Archive for June 20th, 2010

Civil Religion: The Liturgical Season is Upon Us

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

No matter what the churches claim, Christianity in the United States has two liturgical seasons, the Holy Season, which runs from Advent to Easter (or Pentecost if you’re lucky), and the Civil Season, which runs from Memorial Day to Thanksgiving. (Rather handy division of the year, isn’t it?) At the beginning of summer, we are clearly now in the thick of Civil Season, or Civil Religion Time—which replaces Ordinary Time.

Civil religion in the U.S. never goes away, but its major feasts are in that six-month period. God-and-country language and rituals are more prevalent, and syncretism in the churches (“when you see the red in the flag, think of the blood of those who died to make us free, and also think of Jesus’ blood that was shed to make us really free”) runs rampant but is hardly ever questioned.

Why is it so difficult for Christians in the U.S. (and elsewhere, sometimes, but especially in the U.S.) to see this for what it is: idolatry?


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