Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Review: One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America by Kevin M Kruse

I reviewed this book through a series of Twitter status updates using the hashtag #1NationUnder. I've also Storify'd it, adding some additional comments, which you can see after the jump.

Review: One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America by Kevin M Kruse

Review: One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America by Kevin M Kruse

Collection of thoughts on the book One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America by Kevin M Kruse. I tweeted using the hashtag #1NationUnder.

  1. Web page for the book by the publisher.
  2. Use worldcat.org to find a library near you which carries the book.
  3. You can follow the author on Twitter.
  4. Our Augusta, Georgia chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State discussed this book as part of the Establishment Clause Book Club. We were divided on the question ofwhether the author proved the hypothesis of the book’s subtitle. Did corporate America “invent” Christian America? And even if USA oligarchs conspired to promote “Christian America,” wasn’t America already leaning that way to the extent it adopted this idea?

    My position was that we should not get too hung up on the subtitle’s claim, since the main object of a book title is to sell the book. My opinion is that USA oligarchs did seek to promote Christian Libertarianism, and what Kruse demonstrates is that many people in the United States adopted the Christian part without the Libertarianism part. Thus, the USA inserted “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance, but it hasn’t (yet) rolled back all aspects of the New Deal, like Social Security.

    The most serious impact the marriage of oligarch and religion on our polity is a dumbing down of the population and the substitution of wishful religious proclamations for pursuit of policies demanding national sacrifice based on considerations of fairness and quality science. So when a school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut claims the lives of 26 children and employees in an elementary school, some people decided it was because God didn’t protect them after we “kicked God out of public schools.” We don’t want to deal with greenhouse gas emissions because it would require to us to turn the temperature on our air conditioner units from 72° to 78°. Quelle horreur!

    As you review the passages I’ve excerpted from this book,consider how religious proclamations among various religious communities promote specific policies. If religion matters to you, are those policies supportive of the poor and marginalized, or are they in service to the wealthy and powerful?
  5. #1NationUnder Surah 5, ayat 62-3 condemns clergy who concern themselves with pleasing the powerful & acquiring wealth http://t.co/MSDFHrUfCg
    #1NationUnder Surah 5, ayat 62-3 condemns clergy who concern themselves with pleasing the powerful & acquiring wealth pic.twitter.com/MSDFHrUfCg
  6. #USA post-WW2 religious revival: nearly 50% increase in religion institution affiliation #1NationUnder #history http://t.co/G81mQATcbN
    #USA post-WW2 religious revival: nearly 50% increase in religion institution affiliation #1NationUnder #history pic.twitter.com/G81mQATcbN
  7. #1NationUnder Industrialists' PR efforts against labor & New Deal ineffective through 1930s&40s #propaganda #USA http://t.co/QHv5gceXdE
    #1NationUnder Industrialists' PR efforts against labor & New Deal ineffective through 1930s&40s #propaganda #USA pic.twitter.com/QHv5gceXdE
  8. #1NationUnder James Fifield was theologically liberal & politically conservative. He also maintained wealth & virtue were compatible p10
  9. #1NationUnder Oil man & theological conservative J Howard Pew supported Fifield despite doctrinal differences  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Howard_Pew â€¦
  10. #1NationUnder p72 After Eisenhower, religion would no longer be used to tear down the central state but instead to prop it up. (1/2)
  11. #1NationUnder Piety and patriotism became one and the same, love of God and love of country conflated to the core. (2/2)
  12. #1NationUnder Hotel magnate Conrad Hilton commissioned painting emphasizing #USA relationship to religion #Eisenhower http://t.co/ChW0O14ki8
    #1NationUnder Hotel magnate Conrad Hilton commissioned painting emphasizing #USA relationship to religion #Eisenhower pic.twitter.com/ChW0O14ki8
  13. #1NationUnder @MadMen_AMC not show this "advertising industry discovered religion as a means of professional salvation" post-Depression p130
  14. #1NationUnder p132 1949 Advertising Council launchd "Religion in American Life" campaign 1) religion basis of American life 2) attend church
  15. #1NationUnder p138 "Churches r beginning 2 advertise their product & t result is that they r selling it." #MadMen @MadMen_AMC #religion #USA
  16. #1NationUnder Merle Haggard performed Silent Majority anthem at Billy Graham's 1970 Honor America Day  https://youtu.be/ZHAFmFsb9XM 
  17. #1NationUnder legendary director Cecil B DeMille followed a familiar path to religious nationalism in the postwar era http://t.co/oOc4rCdn3z
    #1NationUnder legendary director Cecil B DeMille followed a familiar path to religious nationalism in the postwar era pic.twitter.com/oOc4rCdn3z
  18. #1NationUnder Rev William Morrison: state-ordained prayer "a theological caricature at best or a theological monstrosity at worst." p219
  19. #1NationUnder Bishop John Wesley Lord of Methodist Church #schoolprayer --> "Biblical illiterates" & profaned worship http://t.co/tEoWUPQpIL
    #1NationUnder Bishop John Wesley Lord of Methodist Church #schoolprayer --> "Biblical illiterates" & profaned worship pic.twitter.com/tEoWUPQpIL
  20. #1NationUnder Illinois Sen Dirksen foresaw religious mobilization along political rather than denominational lines http://t.co/0uet1ICgMP
    #1NationUnder Illinois Sen Dirksen foresaw religious mobilization along political rather than denominational lines pic.twitter.com/0uet1ICgMP
  21. #1NationUnder p252 President Nixon cultivated relationships with clergy who were sympathetic politically #USA #History
  22. #1NationUnder President Reagan avg 3 trips to church/yr but faithfully attended public religiosity such as the National Prayer Breakfast