Towards the end of his book, The Reformation, Diarmaid MacCulloch asks why America remains so religious while church attendance has plummeted in Europe. My answer is that America is peculiarly a nation of religious refugees. Most of us are, to one degree or another, descended from people who placed such value in religion that they were willing to pull up stakes and emigrate rather than conform to the state sponsored church in their native country.
Also, because from almost the very beginning America had freedom of conscious, Churches had to take responsibility for attracting members and building their church. They could not look to the state for sponsorship. This produces a much more energetic clergy.
Right now religion in America is part of the moral crisis that faces our country. Why is America more interested in starting wars oversees than it is in providing health care for its own people? What is it about religion in America that remains silent in the face of state sponsored torture?
Over the past four decades a cabal of billionaire bullies have, with reptillian single mindedness, worked to subvert every institution in America society to such effect that we have now lost our ability to self correct.
I don’t know if MacCulloch deals with this in his series on Christianity, but he would do well to turn his attention to it. For to the extent that American churches encourage imperial hubris, they actively endanger world peace. Is MacCulloch familiar with the work of Sheldon Culver and John Dorhauer? Has he followed Howard Ahmanson’s assault on the Episcopalian church? Or Scaife’s assualt on the Methodist Church? Does he know about the C Street Family or Opus Dei?