Because life is a series of edits

Live-Blogging: God in America (Parts 5 & 6)

In Thought on October 13, 2010 at 8:09 pm

God in America

Final live-blogging installment in response to PBS' God in America documentary:

8:06 – Billy Graham + paranoia about Russia = spiritual revival in America?

8:13 – Marriage of democracy with religion in the 1950s yields 65% national church attendance; "under God" added to Pledge of Allegiance; "In God We Trust" added to currency.

8:18 – Graham's message in the late 1950s seems much more anti-Communist than Gospel. Prothero: Graham is the one who linked religion with patriotism.

8:23 – Had no idea the whole debate over religious education in public schools started in Champaign, IL.

8:30 – Transition to Civl Rights movement and religion's place in pursuit of racial equality.

8:37 – John Kennedy's candidacy reignites national fear of Catholics; Graham, concerned about a Roman Catholic in the White House, gathers Protestant clergy in Montreux, Switzerland, to figure out how to defeat Kennedy. Seems a little too conspiratorial.

8:46 – Kennedy quote regarding Civil Rights movement: "We need new laws, but law alone cannot make men do right." Agreed.

8:48 – Recognition of the on-going importance of the Exodus narrative in American history, especially for Puritans, African-Americans, etc. Some good stuff here.

8:57 – Claim that the Gospel goes beyond personal redemption to social justice because of the Civil Rights movement; the mistake here is that true Gospel living includes both.

9:00 – Strangely, not one mention of the Jesus Movement; instead, how about some white fundamentalist sub-culture (a la Falwell, Robertson, et. al.)? Yikes.

9:04 – Francis Schaeffer makes the cut! Love the goatee and knickers!

9:09 – Schaeffer ultimately responsible for the Moral Majority? Not sure I trust son Franky's retelling of history here.

9:14 – Say what you will about his politics, I sure miss listening to Ronald Reagan speak (competent utilization of complete sentences, no desperate dependence on teleprompters, etc.).

9:20 – Oh, brother. Jim Wallis.

9:24 – Geez, Ralph Reed still looks like he's 20.

9:26 – Wondering when we were going to get around to more non-Christian religions, but L.A. as most religiously diverse city in the world? For whatever reason, that surprises me.

9:30 – President/theologian George Bush declares Islam a religion of peace.

9:32 – Hat tip to Pentecostalism (can't believe didn't talk about it earlier in 20th century).

9:34 – Prothero: Mixing of political parties and religious denominations has caused young people to disssociate from both. True, methinks.

9:38 – Rick Warren and his purpose-driven life.

9:42 – E.J. Dionne: "You might say the Democrats discovered God in the 2004 exit polls."

9:49 – Here comes the pluralistic finale, currently being summed up in words from President Obama's 2008 inauguration speech.

9:51 – Prothero: "This stage of American religious life really is about pluralism." Can I call it or what?

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