Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Our "Christian" nation under a God? (audio)

Kevin M. Kruse, Mitch Jeserich (L&P, KFPA.org); CC Liu, Dhr. Seven, Wisdom Quarterly
The Christ and the Buddha as "Saintly Young Men" (Manga by Geraldford/flickr.com)

One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America
One Nation Under God or GM? (goodreads.com)
We are often told that the United States is, was, and has always been a "Christian" nation. But in One Nation Under God, Princeton University historian Prof. Kevin M. Kruse (a member of the Executive Committee of the Center for the Study of Religion) reveals that the idea of a “Christian America” is an invention -- a very recent one.
Wasn't Jesus a right-wing Republican?
As Kruse argues, the belief that America is fundamentally and formally a Christian nation originated in the 1930s when libertarian businessmen enlist Christian religious zealots and activists in their fight against FDR’s New Deal.

Corporations from General Motors (GM, Inc.) to Hilton Hotels bankrolled conservative clergymen, encouraging them to attack the liberal New Deal as a program of “pagan state-ism” that perverted the central principle of [Protestant] Christianity: the salvation of the individual.

Princeton Prof. Kevin M. Kruse
The right-wing's campaign for “freedom under God” [instead of the far more practical and egalitarian American virtue of freedom from a state God or state religion] culminated in the election of their Republican ally Pres. Eisenhower in 1952 and Eisenhower's warmonger running mate Dick Nixon. But this apparent triumph had an ironic twist:
In Eisenhower’s hands, a religious movement born in opposition to the government was transformed into one that fused faith and the federal government as never before.

TV is what we Americans really worship, judging by the time we spend being hypnotically programmed by the CIA's Hollywood, FOX, and "experts" all over the mainstream media.
Would white Jesus join the NRA?
During the 1950s, Pres. Eisenhower changed the role of religion in American political culture, inventing new traditions from inaugural prayers to the National Prayer Breakfast.
Meanwhile, Congress added the phrase “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance and made “In God We Trust” the country’s first official motto. With private groups joining in, church membership soared to an all-time high of 69%.

"In God We Trust, Inc." (Dead Kennedys)
For the first time, many Americans began to think of their country as an “officially” Christian nation, which it was never intended to be -- according to its founders.
Then virtually all Americans -- across the [Judeo-Christian] religious and political spectrum -- really believed that their country was “one nation under [one] God.” But as we Americans moved from broad generalities to the details of issues like school prayer, cracks began to appear.

Real black Jesus of Nazareth, Africa
Religious leaders rejected this “lowest common denomination” public religion, leaving conservative political activists to champion it alone. In Pres. Dick Nixon’s hands, a politics that confused religious piety and patriotism became the sole property of the right-wing.

Provocative and authoritative, One Nation Under God reveals how the unholy alliance of money, religion, and politics created a false origin story that continues to divide and define American politics to today. More
  • What's a Jewish Buddhist?Jubu” is the colloquial term to describe a Jewish Buddhist, someone with a Jewish ethnic and/or religious background who has a taken on Buddhist practice of some sort, whether meditation or spirituality. The term was first brought into wide circulation with the publication of The Jew in the Lotus by Rodger Kamenetz, a book which chronicled a meeting between the Dalai Lama and several rabbis. The Dalai Lama wanted to know how the Jews survived as a people without a country for 2,000 years. The rabbis wanted to know what so many Jews were seeking in Buddhism.

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