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.
- Web page for the book by the publisher.
- Use worldcat.org to find a library near you which carries the book.
- You can follow the author on Twitter.
- 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?