The American Warmonger’s Bible
by Laurence M. Vance
Two tools of government propaganda used to get young men to kill, maim, and destroy for the state are nationalism and religion. Put both together and you have a deadly combination.
Imperial Christians who equate patriotism with militarism and nationalism now have a book to guide them: The American Patriot’s Bible.
The publisher of this new Bible is Thomas Nelson Publishers. Now, this publisher has recently published some excellent books (e.g., the works of Judge Napolitano), but The American Patriot’s Bible is certainly not one of them.
The general editor of The American Patriot’s Bible is Richard G. Lee, founding pastor of First Redeemer Church in Atlanta and frequent speaker at conferences and on television. Dr. Lee is the author of twelve books, a trustee of Liberty University, and a board member of the National Religious Broadcasters. He was named “Father of the Year” by the Southeastern Father’s Day Council and received the Ronald Reagan Leadership Award for 2007. Lee hosted a “Restoring America” conference in 2009 with assorted Republican Party apologists.
The American Patriot’s Bible is not a new translation of the Bible. It uses the New King James Version that was published by Thomas Nelson in 1982, but “joining with the sacred text are stories of American heroes, quotations from many of America’s greatest thinkers, and beautiful illustrations that present the rich heritage and tremendous future of our nation.” This is done via special introductions to each book of the Bible, twelve full-color, four-page sections inserted randomly throughout the Bible, and 254 brief articles on certain virtues and various patriotic and historical themes that appear near specific Bible verses in boxes within the text, on half pages, and sometimes on full pages. None of the articles actually comment on the biblical text. Certain words in the text are merely used as a springboard to launch into the subject of the article, which usually has nationalistic, militaristic, or political overtones. Other features of The American Patriot’s Bible include an introduction, a subject index to the articles, a concordance to the Bible, maps, a list of the U.S. presidents, and a list of the fifty states with their dates of admission to the Union.