It’s brand new and completely for real.
Comment from Greg Boyd:
One of the more unsettling aspects of the Patriot’s Bible is the way it unashamedly glorifies nationalistic violence. Almost every nation and tribe throughout history has shared the idolatrous assumption that its military victories were evidence of divine favor. This has been a staple of pagan religion from the start. From its earliest days this same assumption has permeated American culture, it’s just that our tribal warrior god was called “Jesus” or “Jehovah.” In the Patriot’s Bible, this idolatrous mythology is given the appearance of divine authority by being interwoven into the biblical narrative.
From cover to cover, and in a wide variety of ways, the Patriot’s Bible is filled with glorified nationalistic violence. A good portion of its commentaries focus on America’s victorious wars (Vietnam, not so much) and on war heroes. Moreover, the introduction of every book of the Bible is accompanied with a montage of national monuments, symbols, stars and stripes, etc…that include, with few exceptions, images of armed soldiers, bombers and battleships. Most remarkably, each Gospel (The Good News ofJesus Christ!) opens with a picture that includes soldiers struggling to raise a flag under the words “In God We Trust.” All the subsequent books of the New Testament open with a montage that includes a flag waving behind the Statue of Liberty on one side and armed marching troops on the other.
When you consider the uniform and emphatic teaching of Christ and the New Testament authors that followers of Jesus are called to love and do good to our enemies, laying down our lives for them if necessary, this overt celebration of America’s violent victories over our national enemies is absolutely stunning. When you consider that Jesus explicitly repudiated Jewish nationalism (despite the fact that Israel, unlike America, actually had a special status with God) and that the New Testament consistently teaches that Gods’ Kingdom transcends national boundaries, the Patriot’s Bible celebration of American violence becomes more shocking still.
It testifies to how thoroughly the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been subverted by the Gospel of America among many Christians.
Ever been in one of those conversations about what went wrong with the Christians in Nazi Germany, why wouldn’t they stand up against the ghettos and the concentration camps, and how did they confuse being Christians with supporting the German government? Well, now we know how that happens. It’s happening right here, right now. The American church is losing the ability to distinguish between God and country. And it’s not the squishy liberal churches that have lost the plot on this one. It’s the hard-core Bible believers. We think we can go to war for the Prince of Peace and torture in the name of the Great Physician. What happens if this trend strengthens in the next generation? If America get more imperialistic and draconian, and the church applauds at every step?
Time for a modern Barmen Declaration.