This post reviews T. Jeremy Gunn, Spiritual Weapons: The Cold War and the Forging of an American National Religion, (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2009).
Gunn, director of the ACLU’s Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief (among many other assignments), here constructs a fascinating if flawed argument that the Cold War led to the unique blend of Christianity, militarism, and capitalism that is now the dominant religion in the United States. First I’ll lay out his argument and then say why I think it’s flawed. What does all of this have to do with homeschooling? I think conservative Christian homeschoolers are perhaps the purest expression of the sort of religion Gunn is chronicling here–fiercely committed to the idea that the United States is (or was and should be again) a Christian and capitalist nation, and strongly pro-military. Why are so many conservative homeschoolers like this? Here’s Gunn’s explanation: