By Peter Gardella
The U.S. hasn't ever had an formally demonstrated nationwide church. because the time of the 1st British colonists, it has as an alternative built a powerful civil faith that melds God and kingdom. In a deft exploration of yank civil non secular symbols-from the freedom Bell to the Vietnam Memorial, from Mount Rushmore to Disney World-Peter Gardella explains how the locations, gadgets, and phrases that americans carry sacred got here into being and the way americans' emotions approximately them have replaced through the years. as well as interpreting respected ancient websites and buildings, he analyzes such sacred texts because the announcement of Independence, the structure, the Gettysburg tackle, the Kennedy Inaugural, and the speeches of Martin Luther King, and indicates how 5 patriotic songs-"The Star-Spangled Banner," "The conflict Hymn of the Republic," "America the Beautiful," "God Bless America," and "This Land Is Your Land"-have been increased into hymns.
Arguing that sure values-personal freedom, political democracy, global peace, and cultural tolerance-have held American civil faith jointly, Gardella chronicles the various varieties these values have taken, from Jamestown and Plymouth to the September eleven, 2001 Memorial in big apple.
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Extra resources for American Civil Religion: What Americans Hold Sacred
In its account of the day, the Virginia Apollo newspaper contrasted the Jamestown story with those of Spanish colonies. The story of Jamestown featured “the majestic Powhatan . . the gentle spirit of Pocahontas . . ” Long before the United States came into existence, the Apollo argued, Jamestown showed that the English in North America had a unique and noble culture that deserved to transform the world. Dramatic and artistic affirmations of Jamestown and Pocahontas appeared throughout the antebellum years.
The four hundredth anniversary of the Pilgrims’ landing, in 2020, has already provoked a search for consensus. Controversy starts with the identity of the Rock, because the English were living at Plymouth for more than a century after the Mayflower arrived in 1620 before it was marked as anything special. Geologically, it was a ten-ton piece of granite (now reduced to six, of which only three are visible), a few feet high that had been left on the beach as masses of ice retreated more than ten thousand years ago.
1), a cult of the Pilgrims has grown up around it. The Rock has been moved and broken four times by Mayflower descendants, chipped away by Plymouth businessmen, urinated on by drunks, and buried in sand by Native Americans. The four hundredth anniversary of the Pilgrims’ landing, in 2020, has already provoked a search for consensus. Controversy starts with the identity of the Rock, because the English were living at Plymouth for more than a century after the Mayflower arrived in 1620 before it was marked as anything special.