Slightly less Random Ramblings

January 19, 2009

Anthropomorphizing the American Civic Religion

Filed under: Obama, religion, statism — Robert Wicks @ 4:56 pm

Obedience to the state is a form of idolatry. The American civic religion, as it is often called, is the American denomination of this faith, which is common around the globe. In some places, the state religion, and the older, more authentic varieties, have been merged into something which confuses both the faithful and their opponents. In America, no such merger has occurred. This does not, however, mean that America is immune to the sort of religious savagery which grips much of the world.

The American civic religion, in stark contrast to that of much of the world, has never has an unambiguous instantiation upon which large portions of the populations could agree. America has always fancied itself a “melting pot,” blending together people of disparate cultures, races and religions. This is not an entirely accurate notion, but this variety of backgrounds from which Americans originate has proven an important impediment to state power. Southern Baptists, Lutherans, Jews of varying levels of religious fervor, and Catholics have never been able to agree on enough to begin a campaign of terror on those who differ, even if they had those among them who would be amenable to such an arrangement. American disunity has been of major import in maintaining domestic peace.

Now America is threatened, not from disunity or lack of patriotic fervor, but something quite different. America, its people and ideals face a grave threat from the very civic religion which their disunity has previously neutered. Barack Obama represents a grave threat to America, though not through any particular fault of his own. Indeed, George Bush is perhaps the man most responsible for the threat, as the extraordinary disillusionment with his Presidency has sparked a yearning in the hearts of many for a rescuer, a hero, a messiah. The national consciousness has been captured by Obama in a way I have never witnessed in my life. His ascension as the state god now made flesh should be alarming to all who oppose the state and its predations.

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