Christianity Thomas on 10 May 2011 12:30 am
Richard Cohen talks about The myth of American exceptionalism and the culture of smugness amongst American Christians:
The emblem of this culture is the term “American exceptionalism.” It has been adopted by the right to mean that America, alone among the nations, is beloved of God….
The term “American exceptionalism” has been invoked by Mitt Romney, Mike Pence, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and, of course, Sarah Palin.
How exceptional is America?
For an industrialized nation, the United States has a very high murder rate and, no surprise, a very high execution rate. We have a health-care system cleverly designed to bankrupt the average person and a political system so dysfunctional that we may go into national bankruptcy, blaming one another for spending too much or taxing too little, but not both. God indeed works in mysterious ways.
American exceptionalism has produced a dysfunctional education system — more than 14,000 school districts, lots of bad (but job-protected) teachers, oblivious parents and students who are too dumb to know they’re dumb. American eighth-graders score 66 points below their Japanese counterparts in math, yet almost 40 percent of American children think they’re good in math. That figure for Japan is 4 percent.
This article points out: “The United States clings to the death penalty, alone in the industrialised world. In fact, it stands with China, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Yemen as the world’s most frequent executioners.” This is exactly what you would expect of a nation where the vast majority of people claim to be Christian.