Our Great Big American God: A Short History of Our Ever-Growing Deity
Matthew Paul Turner
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Americans love God. We stamp God on our money, our bumper stickers, and our bodies. With a church on nearly every street, it's hard to deny our country's deep connection with the divine.
Yet culture critic Matthew Paul Turner says that God didn't just change America-America changed God. As a result, do we even recognize the "real" God?
Whip-smart and provocative, Turner explores the United States' vast influence on God, told through an amazing true history of faith, politics, and evangelical pyrotechnics.
From Puritans to Pentecostals, from progressives to mega-pastors, Turner examines how American history and ideals transformed our perception of God. Fearless and funny, this is the definitive guide to the American experience of the Almighty-a story so bizarre, incredible, and entertaining that it could only be made in the U.S.A.
No matter what your political or religious affiliation, this book will challenge and delight with its razor sharp wit, social commentary, and savvy historical insight. It will make you reconsider the way you think about America as a "Christian nation," and help you re-imagine a better future for God and country.
Ultimately, Turner dares to ask: Does God control the future of America-or is it the other way around?
made a brother in Christ.”6 Whitefield often wrote or spoke about the evangelism of slaves as if “hearing the Gospel” made being owned all better. But America’s most famous Christian slave owner was Patrick Henry. In a letter to his friend John Alsop, a Quaker and pro-abolitionist, the man who would two years later beg for liberty or death confessed his hypocrisy regarding owning slaves: Would any one believe that I am master of slaves by my own purchase? I am drawn along by the general
make God famous and known throughout the world. What other country has even done half as much as the United States in promoting God?” The longer Dave talked, the more he made God sound like an American tourist attraction, a family-friendly exhibit, or a ride at Dollywood suitable for kids who were more than forty-two inches tall. He made God sound like a brand name, one proudly made in the USA. When Dave finished telling me all the reasons why he believed God needed America, I said, “Well, I
God—fundamentalism, evangelicalism, Catholicism, and Pentecostalism—to form a most influential spiritual and political force. Using Christian morality and the right-wing agenda as common denominators, Falwell forged a union, a sometimes volatile one, that amalgamated some of God’s most conservative influencers and altered how America understood God, pursued God, and presented God in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century. In 1978, singing groups from Liberty toured the country,
Satan. Among the general public, belief in Satan was on the decline, most people only thinking Lucifer existed in jokes and occasionally in skits on Saturday Night Live. But the real issue regarding Satan was that even among Christians, people who believed in the devil’s existence and power, few felt threatened by the “Evil One,” at least not enough to do anything about the menace. While most knew or assumed Satan was out there somewhere—they’d seen pictures of Ozzy Osbourne and Alice Cooper,
George W. Bush, have offered their unique spin on the sentiment. Even Sarah Palin paid homage to the phrasing during her run for vice president alongside Senator John McCain in 2008. In America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag, Palin writes, “America is an exceptional nation, the shining city on a hill that Ronald Reagan believed it is.” Palin combines Winthrop’s ideal with an idea that many call American exceptionalism, a concept that paints America as the greatest nation in the