Thursday, December 1, 2011

The true American religion

Taken from a fax by novelist Don DeLillo, responding to interview questions posed by the PEN American Center, founded in 1921 and devoted to both literature and human rights:

"...I think the true American religion has been 'the American people.' The term quickly developed an aura of sanctity and inviolability. First used mainly by politicians at nominating conventions and in inaugural speeches, the phrase became a mainstay of news broadcasts and other more or less nonpartisan occasions. All the reverence once invested in the name of God was transferred to an entity safely defined as you and me. But do we still exist? Does the phrase still soar over the airwaves? Or are the American People dead and buried? It seems the case, more than ever, that there are only factions, movements, sects, splinter groups, and deeply aggrieved individual voices. The media absorbs it all."

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