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With an introduction by J. Gordon Melton (Distinguished Professor of American Religious History, Baylor University), God & Apple Pie: Religious Myths and Visions of America, (revised edition) by Christopher Buck, is about an unusual religious topic: the United States of America. “America” is, at once, nation and notion, country and creed, republic and rhetoric. This book is about Providence and principle — the relationship of the supernatural world to the world’s superpower. “America” is not in the Bible, nor in the Qur’an. Yet “America” today pulsates with religious significance. “America” is a word that has taken on mythic proportions. Eleven religions have been selected for their distinctive perspectives on America: (1) Native American religion (Iroquois); (2) Protestant Christianity (the Puritans); (3) the Christian Right; (4) Roman Catholicism; (5) Judaism (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist); (6) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons); (7) Christian Identity (White nationalists); (8) Nation of Islam (Black nationalists); (9) Islam (especially Radical Islamists and Progressive Muslims); (10) Buddhism (Tibetan and Soka Gakkai); and (11) the Baha’i Faith. Over the course of American history, religious myths and visions of America tend to reflect an ever-changing American civil society, whether as a function of its social evolution or as a catalyst of it. The result is: Religions re-mythologize America. And: Religions re-envision America. In his Introduction, Professor Melton writes: "Far from being an interesting additional topic for the religious dilettante, the discussion around the theological reality that is America periodically bursts forth as an important item on the nation’s agenda, from the place of prayer services in the White House, to the issuance of an annual government report on religious persecution, to the rise of contemporary terrorism. . . . I can, as a scholar, reflect on the contribution that this book, God & Apple Pie: Religious Myths and Visions of America, is making to our understanding of the American mosaic and how various segments of the religious community have found their way to being American. I welcome its information that allows me to empathize with and make informed decisions relative to those with whom I might align (or oppose) as I sally forth in the public square. And on a personal level, I welcome the author’s invitation for me to meet anew the residents of my neighborhood, those who shop in the same stores I do, send their children to the same schools my grandchildren attend, and diligently work toward their own appropriation of the American dream." God & Apple Pie invites serious reflection on what it means to be an American, particularly from a religious perspective.
Buck examines the religious significance of America by surveying those religions that have attached some kind of spiritual meaning to it.
The idea of the United States as a Christian nation is a powerful, seductive, and potentially destructive theme in American life, culture, and politics. Many fundamentalist and evangelical leaders routinely promote this notion, and millions of Americans simply assume the Christian character of the United States. And yet, as Richard T. Hughes reveals in this powerful book, the biblical vision of the "kingdom of God" stands at odds with the values and actions of an American empire that sanctions war instead of peace, promotes dominance and oppression instead of reconciliation, and exalts wealth and power instead of justice for the poor and needy. With conviction and careful consideration, Hughes reviews the myth of Christian America from its earliest history in the founding of the republic to the present day. Extensively analyzing the Old and New Testaments, Hughes provides a solid, scripturally-based explanation of the kingdom of God--a kingdom defined by love, peace, patience, and generosity. Throughout American history, however, this concept has been appropriated by religious and political leaders and distorted into a messianic nationalism that champions the United States as God's "chosen nation" and bears little resemblance to the teachings of Jesus. Pointing to a systemic biblical and theological illiteracy running rampant in the United States, Hughes investigates the reasons why so many Americans think of the United States as a Christian nation despite the Constitution's outright prohibition against establishing any national religion by law or coercion. He traces the development of fundamentalist Christianity throughout American history, noting especially the increased power and widespread influence of fundamentalism at the dawn of the twenty-first century, embodied and enacted by the administration of President George W. Bush and America's reaction to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
An entertaining and thought-provoking look at the common threads woven through the world's greatest myths -- and the central role they have played through time. From the Trade Paperback edition.
"From the founding of the colonies to the declaration of the Supreme Court, America's heritage is built upon the principles of the Christian religion. And yet the secularists are dismantling this foundation brick by brick, attempting to deny the very core of our national life. Gary DeMar presents well-documented facts which will change your perspective about what it means to be a Christian in America; the truth about America's Christian past as it relates to supreme court justices, and presidents; the Christian character of colonial charters, state constitutions, and the US Constitution; the Christian foundation of colleges, the Christian character of Washington, D.C.; the origin of Thanksgiving and so much more."--Publisher's description.
Presents an introduction to Middle Eastern mythology, discussing the cultural backgrounds of the myths and includes summaries of mythologies from such areas as Mesapotamia, Egypt, Arabia, and the western Semites.

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