Home Christian News UPDATE: After Considerable Outrage, Zondervan Halts God Bless the USA Bible’s Production

UPDATE: After Considerable Outrage, Zondervan Halts God Bless the USA Bible’s Production

While the Bible’s promoters say it is a helpful way to educate people about the founding of the United States, many see it as yet another indicator of Christian nationalism among evangelicals.

God Bless the USA Bible, Money, and Politics

Kirkpatrick said that the God Bless the USA Bible is the result of observations he and friends of his made about the tumultuous events of 2020, including when people were tearing down statues during protests against racial injustice. 

“In past civilizations, libraries have been burned,” Kirkpatrick told Religion Unplugged. “Documents torn down. We started seeing statutes coming down and we started seeing history for good or bad trying to be erased. That’s when we started thinking, okay how far does this erasing of history go? Love it or hate it, it’s history. But how far does it go…? Part of having these statues…is so that we don’t repeat those same mistakes.”

He told The Tennessean that his group is not using the God Bless the USA Bible to promote Christian nationalism, which Christians Against Christian Nationalism defines as an ideology that “demands Christianity be privileged by the State and implies that to be a good American, one must be Christian.” 

“We don’t believe in Christian nationalism at all,” Kirkpatrick said. “We really didn’t worry about an extreme left or extreme right being upset…I think most people that we talk to they just want to live and love and go to work and live life.”

Samuel Perry, an author and scholar who has studied Christian nationalism extensively, disagrees. He called the God Bless the USA Bible “kitschy garbage” that, while problematic, is still not as bad as the American Patriot’s Bible or The Founders’ Bible. “But it does remind us money & politics have ALWAYS influenced Bible production,” said Perry. “See the audiences?”

John Morehead is another evangelical leader concerned about the God Bless the USA Bible. He is the director of Multi-Faith Matters, a “support hub for Christians and churches who are seeking to fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandments in a multifaith world.” Morehead says the God Bless the USA Bible a “toxic mix” of sacred and secular texts, and he has created a petition asking that Zondervan and HarperCollins stop the Bible’s publication. Various critics of the God Bless the USA Bible are taking aim at Zondervan and HarperCollins for their part in publishing it, although the degree of responsibility each has is somewhat blurry

Morehead worries that the God Bless the USA Bible will promote an “us versus them” mindset, instead of understanding and compassion, and he is particularly concerned that it will exacerbate evangelical hostility toward Muslims. 

“Christians who embrace Christian nationalism was the leading predictor of negative feelings towards Muslims,” he told the Washington Times. ”When I see things that fuel the embrace of Christian nationalism, and its related anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiment, this ‘God Bless the USA Bible’ could be a negative thing and reinforce the challenges of evangelicalism.”

Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled the title of The Founders’ Bible.