Damning America: from the Right and Left

Written by Rosemary R. Reuther on Religion Dispatches:

Hurricane Katrina: Divine vengeance (according to Christian fundamentalists)

Great outcries of angry condemnation have swirled around the Obama campaign for presidency because of the oft-quoted words of his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, “God damn America.” Few quote his full text where he said, “that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people,.. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and is supreme.” For many Americans, the words, “God damn” are “bad language” and should not be heard from the pulpit. To say “God damn America” is to commit the supreme sin of anti-Americanism. They fail to remember that such words are an integral part of the Biblical tradition. Indeed the word “damn” fundamentally means that someone is declared to be guilty and deserving of punishment.

Few of the pundits who were so outraged by such language from Obama’s pastor bothered to note that Christian fundamentalists are in the habit of regularly opining that God is punishing America for some sins.