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Secular Sunday

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Radio Free Kansas

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Today's New Book Network discussion, Susan Harris "God’s Arbiters: Americans and the Philippines, 1898-1902. Oxford University Press, 2011

Mark Twain called it “pious hypocrisies.” President McKinley called it “civilizing and Christianizing.” Both were referring to the U.S. annexation of the Philippines in 1899.targets the religious references in McKinley’s and Twain’s comments, assessing the role of religious rhetoric in the national and international debates over America’s global mission at the turn into the 20th century. She points out that no matter which side Americans took, all assumed that the U.S. was founded in Protestant Christian principles. Harris probes the ramifications of this assumption, drawing on documents ranging from Noah Webster’s 1832 History of the United States through Congressional speeches and newspaper articles, to In His Steps, the 1896 novel that asked “What Would Jesus Do?” Throughout, she offers a provocative reading both of the debates’ religious framework and of the evolution of Christian national identity within the U.S.... This book matters: in the process of uncovering the past, Harris shows us the roots of current debates over textbooks, Christian nationalism, and U.S. global imaging.

We finish today's program with a special radio broadcast from Great Britain, the popular BCFM "Friday Drivetime" hosted by Tony Gosliing, 12 April, 2013.  Talk radio as it should be in Kansas. 

Harpsichord music provided by Dr. Joyce Lindorff.