Michael Gorman wants to help reshape our imaginations. As a people whose political world includes no little amount of civil religion in the forms of (among other things) prayers devoid of specificity, vague allusions to God, invocations of God’s blessing upon our military actions, and statements of trust in God upon our coinage, we have been trained to associate God and country.
Gorman thinks he has a powerful ally in his corner–the book of Revelation.
The conversion of the imagination he is after is a contemporary application of the imagery of Revelation, which invites its readers to recognize that behind the empire’s claims of divine right stands a powerful enemy, striving to assign to the kingdoms of the world the prerogatives of the Kingdom of God.
I leave you with one challenging note from the book, and encourage you to grab a copy and wrestle afresh with both the Biblical book and our calling as Christians within an American (or other, insert your country here) state:
Christian references to “our troops,” in prayer or any other forms of discourse, are theologically inappropriate because “we” (the church, Christians) do not have troops. Such talk confuses our being Christian with being American (or British or whatever) and manifest a profound forgetfulness about two important aspects of the church stressed in Revelation: its international character as a worldwide assembly of people from every tribe and nation (Revelation 7) and its peaceful, nonviolent character as a community of the Lamb. (52 n.52).