Questions re American Exceptionalism

These questions arose for me after reading the God’s Politics story recently about white evangelicals believing in American exceptionalism.

To my evangelical friends, I’m hoping you can teach me a little more about a couple of things.

Firstly, growing up as I did in Norway, the idea that the USA is favored in some special way is new to me. What is the basis for that belief?

Secondly, in Norway, I almost failed my Christendom exam in high school for failing to make the distinction between the Israelites of the Bible and the modern state of Israel. It seems that the distinction between Israelites and Israel is not as strong here?

And finally, perhaps because of #2 above, we were taught that the story of the Israelites is our own personal faith story or every nation’s story. The gist of which is “when you are weak and vulnerable, God helps and protects” and “when you are in power, it is your job as God’s servant to care for the weak and vulnerable”.
So I’d love to learn more from evangelicals who believe in American exceptionalism, or from non-evangelicals who can explain it sympathetically?
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2 Responses to “Questions re American Exceptionalism”

  1. Omar Says:

    Susanne,

    What about hearing from an evangelical who doesn’t believe in American exceptionalism? I’ve never understood this one either, and I grew up with people who almost certainly believed in it!

    The basic gist of the argument seems to be that the US is somehow a Christian nation – God’s elect people somehow. How this identification is transferred from Old Testament Judaism to modern America, I never quite understood.

    I’ll be interested to see if you receive any additional responses. I’d love a better explanation myself.

    Omar

  2. Omar Says:

    Susanne,

    Not sure if you saw this article. Jan sent it my way and I thought it was apropos to your question:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-myth-of-american-exceptionalism/2011/05/09/AF2rm0bG_story.html?

    Omar


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