Thursday, February 19, 2015

God's Constitution and Christian Idolatry

Looking into the controversy surrounding the new AP history guidelines, Rod Dreher stumbled on a movement called the Black Robe Regiment:
The Black Robe Regiment is a resource and networking entity where church leaders and laypeople can network and educate themselves as to our biblical responsibility to stand up for our Lord and Savior and to protect the freedoms and liberties granted to a moral people in the divinely inspired US Constitution. The Regiment had its historical beginnings during the Revolutionary War when Pastors from across the colonies arose and lead their congregations into the battle for freedom. . . .

These folks who now inhabited this New Jerusalem (this New Eden that Christopher Columbus saw), were living out what they saw as a life and a country that was fashioned entirely by their Creator. The Constitution (Part 1–the Declaration of Independence, and part 2), was and is a covenant between the people of America and their Heavenly Father. It was written for a Christian people….who are fully able to internally govern themselves. Thus, the meaning of a Republic that was inspired by God’s Word and spells out the mission of God’s children and Christ’s ambassadors on Earth.
Ah, the New Eden of the American suburbs.

Dreher got dragged into this after tweeting about lynching and encountering "Christians" who deny that such things ever happened in America. Dreher is an Orthodox Christian and he worries about such beliefs on theological grounds as well as historical; to Catholics and Orthodox (as Pope Benedict said on several occasions) putting the nation on par with God is idolatry. But for many Southern Baptists in particular it seems that worshiping America is an essential part of their faith.

How such people and I could ever agree on the content of an American history course escapes me.

3 comments:

G. Verloren said...

A "divinely inspired" US Constitution? Even a cursory knowledge of the men who drafted the document (and very rapidly amended it) shows this notion couldn't be further from the truth.

Doesn't this level of disconnect from reality qualify as some sort of mental sickness? Isn't denying the reality of things like lynchings or the Holocaust a sort of sociopathy? Should we be doing something about these people and their monstrous delusions? Or are we morally and philosophically compelled to leave them be, so long as they are not a real and imminent danger?

John said...

I'm all for trying to confront these awful views of American history, but I have no idea how to go about that. Some beliefs are simply impervious to evidence.

David said...

Part of the power of these beliefs is that they are, to borrow from another post, a right-wing form of cultural signalling. Arguing against them may be counter-productive because anyone who does so signals that they are (now to borrow from George Carlin) a commie-fag-junkie, aka a rootless cosmopolitan New Age atheist secular humanist elitist--and targeting such people is part of the whole point of such beliefs in the first place.

Some references I've seen indicate that what the true believers among such folk do respect is a thorough knowledge of the Bible. If you're going to argue with beliefs like this, a Bible-steeped argument, with plenty of chapter and verse, may be the most effective.

David