"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Jebus, we hardly knew ye
For the most religious nation in the western world and the proud home of muscular evangelical protestentism, the United States and its people apparently know diddlysquat about Christianity, at least according to Harper's Bill McKibbon. Go read what he has to say at:
The Christian Paradox (Harpers.org)

here's the lede:

"Only 40 percent of Americans can name more than four of the Ten
Commandments, and a scant half can cite any of the four authors of the Gospels.
Twelve percent believe Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife. This failure to recall the
specifics of our Christian heritage may be further evidence of our nation’s
educational decline, but it probably doesn’t matter all that much in spiritual
or political terms.

Here is a statistic that does matter: Three quarters of Americans believe the Bible teaches that “God helps those who help themselves.” That is, three out of four Americans believe that this uber-American idea, a notion at the core of our current individualist politics and culture, which was in fact uttered by Ben Franklin, actually appears in Holy Scripture.

The thing is, not only is Franklin’s wisdom not biblical; it’s counter-biblical. Few ideas could be further from the gospel message, with its radical summons to love of neighbor. On this essential matter, most Americans—most American Christians—are simply wrong, as if 75 percent of American scientists believed that Newton proved gravity causes apples to fly up. "

And a shout out to the Canadian Cynic (see blogroll) for pointing me to this.

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