Tuesday, March 08, 2022

Christian nationalism has a history

Nationalism has been entangled with religion—or has served more or less directly as a religion—from its beginnings. Early nationalisms were syncretized with the Bible. In 1719, Isaac Watts translated the Psalms, replacing the word Israel repeatedly with Great Britain. Disillusioned English settlers in America aimed at creating the “true Israel of God” and considered themselves “God’s peculiar people” led into the wilderness to expand and reform “England, God’s Israel.” The earliest known use of the English term nationalism was in the mid-nineteenth century, referring to the divine election of a nation (other than ancient Israel).

In our time, a powerful distillation of this nationalism is found in Peter Marshall and David Manuel’s The Light and the Glory, first published in 1977 and most recently in a revised and expanded edition in 2009. More than a million copies of the book have been sold, and it has been widely used in private Christian schools and Christian home schools.— Naming Neoliberalism: Exposing the Spirit of Our Age, 117

<idle musing>
I tried to read The Light and the Glory back in 1977. I couldn't get past the secodn chapter, it was so flawed. I pointed out the errors to the person that loaned the book to me, but they seemed uninterested in the errors, claiming that the "truth" of the book was greater than the facts. Huh? How can that be?

That was my first exposure to "Christian" nationalism. And I've been running from it ever since!
</idle musing>

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