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Reading Scripture Through the Eyes of America





QUOTE: "Can you conceive of the howl that would erupt if a preacher today suggested that God was using Arab terrorists to humble America? The First Amendment might save him from arrest (the prophet Jeremiah was not so lucky), but any such preacher would almost certainly be relieved of his pulpit duties, if not run out of town. The conflation of religion and patriotism is so widespread in our country today that most of us would never entertain the notion that America's foreign or domestic policies might fall short of what God requires. Part of our challenge stems from the fact that we Americans have an overabundance of self-confidence. ... I suspect we read the Bible much the same way. We don't identify with the Egyptians, Babylonians or the multitude of Israelites who worshipped the golden calf. We identify with Abraham and Moses—the good guys. ... [But] the faith community has our work cut out for us if America is to become the ‘city upon a hill' envisioned by some of our greatest leaders. And if self-awareness is the beginning of wisdom, perhaps we should start by reading the Bible with different eyes. Let's lose the hubris. Maybe we're not ancient Israel. Maybe we're Rome." —Oliver "Buzz" Thomas, Baptist minister and author of 10 Things Your Minister Wants to Tell You (But Can't Because He Needs the Job), in a challenging op-ed titled "Ungodly Hubris" [usatoday.com, 10/27/08]

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