There is something charmingly quaint about Sam Harris’s new book, Letter to a Christian Nation. If not for religious belief, he says, this country would be pouring resources into such worthy efforts to alleviate suffering as stem cell research, not indulging in hand-wringing over preposterous moral qualms about the destruction of embryos.
This lucid little book began as the William Belden Noble Lectures, which deal with Christian faith and contemporary issues. Gingerich, a retired astronomer and historian of science, is also a Christian who taught for many years at Harvard.
One can’t quibble with the breadth and eclecticism of this volume, which anthologizes poets as different as Anne Bradstreet, Emily Dickinson, T. S. Eliot and Allen Ginsberg. In the book Bloom pushes the limits of what can be considered religious or spiritual, since he includes agnostic voices.
Add this book to the spate of recent publications that reflect on the new U.S. dominance in the global economy and the political-military muscle that reinforces that dominance. Here is a voice of “critical realism” that sounds like an echo of Henry Kissinger—much more realist than critical.