As America celebrates the anniversary of its declaration of independence from England today, we will hear many expressions of patriotism. Mixed in with all of them will be sentiments that suggest that America is god’s favorite country. These sentiments are repeated all the time in public life and are pretty much obligatory for any politician in the US running for elected office. Anyone who as much as hints that perhaps god does not care much for national boundaries would be doomed to defeat.
Hence it should not be surprising to find a new survey that shows that a majority of Americans think that god has a special affection for this nation.
In total, 53 per cent of 1,000 people surveyed agreed with the statement that God has a special relationship with America; a figure that rose to 67 per cent of evangelical Christians.
African Americans were also among the most likely to share the belief, at 62 per cent, along with 59 per cent of Southerners.
Actually, given the relentless promotion of the idea that god really, really loves the US, I am a little surprised that the numbers are not higher.
It is always dangerous when people think that their god views them as a specially chosen people. It tends to breed a sense of self-righteousness that makes people intolerant and willing to do the most cruel things to others.