American Civil Religion

I have believed for some time that there is a religion, roughly Christian in shape, that many Americans are members of. I’ve sometimes called it American Nondenominationalism (which used to be in the Dean’s World archives but I can no longer find). Anyway, imagine my surprise when something that looked very much like what I was describing was pointed out on Facebook by my friend Jerry Kindall as American Civil Religion. My only argument with it is that some Fundamentalist Christians tack their own particular type of Bible-only Fundamentalist Christianity onto it. Then you’ve got something pretty much exactly as I’ve described so many times.

Of course I suppose people who ascribe to this worldview snort at the rest of us as “liberal moral relativists” or somesuch, but… [shrug] I see so many of our national myths upheld as unquestionable truths rather than, well, myths much less interesting (if sometimes prettier) than our actual history, I now know what to call it when I see it.

  • http://www.jerrykindall.com/ Jerry Kindall

    Personally, I was surprised to see it go back so far.

  • http://www.deanesmay.com Dean Esmay

    Well every nation does develop its own national epics and legends sooner or later. (Well I’m not sure Canada has as yet, but maybe I’m missing something there.)