Is America A Religion?

Is America A Religion?

America’s Values Fuel Terrorists’ Hatred Toward U.S.
October 22, 2001

Washington, D.C., October 22, 2001— “Why do they hate us?”  Americans have been asking themselves that question since the tragic events of September 11.  Dr. Robert H. Nelson, Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and author of the recently published book, Economics as Religion, believes one of the central components of anti-Americanism is that “America is a church in itself.”<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


Writing in Insight magazine, Dr. Nelson explains the history of the rivalry between Christianity and Islam and details how the “American religion has been associated with the benefits of economic progress.”  He concludes:  “The typical American might today say that the American value system is not a religion at all.  Yet, for those outside this faith it is easier to see its basic religious content.  Thus, many Islamic fundamentalists do see in ‘Americanism’ a triumphant competitor religion that acts to undermine their own beliefs and culture.”


In addition to Economics as Religion (Penn State Press, 2001), Dr. Nelson is the author of several other books, including Reaching for Heaven on Earth: The Theological Meaning of Economics.  His writings have appeared in numerous national publications, among them the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Weekly Standard, and Forbes.


Available for Interviews On America As A Religion

Dr. Robert H. Nelson

Senior Fellow, Competitive Enterprise Institute

Professor, University of Maryland School of Public Affairs

To arrange an interview with Dr. Nelson, please contact the CEI media relations department at202-331-1010.

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