Good news! Zondervan just decided to stop the publication of this Bible. Activism does work!
A white Christian nationalist Bible compilation called the God Bless the USA Bible is set to be published in September. Religion Unplugged reports that Zondervan, an imprint of HarperCollins and prominent US Christian publisher, has authorized its publication. (The document uses the NIV translation, all uses of which are licensed and approved through Zondervan in the United States.)
The document touts itself as “The Ultimate American Bible,” and alongside the NIV Bible translation will include text from the song “God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood, the US Constitution, the Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, and Pledge of Allegiance.
Placing a nation’s government documents alongside sacred biblical text is idolatry of the highest order. The mindset behind this publication is the same white nationalism parading as Christianity that has sparked racist and anti-immigrant violence in the United States in recent years. And choosing to publish during the month that marks the twentieth anniversary of 9/11 has the potential to exacerbate anti-Islamic violence.
Living into the promise of Pentecost, where God’s Spirit is poured out on all people—not elevating one nation above others—requires a faithful response from the Church.
You can sign the petition to call on Zondervan to cease publication here.
Faith Van Horne received her Master of Divinity from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio. She is currently a postgraduate researcher in Theology and Religion at the University of Birmingham. Her thesis explores how perceptions of selfhood and the body influence theological visions of redemption for survivors of sexual abuse. She also blogs for Red Letter Christians UK.
Pentecostals & Charismatics for Peace & Justice is a multicultural, gender inclusive, and ecumenical organization that promotes peace, justice, and reconciliation work among Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians around the world. If you like what we do, please become a member!