The Christian Paradox
How a faithful nation gets Jesus wrong
by Bill McKibben, August 3, 2005
When George Bush says that Jesus Christ is his favorite philosopher, he may or may not be sincere, but he is reflecting the sincere beliefs of the vast majority of Americans.
And therein is the paradox. America is simultaneously the most professedly Christian of the developed nations and the least Christian in its behavior. …
Maybe we’d be better off if we abandoned religion for secular rationality, but we’re not going to; for the foreseeable future this will be a “Christian” nation. The question is, what kind of Christian nation? …
When one of the Pharisees asked Jesus what the core of the law was, Jesus replied: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Love your neighbor as yourself: although its rhetorical power has been dimmed by repetition, that is a radical notion, perhaps the most radical notion possible.