02 July 2009

Some Light Summer Reading?

Every once in a while you get the chance to read a book that surprises you by how much it kicks your ass. I started one this week: Johnny Cash and the Great American Contradiction: Christianity and the Battle for the Soul of a Nation by Rodney Clapp. (Click on the picture of the book for a link to Amazon.) Here's just one example of the can of whupp-ass Clapp brings to the subject:
"Technologically enamored, plutocratic proponents of nationhood like to envision America as an invulnerable, innocent behemoth, able to overcome any and all limitations. Ronald Reagan represented this bizarrely inflated, wildly optimistic Americanism with his 1987 comment that, 'The calendar can't measure America because we are meant to be an endless experiment in freedom, with no limit to our reaches, no boundaries to what we can do, no end point to our hopes.' This blatantly theological statement denies creatureliness and casts America in godlike terms. It makes the nation an entity without limits, infinite in power and reach, eternal in its endurance. Such attitudes have real-world consequences. They lie behind American attempts
to control political affairs in societies across the globe, as well as a willful
eagerness to dismiss the ecological damages and costs of our extravagantly
consumeristic way of life. They imagine there will always be another
technological fix, that the powerful and wealthy, at least, will be able to take
care of themselves, and that human progress will continue indefinitely, if not
forever. All these are strange, incongrous attitudes for what fashions
itself as 'conservatism.' They are also rather infantile attitudes - the
expectation of the infant that all else exists to serve its needs, that any
limits set before it are only to be overcome by protest and ingenuity, that
frustration is never to be endured but always removed by eliminating its
sources. Such attitudes form citizens fit to live in a democracy for moral
infants and adolescents, rather than a democracy for grown-ups."

Sometimes you read the book - and sometimes the book reads you. Nice to get the chance to do a little 'light reading' while vacationing in Nebraska. As you were.

Grace & peace,

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