Dispatches from the Creation Wars

The American Patriot’s Bible

My friend Jim Babka emailed me about this and I was predictably appalled. Hot off the presses it’s The American Patriot’s Bible, a toxic mixture of fake history, fundamentalism and ignorant nationalism. The stupidity begins with the product description on Amazon:

This extremely unique Bible shows how the history of the United States connects the people and events of the Bible to our lives in a modern world. The story of the United States is wonderfully woven into the teachings of the Bible and includes a beautiful full-color family record section, memorable images from our nation’s history and hundreds of enlightening articles which complement the New King James Version Bible text.

The Bible doesn’t say a single word about the United States, of course, just as it says nothing about the modern state of Israel or Russia or anything else that came into existence centuries after it was canonized. The good news is that non-believers are not the only ones who think this book is repulsive; lots of Christians think so too, including Babka. Greg Boyd, a minister and author, blasts the concept. So do many of the reviewers on Amazon. The very first one says:

As an Evangelical Christian, I love the Bible. I also love this country, and I am descended from a line of men who have served in the American military since the Civil War era. However, I am deeply disturbed by this Bible and by the nationalistic “Christianity” that it exemplifies.

To conflate American Patriotism and militaristic American Nationalism with Christianity is to turn America’s Wars into Holy Wars. To literally weave together the Scriptures and the Flag, presenting them as one united and holy blend, is unholy. The effect is to create an “American Jesus” who is really a War God. With all my heart, I believe that to print The American Patriot’s Bible is to desecrate the Word of God.

But after the anger has burnt off, I am just saddened by this Bible, deeply saddened, because I know that many American Christians, even some who attend my own church, will not feel revolted by it at all. I am terribly afraid that Thomas Nelson made a wise business decision in producing this blasphemous Bible.

Please know that there are American Christians deeply wounded and ashamed of the existence of this Bible.

You know who else would be appalled by this Bible? The religious right ministers in the days of the founding of this nation, most of whom ranted endlessly against the Constitution, particularly Article 6 and the first amendment.