US-Israel Relationship

When Moses almost parted the Red Sea on the Great Seal of the United States

If Ben Franklin had his way, the Great Seal of the United States might have featured Moses instead of a bald eagle.

Moses was one of several Hebrew prophets admired by the Puritans who created the early American colonies, and the revolutionaries who led those colonies to independence. This reverence is part of a provocative new book by Yale professor Philip Gorski.

In “American Covenant: A History of Civil Religion from the Puritans to the Present,” Gorski contends that the US was founded as a prophetic republic.

“There’s a little more emphasis on an active citizenry, civic virtue, individual rights with civic duties,” Gorski told The Times of Israel. “An active citizenry is the only way to uphold free institutions. Not just laws and rights but civic action, civic duty. That’s what it aspires to be.”

This stemmed from prophetic religion, which “does not imagine that it can foresee the future, the end times,” Gorski said, “but rather, with Amos, Isaiah and Jeremiah, it calls people back to core values.”

We ignore this call at our peril, said Gorski, who comes from “a very long line of Lutheran pastors” and “was raised in the ensconced liberal Protestant tradition.”

Read More: Times Of Israel