Sunday, August 18, 2013

My Reflections on the Worst of the Worst- "Under God" 2

Finished the Introduction (yes I know, it was all of four pages long-- give me a break, I've been busy).
The overall point of the Introduction is that we have a "dual heritage" (8). That is, we have a history that is both good and evil mixed together. On the one hand, we have those freedom- and God-loving founders (especially in New England), which is good. On the other hand, we have slavery, the destruction of the Native Americans, and those greedy Virginians in Jamestown, which are bad. After all, "many people came to America" (pg 8, who could ever disagree with so profound a statement?), and we should expect to find a mixed bag of good and evil. And yet, the authors assure us, "our forefathers recognized God's hand in the shaping of this nation." That the "God" recognized by the people varied depending on when or who we're talking about is apparently less relevant. The Triune God of the Puritans is very much not the same God as the crypto-Unitarian god of John Adams, or the Deistic God of Thomas Paine, Ethan Allan, or Thomas Jefferson. Across the space of 150 years, culture and theology changes quite a lot...

Fortunately, the authors are going to give us a guide.
When we decided to embark upon creating a book, we decided to use King David from the Bible as our model. He was a man after God's own heart, but he was also a murderer and an adulterer. (9)
I feel that I should point out that he was also a freakin' king. Now granted, I don't yet know exactly what they mean by using David "as our model," but given that one of the few aspects of American government that actually was unique for the time was the jettisoning of aristocracy, it seems odd (to say the least) to choose a monarch as the model for a book about America. of course, using someone from the book of Judges would probably not serve their purposes well either...

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