Friday, May 15, 2009

What rough beast... slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?**

Back in March, I wrote about the bible publishing industry, primarily in the US, which churns out a bewildering variety of bibles. In actual fact, they are mostly the NIV packaged up for all sorts of demographics, by the inclusion of all manner of additional 'devotional' material targetting specific groups of people. I've just today discovered the Grandmother's Bible. And I'm almost tempted to get a copy of the NIV Bloom Collection Bible maybe in Razzleberry/Bubble Gum Pink. But thanks to Jim Getz over at Ketuvim I discovered a Bible that almost made me gag. It's not a Zondervan product this time but from Thomas Nelson. Announcing The American Patriot's Bible (NKJV): The Word of God and the Shaping of America. I kid you not. Thomas Nelson is a religious publisher but it seems that it has shifted from the religion of Christianity to the religion of the United States. Here's the product blurb:

THE ONE BIBLE THAT SHOWS HOW 'A LIGHT FROM ABOVE' SHAPED OUR NATION. Never has a version of the Bible targeted the spiritual needs of those who love our country more than The American Patriot's Bible. This extremely unique Bible shows how the history of the United States connects the people and events of the Bible to our lives in a modern world. The story of the United States is wonderfully woven into the teachings of the Bible and includes a beautiful full-color family record section, memorable images from our nation's history and hundreds of enlightening articles which complement the New King James Version Bible text.

Thankfully it has generated a considerable debate over at its Amazon site. Obviously I haven't read this book but the very notion of this product is mind boggling in its arrogance. I would have to strongly agree with T C Moore's comment over there on Amazon that 'the "American Patriot's Bible" is a hot, steaming pile of blasphemous, idolatrous feces'. Unfortunately it seems there are many USan so-called Christians who disagree with him. Rusty Kerr says

When I was a young girl we were taught about our founding fathers and how God was in the center of their lives as evidenced by our early documents. This bible is a must read for every home schooled child and especially for those getting a government education where American history is not factually taught. I plan to buy this bible for all 10 of my grandchildren so they will know the truth of our founding fathers and our amazing nation. Yes, we truly are one nation under God and I for one will be encouraging my friends and relatives to buy and read this wonderful bible.

But before we turn around and, like Rowan Atkinson's Welcome to Hell sketch, have the lot of USans damned into perpetuity, I'm pleased to point you to Greg Boyd's Christus Victor Ministries blog, where Greg has very much redeemed both his co-nationals and co-religionists by providing a damning Christian critique of this travesty.

**The title of this post is taken from the concluding lines of W B Yeats 'The Second Coming'.


  1. That is pretty disgusting, but I was interested in the line "This extremely unique Bible".... Since scripture has always been used for chauvinist ends, from cheering on the troops, to endorsing beliefs that Her Majesty is God's representative on Earth, perhaps the Patriot Bible folk are just being a little more upfront & honest than others? The other thing that struck me is that there's not just a Bible industry, but a Bible accessory industry; what good is a Razzleberry Bible without a matching Razzleberry Bible cover?!

  2. I WANT a Razzleberry Bubble Gum Pink Bible and matching cover. I mean, how camp is that!

    As for the Patriot Bible I suspect at bottom it's another money making lurk, 'cause when it's all said and done, there ain't nothing as sacred as makin' a fast buck.