August 31, 2005, on this blog: Counter-culture
Right-wing American Christians seem ambivalent about the Gospel’s counter-cultural imperative. On the one hand, they seem to regard America as God’s chosen nation, a city on a hill. They tend to speak of an undifferentiated “we” that refers to both church and state, and proudly speak of their nation in terms that their scriptures use exclusively for the fellowship of believers. On the other hand, they love to rail against the supposed decline of American morality and embrace jeremiads with titles like “Slouching Toward Gomorrah.”
Whether they describe America as Babylon or as the New Jerusalem seems to depend on how you phrase the question. Ask them if America is “good” and you’ll get an uncritically patriotic affirmative. Ask them if America is “moral” and you’ll get a fire and brimstone warning of the wrath to come.