, we the people of the United States, thought about removing this part of our heritage from the history books.  They like to compare their heritage to religious events in order to comply too civil religion.  “Our freedom from the course of sin cost God His only begotten son. Our American freedom cost our forefathers and it cost the men who signed the declaration. ”[3]
Many people within the United States believe the United States is the new Isreal.  In the Old Testament Israel was chosen by God to be his people.  People now are thinking that God has gone aginst his character and changed his nation of favor.  “We Americans are the peculiar, chosen people-the Israel of our time”[4]
Throughout the years each and every president has used God as a puppet to further their campaign.  Many candidates attend church and make sure video cameras are present.  Presidents use God and religious phrases in their speeches alongside patriotic phrases.  This is something which the American people have always had this and will continue to vote for the individuals who do it the best.  People want to see this because it really is both God and Country.  American people love their flag and will do anything to protect it.  Americans are disgusted when they see images of American flags being burned, when they are not aware if someone burned a cross on a churches front lawn.  Americans want their religious references to remain intact for future generations.
Because of the introduction of secularism the people have come close to abolishing “In God We Trust” and the line in the pledge of allegiance referring to God.  The church is standing idly by and watching this happen.  The church only does this because it thinks it is powerless to stop anything.  This is not true, but we should have acted when this book was written.  Unfortunately the pluralism has abolished the propose of the United States by removing God.   Now the people of the United States enjoy a purpose free nation and therefore they themselves are living purpose free lives.  This creates many people who are unhappy and discontent with life in general.  Our nation has lost it moral compass as well as its purpose. 

[1] 152
[2] 148
[3] 150
[4] 144

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