Born Again Americans

This is interesting.  Check out Born Again American. It’s not about being a born again Christian American, although there is some slight of hand in the editing that leads you to believe so and I hope it gets corrected.

If you look through the Web Site, the lyrics read “My Bible is the The Bill of Rights,” but the sung version is “The Bible AND the Bill of Rights” which is makes the whole thing much more exclusive of non-Christian Americans, agnostic and atheist Americans, and that is very unfortunate because the other sentiments of the song and the effort are laudable.  It’s all about taking control of America back from the special interests, the privileged, and getting engaged in public life – reminiscent of the Obama campaign and transition team’s efforts to keep the electorate engaged.  Until the line about the The Bible AND the Bill of Rights gets fixed, though, it’s hard to jump enthusiastically on the band wagon, because right in the Bill of Rights, there’s this statement about Congress making no laws about religion.  It’s called Article I:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Yet, when you start mentioning the Bible with the Bill of Rights its as if the whole thing – America, the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, etc is a Christian endeavor – and IT IS NOT.  So I like the printed lyric you find on Born Again American much better, My bible IS the Bill of Rights.  Sad, they couldn’t have recorded that version.

Note the involvement and presence in the video of Unitarian Universalist minister, and no small critic of the Bible (he’s been a member of the Jesus Seminar) the Rev. Davidson Loehr of First Unitarian Universalist in Austin, TX, author of America, Fascism and God. Now, I’m going to guess, Loehrs was shown the lyric that said the My Bible is the Bill of Rights. (Listen to my interview with Rev. Loehr here – it’s episode #9).

The Born Again American project has also been featured on Bill Moyer’s Journal. There I learned that the project originated with Norman Lear’s Declaration of Independence Road Trip, an effort to refamliarize Americans with our founding documents and recommit them to the ideals contained therein.

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One thought on “Born Again Americans

  1. The concept of “Born Again American” is troubling to me for several reasons. Wm McLoughlin reminds us that America is a millennial project, even a ghost dance. Not where I like to go.

    Born Again Americanism underscores American exceptionalism which is just about the biggest threat to ol’ Mother Earth these days.

    I think UUism needs to revision its inclusive agenda, so that we can take a complete multicultural, international approach, not just an American one.

    Whatever the agenda of ‘Born Again America” is, the very branding is replete with nationalistic triumphalism.

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