Where's the birth certificate

Free and Strong America

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

On Race and American Exceptionalism


Mark Tooley reports on a recent survey conducted to assess American's religious attitudes toward the concept of American Exeptionalism which broke down the results into categories which including race of the respondents...

"The left-of-center Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) and Brookings Institution have released a post-election survey showing nearly 60 percent of Americans believe God has assigned America a "special role" in human history. Over 80 percent of white evangelicals believe in this special role for America, as do two thirds of minority Christians. Majorities of white Mainline Protestants and Catholics also agree. Two thirds of the religiously unaffiliated disbelieve in any special role for America.

Probably the surveyors were discomfited by the results, especially that the devotees of American exceptionalism were not confined to white evangelicals but were nearly as numerous among minority Christians, which presumably mostly means blacks and Hispanics. American exceptionalism essentially originated with the ancestors of Mainline Protestantism, who were America's earliest European settlers and America's primary religious pillars for most of our history. A half century of leftward drift by Mainline church elites unsurprisingly has dampened their confidence in exceptionalism, but most still adhere. Likewise for most Catholics. The survey frustratingly does not provide a detailed break-down, but almost certainly most religiously active Mainline Protestants and Catholics are more prone to American exceptionalism than the nominally affiliated.

Much and perhaps most of American exceptionalism originated with the Calvinist English religious dissenters who settled New England, the first wave of whom landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620. With Thanksgiving, America celebrates those dissenters' founding holiday. Later waves of Puritan immigrants conceived of their American adventure as an "errand in the wilderness." And some metaphorically likened their new civilization to the Chosen People of the Old Testament, with special blessings but also special obligations, always under both God's gracious care and sometimes severe judgment. Subsequent immigrants were not always as religiously devout. But the Puritan conception of America on a special mission from God that would benefit not just Americans but all peoples was reinforced by the heroic and spiritually animated struggle for American independence. Later immigrants, though far removed from the British Protestant tradition, still often comfortably embraced the notion of America as a sort of Promised Land, especially when compared to the travails of the old country. The Calvinist conception of American exceptionalism expanded to include other Protestants, Catholics and Jews."

Oh boo-hoo. The idea that all cultures and regions of the world don't carry the same weight when it comes to a broad spectrum of metrics of comparison and are decidedly NOT all of equal value still hasn't percolated through the tough veneer of the religiously affiliated. I was quite pleased to see that this idea isn't anywhere near dead but indeed prevelant in minority churches.



It's curious that the rumblings of artillery of the world's most recent crisis are currently aimed at the largest percentage of Christians in East Asia (S. Korea). May we take a moment to remember them this Thanksgiving as we sit in relative comfort and security here in the West. Me? I gotta work tomorrow, but I just started marinating a seven pound butt roast to pop into the slow-cooker tonight to have ready for Thursday. Happy Thanksgiving to all!



7 comments:

Froggie said...

Hope you have a nice Thanksgiving, JD.

Jill D said...

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JD Curtis said...

Happy Thanksgiving to you too Froggie.

JD Curtis said...

"Your comment will be visible after approval."


Yes, such is life when you have a clown prancing around your site making baseless accusations of bigotry and then refusing to back them up.

I'll tell you what, just for funsies, ask your friend WM (in a public forum, of course) how many times he openly displayed his social autism by posting his bigoted rants here after being told repeatedly to take his act elsewhere.

I just want to see if the number he provides jibes with mine.

JD Curtis said...

So anyway Froggie, I take the 7 pound butt roast and rinse it off with water and place it on a large platter, poking it with a fork in various places.

Then, in a small cup, I combine 3 oz. of apple cider vinegar, the juice of 1 wedge of lime and the juice of 1 wedge of lemon and rub this over the entire butt roast.

Then I chop up 1 clove of garlic and, using a knife, poke holes in the roast and insert small pieces of the garlic.

Then I rub Cajun Seasoning over the whole thing and let it set in the fridge for 10 hours before placing it in the crock pot for a minimum of 10 hrs on LOW.

I'll make a gravy out of the drippings :-)

GentleSkeptic said...

Slow-roast pork. Is. My. Favorite!

JD Curtis said...

I'm gonna have some today in the form of an open face sandwich :-)