I am not a fan of the the politicization of American Christianity. I view the blend of American exceptionalism with Christianity as a very toxic stew that produces nothing but drek. Many American evangelicals would bristle at that observation, but there it is. I have written briefly on this in the past (search the tags for “Christian Nationalism”). For some good context to understand my perspective on this, I’d recommend the following:
- One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America by Kevin Kruse.
- Who Is an Evangelical?: The History of a Movement in Crisis by Thomas Kidd.
- Blinded by Might: Why the Religious Right Can’t Save America by Cal Thomas and Ed Dobson.
- Moral Reconstruction: Christian Lobbyists and the Federal Legislation of Morality, 1865-1920 by Gaines Foster.
- The Evangelicals: The Struggle to Shape America by Frances Fitzgerald.
- Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump by John Fea.
Just this past weekend, I received a fundraising letter from a creature of the Religious Right named Ralph Reed. He’s been around for a long time. He was a “whiz kid” of the Conservative movement in the early 1990s who powered the Christian Coalition to amazing success. He is now head of the “Faith & Freedom Coalition.” He personifies the false Christianity of the most fetid corners of the Religious Right’s dank basement. I speak so strongly because I believe this amalgamation of politics + alleged Christianity is nothing more than a witches brew that has sucked many into a cesspool. Just suggest you remove your American flag from the platform or dais inside your church building, and you’ll see what I mean.
Back in 1999, Cal Thomas and Ed Dobson wrote a book titled Blinded by Might (linked above). Both men were “on the ground” with Jerry Falwell during the heyday of the Moral Majority, in the early 1980s. They were key lieutenants in the movement. But, they became disillusioned. They wrote this book to warn evangelicals there was no pot of gold at the end of the political rainbow. All the effort, all the money, all the striving after House seats, Senate seats, Supreme Court seats has achieved … nothing.
In that wonderful book, Cal Thomas makes this observation:
That was in 1999, reminiscing about the good ole’ days from the early 1980s. Here is what I received from Ralph Reed this past weekend:
I used this loathsome correspondence in my sermon from this past Sunday, as I preached from Zechariah 8. Here are my excerpted remarks: