Can Americans Teach Religion?

Check out this quote and tell me what you think…

Americans themselves know all too well that their genius is not in religion… Americans are great people; there is no doubt about that.  They are great in building cities and railroads, as ancient Babylonians were great in building towers and canals…Americans too are great inventors.  They invented or perfected telegraphs, telephone, talking and hearing machines, automobiles… poison gases.  Americans are great adepts in the art of enjoying life to the utmost…Then, they are great in Democracy.  The people is their king and emperor; yea, even their God; the American people make laws, as they make farms and farm implements.. Needless to say, they are great in money…. They first make money before they undertake any serious work… To start and carry on any work without money is in the eyes of the Americans madness…Americans are great in all these things and much else; but not in Religion, as they themselves very well know… Americans must count religion in order to see its value… To them big churches are successful churches… To win the greatest number of converts with the least expense si their constant endeavor.  Statistics is their way of showing success or failure in their religion as in their commerce and politics.  Numbers, numbers, oh, how they value numbers!… Americans are essentially children of this world; that they serve as teachers of religion… is an anomaly… INdeed, religion is the last thing average Americans can teach… Americans are the least religious among all civilized people… Mankind goes down to America to learn how to live the earthly life; but to live the heavenly life, they go to some other people.  Is it no special fault of Americans to be this-worldly; it is their national characteristic, and they in their self-knowledge ought to serve mankind in other fields than in religion.

From the first volume of the Japan Christian Intelligencer from 1926 by Kanzo Uchimura.

I’m still trying to figure out which part hurts the most.  Anything resonate here with you?  It strikes me as a truth tale in the midst of this “Christmas” season of spending, selling, giving… more, more, more.

This entry was posted in advent, church, culture, faith and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Can Americans Teach Religion?

  1. nick says:

    ouch, yet i hear that truth hurts…

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