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Is America Under Divine Interdict?

NEW OXFORD NOTEBOOK

By Pieter Vree | October 2022
Pieter Vree is Editor of the NOR.

In a time of gross polarization, Americans from across the ideological spectrum seem to agree on one thing: Something has gone horribly wrong around here. We’re beset by broken families (one in three American children now lives in a single-parent household), a broken economy (the inflation rate soared to 9.1 percent in June, a 40-year high), and a broken political system (as of January, more than 40 percent of Americans didn’t believe Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 presidential election).

Indeed, the national mood is gloomy. According to The New York Times, “Only 13 percent of American voters said the nation was on the right track — the lowest point in Times polling since the depths of the financial crisis more than a decade ago” (July 11). Worse yet, “More than three-quarters of registered voters see the United States moving in the wrong direction, a pervasive sense of pessimism that spans every corner of the country, every age range and racial group, cities, suburbs and rural areas, as well as both political parties.”

The reasons for our discontent are many, and people of different political persuasions will prioritize different problems. But for those willing to prescind from partisan policy prescriptions and focus on the bigger picture, a burning question comes to the fore, especially for those given to religious rumination. Some have likely pondered it directly, while others have pushed it to the nether regions of their subconscious.

One person has not only pondered it, he’s asked it out loud and in print.

That person: Sherwin Pomerantz, an American expat living in Israel. The question: Is God punishing the United States of America?

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