Saturday, November 7, 2009

The American Dream as Religion

Yesterday I spent about ten hours with my mom in a hallway of the emergency room. We sat between an elevator and double doors that led to a major area of the hospital, so I heard snatches of many conversations as humanity streamed past us. The most startling by far was between two young ladies. One told the other, "I try to do the right things, you know, and uh, follow, the American Dream."


Marie said...

Really interesting.
I've had some contortions lately, I do believe in love of country and was raised to think of patriot as a label to be proud of. But I read I think Chesterton saying that nationalism becomes a religion if you aren't careful. In the case of the "American Dream" I am afraid it's not even love of country, but love of lifestyle, although I certainly can't know that's what she meant.
I have known folks who seem to think that keeping their car washed, things like that, is what makes them good people. Who knows but what there isn't some truth to it, I'm a rotten person and my car is caked with mud, so there's your proof.

Wendy Haught said...

Hi, Marie!

My interpretation was that she meant consumerism, not nationalism. I don't know if there is an official definition of "The American Dream". If there is, it could easily include both.

Of course, I can't know what was really in her head, it just struck me that she did not say she was trying to follow the teachings of Christianity.

My car is dirty too.