#1099 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 12 July 2015.
Historians occasionally refer to “American exceptionalism,” the idea that the United States is inherently different from other nations, and plays a unique progressive role in human history.
A survey by LifeWay Research confirms a religious dimension to this exceptionalism: most Americans appear to believe God has a special relationship with the United States, and the best is yet to come.
Evangelical Christians are most likely to believe in this special relationship, with 67 per cent of respondents agreeing.
“Considering the history of the nation, from Manifest Destiny to Ronald Reagan’s ‘City on a Hill’ speech, it’s not surprising this long-held theme continues today,” Executive Director of LifeWay Research, Ed Stetzer, said.
But what evidence is there of such a relationship? Does God choose nations today as he reputedly chose Israel long ago? Is personal or corporate behaviour more ethical in America than elsewhere? And why should God not also bestow favoured status on Australia, Austria, or Angola?
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.