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LUMPENPROLETARIAT—On today’s edition of free speech radio’s Letters and Politics, host, Mitch Jeserich featured author Dr. Kevin M. Kruse and his interesting 2015 history book, One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America.  This is a scathing indictment of the shameless profit motive behind the erosion of church-state separation in the United States and its historical socioeconomic consequences.  Listen (and/or download) here. [1]

Messina

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LETTERS AND POLITICS—[21 SEP 2016]  “This is Pacifica Radio‘s Letters and Politics.  On today’s show:

DR. KEVIN KRUSE:  “So, one of the early progenitors of this was a reverend out of Los Angeles named James FifieldAnd he finds a way to, basically, reconcile Christianity and capitalism.  Others had done so before.  But he’s quite imaginative in it.  He takes a very loose approach to the Bible.  He says:  Reading the Bible is like eating fishWe take the bones out to enjoy the meatAll parts are not of equal value.

So, he disregards all of Christ’s teachings about wealth and poverty and, instead, finds a way to reconcile capitalism and Christianity.  He says that both are, essentially, concerned with individualism.  In Christianity, you rise to heaven or you fall to hell based on your own individual worth.  Capitalism, he says, is the same way.  You rise to success, or you fall to the poorhouse, based on your own individual merit.

“And, so, they are one and the sameAny system of government, that interferes with that divine order is, he says, a form of pagan statism.”  (c. 1:04)

MITCH JESERICH:  “A conversation on the blending of Christianity and laissez-faire economics.  My guest is Kevin Kruse.  He’s the author of the book, One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America.  That’s next, on Letters and Politics; but first the News.”

[News Headlines (read by Aileen Alfandary) omitted by scribe]  [2]  (c. 6:17)

MITCH JESERICH:  “Good day.  And welcome to Letters and Politics.  I’m Mitch Jeserich.

One nation under God; In God We Trust; or God Bless America, all ubiquitous phrases, that point to the United States as being a Christian nation.  But these three well-known phrases were not so well-known some 70 years ago.

“My guest, today, Kevin Kruse, argues that these phrases were brought back into the American vernacular in the 1950s, not because of some grassroots religious revival, but by big business, headed by such organisations as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, who are trying to undo New Deal programmes from the Great Depression, and using an ideology of Christian libertarianism to do it.

“My guest is Kevin KruseKevin Kruse is a professor of history at Princeton University.  And he is the author of the book, One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America.  Kevin Kruse joins us from Princeton University, in the studios of the Princeton University Broadcast Center.

“Kevin Kruse, it’s my good pleasure to welcome you to this programme.”  (c. 7:19)

DR. KEVIN KRUSE:  “Thank you so much for having me.”

MITCH JESERICH:  ” [SNIP]  ”

[Defining Christian Libertarianism and the linking of Christianity to capitalism.]

[James Fifield became a symbol of cultural-class reaction against the New Deal by big business, i.e., U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, et al.]

[(c. 14:20)  On recasting Jesus, not as a sensitive or weak person of the poor, but as a strong and powerful apostle of business.]

[SNIP]

[Host Mitch Jeserich must appeal to listening audiences to support listener-sponsored free speech radio to avoid having to resort to commercials, diluted content, or corporate underwriting.]

[]

[(c. 16:00) introduction of religious terminology to official state realia.]  (c. 26:30)

”  [SNIP]

DR. KEVIN KRUSE:  ”  [On Eisenhower and his inauguration, including the participation of Reverend Billy Graham, and kneeled public prayer becomes a national sensation; etc.] 

[Eisenhower is baptised at the First Presbyterian Church, not unlike Emperor Constantine, who sought to consolidate the favour of the religious-minded segment of the population.]

[Truman, being a Baptist, was a staunch supporter of the separation of church and state.  But, after Truman, the separation of church and state was steadily eroded, especially as religious rituals, such as prayer before state meetings, began to infect governmental processes.]

[On compulsory school prayer and the further erosion of church-state separation]

[It really is about beating back New Deal policies, using the state to enforce ‘moral behaviour’.]

[SNIP]  (c. 59:59)

Learn more at LETTERS AND POLITICS.

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[1]  Terrestrial radio broadcast, 94.1 FM (KPFA, Berkeley, CA) with online simulcast and digital archiving:  Letters and Politics, this one-hour broadcast hosted by host Mitch Jeserich, Monday, 21 SEP 2016, 10:00 PDT.

[2]  topics:  B.S. proclamations by Charlotte Police after shooting man in cold blood, Trump’s response at a Cleveland, Ohio church; same-sex marriage legal update; Secretary Kerry wants to ground airliners regarding Syrian conflict; update on Rahami(sp?), who was arrested after gunfight in New Jersey; refugee boat capsized, killing 29 off coast of Egypt.

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[28 SEP 2016]

[Last modified at 13:46 PST on 16 FEB 2017]

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