Folks in other faiths or branches of THE faith are either worried or desirous of America working its wonders on belief and practice.
Richard Mouw, for instance, recognizes the problem of his former advocacy of a post-American Christianity in comparison to his hopes for Muslims to find a form of Islam that fits with American realities:
Sojourners magazine was originally given the name Post-American, and in my own activist association with that magazine in those early days I responded positively to Jim Wallis’s message that some of us in the evangelical world wanted to proclaim a “post-American Christianity” to a “post-Christian America.” There are times when it is important to boldly counter the excesses of patriotism with reminders that our supreme allegiance should be to a Kingdom that transcends the kingdoms of this world. . . .
But now after 9/11 Americanized religion doesn’t look so bad:
I read recently that some young Muslims in the United States are complaining that what goes on in their mosques is not “American” enough. They say that the patterns of worship and religious education seem designed to preserve the connections to the countries from which their Muslim communities emigrated, while these young folks want their faith to guide them in their lives in America. Shouldn’t their leaders be doing more, they ask, to help them understand how their faith applies to the country of which they are now citizens?
I say: Good for them. I hope they succeed in getting a positive response from their elders.
On the other side of coin are some Roman Catholics, like Michael Sean Winters, who argue that politically conservative Roman Catholics have capitulated to American norms:
[These conservatives show], instead, the deep level of secularization that has long afflicted the American Catholic right when it comes to issues of social and political obligations. They refuse to let very explicit Catholic teaching challenge, still less refute, their political and economic theories. They are quick to object to secularization in other areas, but the Gospel is not permitted to instruct those areas of life where most people spend most of their time and energy, in the marketplace of business and politics. In this sense, they are as lukewarm in the Catholicism as a casual critic of Humanae Vitae. This may never provoke a formal schism, but I fear that non-formal schisms are often just as potent.
I wonder yet again why Leo XIII’s encyclical, Rerum Novarum gets to set the standard for Roman Catholic social teaching but not Urban II’s call for the Crusades. Weren’t the Crusades all about extending Christian society to Muslim-occupied territories? How does Winters get around that social teaching and could it be the same way that GOP Roman Catholics get around Leo XIII?
But I digress.
Meanwhile, in Reformed Protestant circles, all-of-life Calvinists, whether theonomic or neo-Calvinist, regularly worry that 2k is an Americanized and secularized and relativized form of Protestantism. It may be. But Presbyterians in the U. S. of A. have been living with this Americanized Presbyterianism for over two centuries and objections are only about three decades old.
Civil magistrates may not assume to themselves the administration of the Word and sacraments; or the power of the keys of the kingdom of heaven; or, in the least, interfere in matters of faith. Yet, as nursing fathers, it is the duty of civil magistrates to protect the church of our common Lord, without giving the preference to any denomination of Christians above the rest, in such a manner that all ecclesiastical persons whatever shall enjoy the full, free, and unquestioned liberty of discharging every part of their sacred functions, without violence or danger. And, as Jesus Christ hath appointed a regular government and discipline in his church, no law of any commonwealth should interfere with, let, or hinder, the due exercise thereof, among the voluntary members of any denomination of Christians, according to their own profession and belief. It is the duty of civil magistrates to protect the person and good name of all their people, in such an effectual manner as that no person be suffered, either upon pretense of religion or of infidelity, to offer any indignity, violence, abuse, or injury to any other person whatsoever: and to take order, that all religious and ecclesiastical assemblies be held without molestation or disturbance.
If Roman Catholics and Muslims want help with adapting to America, just look to those upholding the spirituality of the church.