Fundamentally, the myths of innocence, nature, God, chosen, and millennial are stories that alter our identity in favor of a white washed America. It is true we are exceptional – we are exceptionally bad. We have a tragic past, as I have displayed, and a tragic future, as we maintain an innocence of our past. “The American national mythos is messianic; it seeks to tell a story of freedom spread through self-sacrifice, not victories won through the spread of terror. To sustain the myth, Americans need to rewrite history just as surely as did Stalin to sustain his own version of communist orthodoxy.”1 It is incredibly telling that to confront the myths of America, Robert Hughes spoke of the prophetic, Black experience. The implication is, that the American myths are categorically racist; the American hagiographic myths hide the evil past, present injustice and the future of malevolent violence. There is very little in the myths that pushes America forward in a moral way.2 Instead the myths make it possible for America to turn a blind eye to violence, to injustice, to torture and insomuch that Christians take in these myths, they take in the blindness as well. The simulacra of American messianism subverts the real Jesus, and therefore, it unsettles and divides the body of Christ.
1. Lee Griffith, The War on Terrorism and the Terror of God, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002), 38.
2. Richard T. Hughes, Myths America Lives By, (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2003), 63.