The Book of Revelation warns that anyone who takes it upon themselves to add text to the Bible will be punished. Hugh Kirkpatrick is undeterred. His new publishing project will combine the words of the Bible, the US Constitution, and Lee Greenwood. The God Bless the USA Bible is scheduled to hit bookshelves in September, about the time of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Washington Post reports. HarperCollins Christian Publishing turned down the job, but Kirkpatrick said he has other options, per the Tennessean. "The project is going to happen," he said. About 600 preorders have been placed for the $49.99 edition, he said, which will have between its covers the texts of the King James Version of the Bible, the Bill of Rights, Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the chorus of Greenwood's hit "God Bless the USA."
Kirkpatrick said his goal is national unity, but that's been elusive so far. Some find the combination of texts blasphemous or sacrilegious. The marketer said there will be separation pages between documents, which an online petition called a "toxic mix." A Georgetown professor sees the project as a reflection of Christian nationalism. A DC pastor says the edition is the product of nationalism overtaking scripture. Such specialty Bibles linking the nation's founding with God's actions tend to go easy on America's transgressions, a religion historian said. But they sell. "It's not as much a theological calculation as much as it is an economic one," Aaron Griffith said. Several HarperCollins authors welcomed the decision by their publisher. "We don’t need to add anything to the Bible," they said. "We just need to live out what it already says." (Read more Bible stories.)