“A year ago Jana and I were leaving Freedom Fellowship. The crowd at Freedom is, shall we say, a diverse group. And as we exited the building we encountered a police officer waiting by the door. ‘Oh. Hello!’ said a surprised Jana. ‘Hello,’ said the officer. ‘Sorry to surprise you. I’m just waiting for someone inside.’ Jana and I wished him a good evening and walked to the car. Strolling along I quipped: ‘You know you’ve been to church when the police are outside waiting to arrest someone.'”
To interpret the Bible for the convenience of America, as apropos as that may seem to be to many Americans, represents a radical violence to both the character and content of the biblical message. It fosters a fatal vanity that America is a divinely favored nation and makes of it the credo of a civic religion which is directly threatened by, and, hence, which is anxious and hostile toward the biblical Word. It arrogantly misappropriates political images from the Bible and applies them to America, so that America is conceived of as Zion: as the righteous nation, as a people of superior political morality, as a country and society chosen and especially esteemed by God.
“I’m just sick of ego, ego, ego. My own and everybody else’s. I’m sick of everybody that wants to get somewhere, do something distinguished and all, be somebody interesting…
I’m sick of it. I’m sick of not having the courage to be an absolute nobody.”
J.D. Salinger, from Franny and Zooey via Richard Beck.