Americanism: the religion that binds Americans together.
Articles on American civil religion
Quotes on American civil religion
Books on American civil religion
I started to see patriotism as a religion when I lived in Ukraine (a former Soviet region) for over two years. Unfortunatly I often felt like I just had walked into an epic movie at the closing credits, missing the best parts. The rusting remenants of communism were everywhere. I realized quickly that communism was simply the religion of the Soviets, which had replaced a belief in a religious God.
After 9/11, I saw the fervent patriotism of Americans, and I started to see the same symbols, icons, myths, and closed-minded ideology with Americanism as with my former religion, Mormonism. Americanism did not replace religion as communism does, Americanism and religion instead compliment each other. Sociologists call it American civil religion.
Articles on American civil religion:
The religious character of American patriotism
The historical human cost of ruthless American civil religion: The Power and the Glory: Myths of American exceptionalism
Old Glory: Patriotic Symbol?
Put Away the Flags
Quotes on American civil religion:
"The greatest part of British America was peopled by men who, after having shaken off the authority of the Pope, acknowledged no other religious supremacy: they brought with them into the New World a form of Christianity which I cannot better describe than by styling it a democratic and republican religion." Alexis de Tocqueville
Books on on American civil religion:
Captain America and the Crusade against Evil: The Dilemma of Zealous Nationalism Book Reviews: 1 and 2
Myths America Lives By by Richard T. Hughes Book Reviews: 1
In this book Richard T. Hughes identifies the five key myths that lie at the heart of the American experience--the myths of the Chosen Nation, of Nature's Nation, of the Christian Nation, of the Millennial Nation, and of the Innocent Nation.
Drawing on a range of dissenting voices, Hughes shows that by canonizing these seemingly harmless myths of national identity as absolute truths, America risks undermining the sweepingly egalitarian promise of the Declaration of Independence.
The Chosen Nation myth led to the wholesale slaughter of indigenous peoples during the pioneer era. More recently the Innocent Nation myth prevented many Americans from understanding, or even discussing, the complex motivations of the 9/11 terrorists. Myths America Lives By demonstrates that Americans must rethink these myths in the spirit of extraordinary humility if the United States is to fulfil its true promise as a nation.
Hughes locates the roots of each myth in a different period of America's development, and from each of these periods he finds stirring critiques offered by marginalized commentators--especially African Americans and Native Americans--who question the predominant myth of their age.
Myths America Lives By is a dialog between the mainstream mythmakers and the many critics--including Martin Luther King Jr., Ida B. Wells, Frederick Douglass, Black Elk, Anna J. Cooper, and Booker T. Washington, Malcom X, Angela Davis, and W. E. B. DuBois--whose dissent, rather than being un-American, was often grounded in a patriotic belief in the "self-evident" equality of America's fundamental creed.