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I recently read a brief comment made by the editor of the Journal First Things, Richard John Neuhaus, that made reference to a recent critique of U.S. Civil Religion. The critique itself was along the lines of "U.S. Civil Religion" is a new type of 'World Religion' similar to other world religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. and thus is a grave error.

The original writer (presumably Christian) apparently argued that U.S. references to the flag, etc. have mixed with a residual Jewish and Christian religious foundation to produce something 'new,' and indeed, 'new enough' to no longer be considered either Judaism or Christianity, but instead 'Shintoism.'

This argument strikes me as especially cogent.

Having served as a Chaplain in the U.S. Army (reserves) relatively recently, I was utterly appalled at how Christianity was distorted and turned into this strange 'hybrid' of Civil Religious Ritual . . .

"U.S. Shintoism" is the term I eventually used to describe what I had been witnessing first hand.

Jesus' Name was outlawed in such Civil Religion.

Priests (Catholic) could not pray "through Christ our LORD."

BUT (and an important but!), if one were to ever conduct a military memorial ceremony with the lack of proper decorum, to include pacing of the lowering and raising of the casket, the standard military march, and the oh-so-important meticulous folding of the flag, then one could literally be 'written up' for such ceremonial heresy!

"oy vey"

What does America now worship?

Does America worship Jesus Christ?

No, instead, as this argument of a 'new world religion' called 'Americanism' (or "U.S. Shintoism . . .") demonstrates, the U.S. is on the verge of out and out idolatry!

So, how does this affect our political discourse?

Well, first of all, our First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution explicitly OUTLAWS any type of 'state church.' PERHAPS, like a failed lawsuit against the U.S. Military Chaplaincy demonstrates, the role of 'religious leaders' should belong STRICTLY in the Religious sphere!

No 'Americanism' thank you very much!

I worship Jesus Christ and HIM CRUCIFIED and BURIED and BROUGHT to LIFE on the THIRD DAY!

Meanwhile, as our nation decides to become a fanatical quasi-religious dictatorship, perhaps an appeal to Immanuel Kant is needed. Perhaps "Critical Thinking" should be re-emphasized across the U.S. school and public university and college curricula. RATIONALITY (not outlawing certain religious practices . . .) will keep the U.S. unified!

Rob J. King, (Charismatic Catholic defender of the 1st Amendment)--RobJKing 21:03, 23 January 2008 (UTC)