I had an interesting convergence of thoughts with Pastor Cunningham during a conversation with he and Frank. We started talking about prophecy and the future of the United States. Joan at the same time is taking a US History class that seems to have as its major focus the destruction of the Indians and the injustice of slavery. Why so much effort into destroying our sense of pride in our nation? Balancing my conversations with Joan about US History I read a book Americanism The Fourth Great Western Religion by David Gelernter. He does a great job of tracing the historical roots of our original Puritanism and bringing it into a modern character trait that is still trying to be “a shining light to the world”.
Yet, I know American character and culture are changing. I also read “A Study in National Character” which is the subtitle for a book published in 1948 and written by an Englishman Geoffrey Gorer titled “The American People”. Gorer is doing the work of a cultural anthropologist as he examines American character without touching upon the religious aspects. One of his main points was that because we were a nation of immigrants it was so important for the second and third generations to prove their Americanism by being like everyone else.
My daughter, Laura Michelle, had the opportunity to study under a fantastic professor at Saint Mary’s of Maryland named Professor Calvert. The teacher had specialized in America’s colonial religious experience. My daughter’s “St. Mary’s Project” took those beginnings, just like David Gelernter, and brought them into the present. Her main point was that there were two extremes that motivated the Puritans. One was an outward desire and action to move the world towards the good thing they had established in America. The other was to withdraw from the world and just be that shining example to the world. Both of these national pulls have been exhibited in our history up to this present time.
Bringing us back to the familiar chorus of “Blaming America” for everything. Here is a quote from Katie Couric speaking to the National Press Club.
"…The whole culture of wearing flags on our lapel and saying ‘we’ when referring to the United States and, even the ‘shock and awe’ of the initial stages, it was just too jubilant and just a little uncomfortable. And I remember feeling, when I was anchoring the ‘Today’ show, this inevitable march towards war and kind of feeling like, ‘Will anybody put the brakes on this?’ And is this really being properly challenged by the right people? And I think, at the time, anyone who questioned the administration was considered unpatriotic and it was a very difficult position to be in.”
Here is a quote from David Ehrenstein debating Andrew Breibart in a wonderful series in the LA times: A fortiori I’m not so sure about the "love my country" bit as I’m markedly disenchanted with the entire concept of all nation-states. Move an inch beyond language and culture and their meaning and purpose almost invariably mirrors that of the Crips and the Bloods.
Bringing us back to our conversation that afternoon. Joan’s teacher does have an idea of a future where America is folded into a better international framework to solve the world’s problems. It is called the one world government prophesized by the Bible. We will just have to watch and see.